There aren't many games slated for release in 2009 that are as ambitious as Gas Powered Games' Demigod, and certainly not many with as much to prove. The company's last game, Space Siege, was beloved by some, loathed
by others. GPG has quite a bit of work to do in order to recover some of its lost fans.
For what it's worth, Demigod is based on Defense of the Ancients - an old mod for Blizzard's Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - and will attempt to fuse elements of the action, RPG and RTS genres together into one gargantuan lump of a game. Using heroes to either overpower the enemy with their own mighty abilities or raise a force of smaller units and command them in battle will be key to victory.
One of the most striking things about the game is the visual style. Consider the character called 'The Rook', who is basically a walking castle (it's like chess, innit). Each hero (the titular demigods) has a range of different powers with which to wage war on his enemies. The combat itself is set to be visually spectacular, with a 'strategic zoom' feature that can take you right into the heart of the action.
Perhaps the most important element of the game will be how well the persistent online world performs. Signs are promising - players will pick one of the demigod characters and their battles go some way to helping the overall cause of that faction. You won't just be fighting for yourself, but for every other player who happens to have chosen the same character as yourself.
As is the fashion in these materialistic times, an achievement system will also be built into the game, so you can see just how well you've been doing. As you play, your character will be able to earn and pick up new items, while developing new abilities. It all sounds weighty and intriguing, especially those persistent online conflicts. We're just hoping the game does the concept justice when it finally emerges early next year.