whore of the orient

Whore Of The Orient Gameplay Leaked, Looks As Disappointing As L.A. Noire.

Some footage of what is apparently Team Bondi’s new Eastern-noir action adventure game Whore Of The Orient has fallen into the hands of VideoGamer.com. Footage is below.

Whore Of The Orient is the next game from the controversial and unpleasant-sounding lead designer Brendan McNamara, the figurehead of Team Bondi, whose new game is published by Australian production company KMM. Mr McNamara has a penchant for games which are stolidly founded in reality- but which are usually equally a bit dull, to boot.

L.A. Noire, his most recent title, was incredibly ambitious and a rather excellent work of fiction. However, as a videogame, I’d call it a complete failure. There was no fail-state, which would be fine if the game didn’t repeatedly tell you how you were doing, and all the fist-and-gunfighting mechanics were absolutely awful. It was so dull, from a gameplay standpoint. But 20s L.A., the game’s writing, and the amazing facial-animation system, were fabulous.

Going further back, The Getaway, McNamara’s first big Sony title, was a pretty entertaining, if flawed London crime romp. I loved almost all of it’s mechanics; if only the execution wasn’t so vapid and messy.

Without further critical ado, here’s Whore Of The Orient:

Obviously this is early-Alpha footage, so none of it will be anywhere near ready. The final product will probably be completely different. But regardless of the finished-state, Whore Of The Orient’s gameplay looks like a rubbish, basic version of Uncharted-meets-Shenmue. There is more unambitious, derivative cover shooting. There are more lame chase sequences which were exactly the same back in 2003. The framerate is kicking a little low, which is normal for this kind of early footy, but aside from that, the graphics are actually remarkably nice.

I’m expecting some horror stories to emerge at somepoint, though, much like the tales which emerged about Team Bondi’s development (plenty of citations in-text). Having said that, the last words which were said on the subject featured McNamara saying that they were “trying to do things differently this time around”. So perhaps this may be a bit of a turnaround for McNamara. (Again, having said that, he followed the statement by saying that he must be less scary than Steve Jobs. That’s not a challenge, Brendan.)

A thickening of this already-tenuous plot, comes from the fact that the studio nearly shut down back in April. Clearly they are in trouble and are stretching their budget, to the extent that the Australian government had to give a $200,000 grant to KMM to try and keep the project going while they looked for a publisher.

Things are clearly shaky as bamboo scaffolding for Team Bondi’s new Eastern title. (Not that bamboo scaffolding is actually shaky in any way.) However, it could be that this video is one of those underhand marketing ploys, an “accidental” video release which acts as a thinly veiled PR stir up some interest in the project. Considering how like Shenmue 2 and Sleeping Dogs, a potentially potent fan-making combination,  it looks, this might indeed signal a bit of a turnaround for the Whore Of The Orient. What a lovely name for a game.