Arkane Lyon’s studio director Sebastien Mitton has shared three concept artworks for the Deathloop developer’s adaptation of Marvel’s Blade, a third-person action adventure set in Paris, which was announced last week during the Keighleys. On the surface the artworks give away little, but thankfully, I am a Vampire of News, equipped with supernatural vision and insight. Why not come inside my den and let me regale you with some speculations? Don’t worry about the red stains on the carpet, that’s just, er, strawberry jam from all the doughnuts I’ve been eating recently. The red stains on the wall? Yeah, that’s blood.
The first artwork at the top of this page gives us Blade posing on a rooftop, gazing down a tall street full of burning cars. There’s a big hotel sign on the left, and hoverships with searchlights overhead. At the end of the street, there’s a skyscraper with “Couvre-Feu Sortie Interdite” – “Curfew No Exit” – written on it in neon, possibly holographic lettering. The architecture is a mixture of older-looking chimney stacks, and glassy modern skyscrapers. On the horizon, we see plumes of smoke and the Eiffel Tower catching the sunset.
It looks like a Dishonored level projected forward into the near-future, and Blade’s rooftop vantage suggests that, as with Dishonored, this will be a game about vertical exploration and infiltration.
Concept artwork two shows us Blade on ground level, peeking around the corner of a graffiti-plastered alley at people queuing to enter a nightclub of some kind. There’s a conspicuously large air duct behind Blade, a bouncer glancing back in the distance, a closed shopfront a little nearer to the foreground, and some fancy dangling tube lighting.
It could be the preamble to something like the legendary dancefloor slaughter scene from the very first Blade movie. Perhaps the club is a secret vampire den. Or maybe Blade has gotten himself thrown out by the bouncer, after doing one too many backflips across the bar. Poor man.
The third concept art shows us Blade through the window of a metro train car. He’s waving his sword at a bunch of angry triangles, which I’m guessing are stylised bats. Will Blade get to fight vamps armed with top-tier Dracula abilities, then? Will he get to transform into a bat himself? It’s all very in keeping with Dishonored’s enemies and toolset.
I’m more struck by the vampiric figures inside the car, however, who look listless and apathetic, slumping over their knees or gazing out away from Blade. Are they sleepy after drinking too much blood, or just jaded commuters? It could be both.
Here’s what we know for sure about Marvel’s Blade game: it’s set in a quarantined section of Paris during a supernatural emergency. Regular citizens are sheltering in-doors as vampires rule the streets, and Blade’s job is presumably to set everything straight.
“From his trench coat to his iconic sunglasses, Blade is a slick, stylish, and driven character,” Mitton observed in an announcement release. “This project is the perfect opportunity to push Arkane’s art style into an even more modern and bold territory. The essence of our work lives at the junction of impactful ideas and innovative know-how.”
Here’s the trailer, if you missed it.