Cursed Mountain, acrophobic survival horror for Wii

Welcome to the Himalayas! A place of beautiful scenery, snow-covered mountains and rabid undead Buddhist monks. Developers Deep Silver (Gothic 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky) have announced Cursed Mountain, a survival horror game designed exclusively for the Wii. To be released worldwide in 2009 but set in the 1980s, the player will follow a professional mountaineer on a quest to find his missing brother. As if that wasn’t demanding enough, he finds himself in a cursed area where those who have died are stuck in limbo — caught in something known as the Shadow World.

Not just monks will haunt our brave mountaineer; villagers, pilgrims and other mountaineers will also be present to make his mission a living hell. Disturbing visions will disorient him and ghosts and demons will block his path, all while his faith to find his brother alive weakens with every step up the mountain.

The game, which is built from scratch for the Wii, is said to look stunning. The entire game world will be viewable from every level and supposedly, graphics are amazing. Nice to hear, since we haven’t heard so much about the graphic abilities of the Wii except from High Voltage’s The Conduit.

“The setting requires a great impression of distance. The entire country is set at such high altitude that looking up at over 26,000 feet high mountains and also looking down again is a vital part of the experience. You start from a typical Himalayan valley and continuously get higher and higher,” said Hannes Seifert, Managing Director at Deep Silver when talking to IGN. “We really push the Wii hardware regarding lighting, shaders, geometry, audio, and animation. Cursed Mountain is not about technology, but about the gameplay experience, but many current games really seem to underutilize the hardware.”

“With a fresh setting, gloomy atmosphere and the innovative use of the Wii controls, Cursed Mountain will deliver a unique, terrifying game play experience,” Seifert continued.

The innovative Wii controls will be used while climbing, balancing and in fighting. You fight demons with either fighting praying gestures with the controller – tougher enemies require more difficult hand gestures and so on.

Although Cursed Mountain is a survival horror game, it won’t be as violent as Resident Evil 5 or other titles in the genre. According to Seifert, the game is more about exploring a realistic world, while pushing the physical and mental limits in a dreadful environment.

It’s not easy to say very much about the game without any trailers or in-game screenshots, but if Deep Silver manages to create an atmosphere that’s frightening, together with a solid fighting system, Cursed Mountain could easily take over Sadness‘ place as the most awaited horror game on the Wii. They have already won first prize for scariest looking monk, so it’s all downhill from here.