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Black Myth Wukong: Unreal Indie Game vs AAA

Blurring the Vision:  Black Myth Wukong: Indie to Best the AAA’s?

Game Science.  Chinese indie game developer.  Age-old tale based on the classical 16th century myth of the Monkey King.  Sun Wu Kong. Within the video game industry?  We are quick to categorize.  EA Sports?  AAA.  Star Wars? AAA.  Assasins Creed?  Same.  Franchises and titles we would say, with our heads held high as the team responsible for making video games or publishing such household titles.

Flappy Bird?  Definitely indie game.  Translation: low budget, low- to mid production value.  Graphics and storyline?  Similarly lightweight and sub-AAA.  By a mile or more…

What does it do RIGHT in terms of video game marketing?

For starters.  It let the gameplay do the talking.  Just look at the stunning gameplay shot.  Check out the amazing graphics to ooh and ahhh anyone. Indie game or not, this game is beautiful.

On the r/games subreddit,  Reddit user xg4m3CYT said, “The game came out of nowhere, is made by an indie studio, and completely swiped the floor with most of the announced AAA games.”

Black Myth Wukong AAA console graphics from indie Game Science
Black Myth Wukong AAA console graphics from indie Game Science

Black Myth: Wukong – Stunning Graphic. Beautiful Fun Gameplay.  And a Familiar Back Story.

In a 13-minute long trailer, what exactly did they show? In short the trailer showed FOUR hard, thunderous punches.

  1. BACK STORY – It Told the Story through a Sage Narrator, not unlike the opening of the Lord of the Rings
  2. CONSOLE GRAPHICS – Stunning graphics made possible through the Unreal Engine.  Arguably one of, if not THE video game engine to beat.
  3. ACTION-PACKED COMBAT – Incredible combat and cinematic fight scenes, to rival the best AAA gameplay we’ve seen in recent years.
  4. ROLE-PLAYING VERSATILITY – Shape-shifting abilities.  True RPG style, this lets the player transform from the combative monkey king into an unassuming cicadas, to avoid detection by foes.
Black Myth Wukong AAA graphics Game Science Unreal Engine
Black Myth Wukong AAA graphics Game Science Unreal Engine

On the record, I have never marketed or published a game so beautiful, regardless of Indie or AAA, Unreal or otherwise.

If this gameplay trailer is any indication, this indie game is breathtaking.  That this is PRE-Alpha gameplay?  I can only imagine.  As in just how beautiful and stunning the Beta or GA version will be.

Oh, let’s not forget the amazing combat.  For a guy who marketed and published titles like Dragon Age and Ultima, this game took my breath away.

Mind you, my games were not shabby.  But this game?  On another level of breathtaking photo- and video-realistic AAA graphics and real-time action combat altogether.

HODA Saboteur Hawke character tier progression
HODA Saboteur Hawke clear character tier progression: material, gear, costume, etc

 

Since the game doesn’t come out for a while, I have no real-world first-hand experience.  While not MY personal video game greatest of all time, this game has definite disruptive potential.

Did the Game Science team do ample consumer insights and market tests in Asia? From the reception that the gameplay trailer had received on IGN and Youtube?  This game is well-received, well tested, if it were tested.

Wukong’s gameplay looks to be a single-player Action RPG.  But could it be turned into a team-based co-op Action RPG instead?

Or maybe the Game Science guys are even thinking eSports multiplayer combat down the road?  If not this game, perhaps another awesome MMO Action RPG waiting in the wing?

This surely begs the question.  What defines an AAA game studio?  Is it the team size?  Is it the size of the budget spent making video games?  Or is it the quality of the video game content, UGC or otherwise, that’s presented to the players?

I have no idea what the video game pricing may be, whether it be a $59.99 premium price like we are accustomed to.  Or if it were a special collector’s edition premium price game like the NBA2K21 Black Mamba Edition.

One thing is for sure.  Whatever its price, I want it.  AAA or indie, I want it.  What say you?

Did we mention the gameplay narrative is 100% in Chinese with English captions and subtitles?  Didn’t seem to stop gamers on Youtube and Reddit, gushing over how much they want to play this…

Per what the IGN reporter mentioned, Black Myth Wukong has approximately 15 hours of gameplay.  Given the game is pre-alpha, I imagine there will be much more content and gameplay by the time it launches.

While not exactly a branded IP franchise, the Journey West is a tale familiar to many across Asia.  For my $.02.  This one has legs.  Two thumbs up.  All the way.

Black Myth Wukong Game Science AAA graphics gameplay from indie studio
Black Myth Wukong Game Science AAA graphics gameplay from indie studio

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