The entertainment and video games industry in Spain has been claiming its rightful space in the cultural sphere. Either by individual merit, placing programmers and designers trained here in the most important studios in the world; whether working for national companies on cutting-edge projects or attracting international video games, such as the recent “The Callisto Protocol”which developed part of its mechanics in Zaragoza, by the hand of impressive distance. Gradually, the Spanish video game is rising to a new level, and we are already starting to see something similar to a structure capable of dreaming in large dimensions.
The convincing proof, green bud and waste of imagination and quality placed at the service of the medium, it is the new “The Crown of Wu”from the Spanish studio Red Mountain, which premiered this weekend on playstation and pc after several years in development. Without the State or the public continuing to be a real help to take into account, as in cinema or music, the new game of the company founded by Jose Carlos Montero can be understood as a cross platform between “Tomb Raider”, “Ratchet & Clank” and combat dynamics of titles as revered as “Blood”from FromSoftware.
“All these comparisons are aspirational, of course. logically notyou would love to be in the same category as “soulslike”, but they are still big words. Our intention was to build a game, perhaps, from a less complex, more agile approach”, explains the honest Montero to LA RAZÓN, about a project that started at Trazos digital art school and which later turned professional: «The idea started to take shape in 2018. several months working on the narrative and in the more conceptual one, by the end of that year we already had a working prototype. And that’s what we bring to the PlayStation Talents programme. That’s where they took us and a much more serious journey began for the project, already counting on specialized professionals who could dedicate the whole day to it”, details the creative, who has already led a team of seven people to give life and animation to a Game based on the legend of the Monkey King.
Pulling from the epic “God of War” any «Sekiro» in your history, “The Crown of Wu” takes us to a dystopian future where the most advanced technology intersects with the typical aesthetics of the Japanese Heian periodamong the natural landscapes of Kikuchi Yosai and how they were reimagined based on more contemporary anime: «The first thing we did was a referential investigation to find out what we wanted to represent. and we were looking these kind of mountains so high, “Dragon Ball” style, lost in the clouds. The first thing that usually strikes people is art. We are very happy”, completes Montero with pride.
difficulty as challenge
But how do you really get up a game of this caliber when there are almost no facilities? “Getting funding is a very difficult challenge. Our main financing channel goes through build vertical slices, which are nothing more than demonstrations of the main features of the game to present it to private investors. And you start to move it beyond the seas, because in Spain this culture has not only established itself, there is no industrial fabric per se. Or, at least, it lacks the necessary consistency. Everything is changing, yes, and with technology we can present these demos to distributors in Japan or Germany. We were able to publish in Asia, which interested us a lot in terms of the game and there we raised a lot of capital, but the rest we put into the company through bank loans. The banks trusted us, fortunately, and thanks to our history”, explains the creator didactically about financing still very rudimentary compared to neighboring territories such as France.
Public aid is still insufficient
And so, like a small industrial miracle, “The Crown of Wu” It shines in its level design, offering a full seven hours of entertainment for those who enjoy appreciating small graphical details. But there’s also a challenge, with a demanding combat system and smarter enemies than one would expect in a game with such user-friendly controls. The three difficulty modes, plus the fourth that is unlocked when finishing the game for the first time and that now takes us into a “soul” hell, customize the experience to the fullest: “Our first perception of the game was that of the challenge , that there weren’t many helpers, that it was difficult to overcome the obstacles and that you had to pay close attention to the environment to solve the puzzles. In addition to taking into account the tempos, the rhythms, of course. Seeing it work in various events and fairs, which we have already been to practically all that exist to teach the game, we realized that we had to step back and allow it to be more accessible», completes a satisfied and expectant Montero of how a game with extraordinary income will work commercially.