Lost in Trans-Civilization

Scivelation Logo

A few months back, we brandished our interest towards BWF Game’s little-known upcoming Source engine project, Salvation. Just goes to show how swift the turnover rate is in the gaming business these days: Over the course of mere months, the game has now been rebranded as Scivelation, and instead of the previously utilized Valve tools, is now built on Epic Games’ Unreal III Engine.

“Set in the distant future, Scivelation’s universe is a world born out of the ashes of conflict and misery. An oppressive global dictatorship, known as the Regime, has risen to power after the aftermath of the Apocalypse; aggressively seeking out and eliminating any opposition to their tyrannical government.”1

Scivelation_01_wallpaperFor me, the rather obscure mash-up title - Griffin McElroy already lamented the lack of a proper pronunciation guide2 - recalls the word skive (also rarely spelled as scive, according to the OED), which means “To evade a duty, to shirk; to avoid work by absenting oneself, to play truant.” Whether this is BWF Game’s intended meaning remains to be seen, of course, but with the player character taking “his or her place amongst the ranks of the resistance”1 in the narrative, this interpretation of the title does not seem an immense stretch of imagination for me.

After the jump, I have set up a modest comparison of screenshots between the two versions (Source and Unreal), and some more analysis about the game.

While Joystiq have set their expectations relatively low, positioning the game somewhere in-between Stalin vs. The Martians and X-Blades, we’re more hopeful in terms of the project’s offerings: As outlined in our post for the earlier iteration, we found the game to contain some potentially controversial subject matter not often seen in video games, and actually a little miracle that Scivelation is yet to garner publicity due to a  “…narrative turbocharged with Christian metaphor and a bleak, religion-oppressed dystopian setting.”3

Beyond the controversy, what strikes me as most intriguing about the new press release is how strong an impression the game’s engine leaves on the look and feel of the game. Below, you can see the Source iteration – a crisper, sharper, visually more arresting (though Half-Life-ike) version:

And here, three all-new screenshots from the Unreal Engine version. While the graphics have received a next-gen overhaul of gloss, detail and sheen, they also interestingly suffer from darkness and murkiness often associated with its new engine.

Scivelation is slated for 2010, for “PC and next-gen consoles” – make of that what you will!

  1. http://ve3tro.com/6213/scivelation-announced/ [] []
  2. http://www.joystiq.com/2009/10/11/scivelation-announced-but-poorly-pronounced/ []
  3. http://www.slowdown.vg/2009/06/22/salivating-for-salvation/ []