Guillermo del Toro, the imaginative director of "Hellboy" and "Pan's Labyrinth" is working on a new game franchise with THQ and Volition. Officially announced at last year's Video Game Awards, "inSANE" is not planned for release for several years, but we were able to catch up with the director to see if there were any updates he could share on the project.
The started by saying that, as expected, the project is nowhere near completion:
"We've been working for a year. We have two or three more years to go. It's huge. I'm learning a lot. I'm going in with a really, really modest 'I'm learning' approach. I'm a huge gamer but going into constructing it, you have to be respectful of the medium. I'm learning a lot. Talking about the storyline for weeks. We've been designing the creatures, which are obscenely fun and unique. You haven't seen them ever."
As for the format of the game, del Toro indicated that it would be set in a large, sandbox-style world. This fits with some of Volition's past releases, like "Red Faction Guerrilla" and "Saints Row." "We had to build a sandbox, so we designed all the archetecture already," he explained. "We're developing in Champaign, Illinois, so it's a very short trip from Toronto, so I don't have much weekends. My life is pretty much 24/7 work, but we're giving it the proper attention. We've spent an inordinate amount of time into that project. It's because it's worth it, I think. You learn more, as a narrator, for this medium, than I ever expected."
Del Toro closed out our interview by confirming the tone of the game:
"It's Lovecraftian, it's really weird, but it's Lovecraftian in a very sick way, which I like. It's truely, truely entertaining. Full of action, but also a very shocking game. And Guy Davis and Francisco [Ruis Velasco]. Guy Davis, to me, is one of the best monster designers alive right now."
Fans of the "Hellboy" spin-off comic series, "B.P.R.D.," should be familiar with Davis' work. He's that franchise's primary artist.
Concrete details on "inSANE" remain vague, and we probably won't see any actual gameplay for at least another year, but it's good to know that the project is still on track. Not to mention that the prospect of a Lovecraftian sandbox game built from the mind of Guillermo del Toro gives me more than a few pleasant tingles.