Nostalgia can be a funny thing. It makes us remember things in a better light than they were; it helps ideas, characters and worlds live well beyond their creator’s original intentions. And, as it turns out, it’s also what has led one New Zealand studio transition from advertising retirement villages and real estate to a Dino Crisis successor.
The dream of a Dino Crisis remake has been going around for so long that people have turned it into an April’s Fools joke. And it makes sense: take the spirit of Alien and Resident Evil, but build it around Jurassic Park instead of a pathogen or zombies. Of course people were keen on that, and of course fans are still keen for it in 2021.
Even Capcom’s own producers have wanted to bring Dino Crisis back. But since Capcom hasn’t greenlit anything, indie devs are trying to fill the void. And the latest attempt — tentatively scheduled for Q3 2022 — comes from Kiwi developers Hashbane Interactive.
It’s called Instinction, and it’s targeting PC, Xbox Series X, PS5 and the last-gen consoles, but not the Switch. The studio’s official release says they’ll also incorporate ray-tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS into the game, the latter of which is undoubtedly helped by the free plugin that Nvidia released to all developers last week.
The full official gameplay trailer, the studio told Kotaku Australia over email, wouldn’t be released for a few months. But in lieu of that, there’s also some in-progress shots of the models and environments.
Unsurprisingly, you can build some real nice dinosaurs in Unreal Engine these days.
In an email, a representative for developers Hashbane said this was the first video game for the studio. It was borne out of an architectural firm called Dane Design, which specialises in using Unreal Engine, 3D rendering and texturing software for corporate projects, animations and showcases.
A great example below is the Arrow House, a project built with Corona Renderer and 3DS Max to highlight a living space over a variety of lighting conditions. It’s high-end real estate, basically.
So what is a studio with a background in creating 3D bougie homes doing making a Dino Crisis game?
“We do projects all over the world with varying production cycles and budgets, and have over the last few years almost exclusively been using Unreal Engine alongside our 3D and texturing software to create our interactive content,” the studio told Kotaku Australia.
“The move to developing Instinction was a new idea but not too much different from what we are used to doing. Where we’ve lacked the requisite specialisation for game [development] we’ve brought on new relevant professionals to assist, and we continue to grow as we seek out a more diverse talent pool.”
So since the studio has already had plenty of experience with Unreal Engine, why not staff up and take things a little further? Instinction has been in development for around a year, according to the developers, and Hashbane are hoping to introduce more modern environments, mechanics and crucially, co-op play for up to 3 people.
Mod support is on the roadmap already, as is fully customisable loadouts and 3D sound:
We have paid particular focus on next-generation consoles and GPUs. Utilising advanced ray-tracing, DLSS 2.0, HDRI, screen space effects, shadows, reflections, and ambient occlusion. Dynamic resolution and frame rates with forward support for gaming at 8k and 120fps. Advanced Ambisonics and Convolution Reverb provide a fully immersive three-dimensional sound experience. Environmental audio reacts relative to position and origination point.
Weapon loadouts to suit your playstyle, from melee weapons to rocket launchers with fully customisable in-game attachment, skin and reticle editor. Find and earn attachments as you progress. The game will optionally also take advantage of adaptive trigger and haptic feedback. Access quick settings and you’ll also be able to toggle each HUD element on and off, items such as the mini-map, ammunition, compass, mission, hints and inventory. Everything, including HUD positioning, is fully customisable and you have the ability to choose presets or create your own.
As we’ve all learnt many, many times before, what studios want to accomplish and what actually gets delivered can often be two different things. Ambition is part of the beauty of game development. And it’s awesome to see more Australian and New Zealand studios reaching for the stars.
The developers are planning to release more devlogs and R&D ahead of the official “reveal” trailer, which is due sometime in late April. Hashbane is also hoping to make a vertical slice of Instinction available later this year, although that’s subject to change and it’s not known whether that will be a public or private demo.
We’ll keep you posted on how Instinction pans out as we get closer to a release. Until then, your best shot might actually be the Dino Crisis Classic REBirth mod. Head here if you want to find out how that works. There’s also an official Instinction site, along with a link to the official Discord channel.