On August 20th 2020, a thirteen-minute video was uploaded to YouTube. After twenty-four hours it was sitting at two million views. In that, almost a quarter-hour of footage was a pre-alpha build of “Black Myth: Wukong” an upcoming ‘souls-like’ title developed by the Chinese studio ‘Game Science’.
Based on the sixteenth-century novel ‘Journey to the West,’ the alpha focuses on the player character making their way through a level as an insect flying around enemies and weaving through scenery until transforming into a monkey armed with a bo-staff. The main playable character seems to be either ‘Sun Wukong’ or based on the existing character himself.
I will raise my hand and admit I was in doubt about this title. For a pre-alpha build, it almost looked too good to be true. The gameplay seems fluid, snappy and responsive. The sound design and environments were so pleasing to the eyes and ears. This is pre-alpha? Most games released need to be bundled with a day-one patch to run somewhat well and this looked unreal throughout. It was just a really fancy mobile game ad that had nothing at all to do with the final product.
I will now raise my other hand and admit I was wrong.
I’m now wrong and have both my hands in the air. I will now put them down because this sentence was really hard to type using only my nose to press the keys.
As more footage has been released in the three years since then we were treated to so much. HUD elements, massive battles, level traversal, new enemies and equipable spells all running in real-time. Frame drops and all. That’s what sold me on this title being real and not just a myth. They had footage of this game dropping frames, the game was running for real and wasn’t just a fancy CGI “Bullshot” trailer.
The dev team has taken this concept and ran miles with it. Visually it looks absolutely gorgeous, enemies and bosses are a treat to the eyes, giving both the player and any spectators something to enjoy together during a fight. The combat looks genuinely fun and reminds me of the fast-paced action of ‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’ another souls-type game.
‘Game Science’ showed very little but generated massive hype and interest in their upcoming title. We don’t have a release date yet, only a 2024 placeholder as of right now but I am all aboard the “Black Myth: Wukong” hype train and will buy a first-class ticket on day one to journey to the West and enjoy the adventure the team at ‘Game Science’ has in store for us all.