Hidden Winter

by: Sean Colleli -
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I don't like linking to IGN that often but they have a great story up now.  It seems that developer n-Space has been working on a new survival horror IP for the last couple years called Winter.  The game sounds like a great return to form for the SH genre, focusing on surviving in a blizzard-covered town with no weapons or protection.  n-Space wanted to use the Wii in creative ways, like twisting doorknobs open, or picking up a broomhandle and deciding wheter to use it as a club or snap it in half to make a spear.  I loved n-Space's Geist on the GameCube, it was an original idea that I think would've done much better if it had come out earlier in the Cube's life, but it showed up after the Cube lost its popularity and thus didn't make much of a splash.  It still remains one of my favorites and one of the most underrated games of last generation.

The problem for Winter though is that no publishers would touch it.  Most marketing departments are afraid to publish anything on the Wii except kiddie minigame collctions, so in trying to break into the mature market on Wii n-Space faced a pretty big catch-22.  n-Space reminds me of High Voltage, the people behind the amazing Conduit.  They've done a lot of licensed stuff but want to do more innovative things with the Wii and use it to grow existing genres like survival horror, and innovation was kind of the original point of the Wii.  It's a real shame that nobody will pick up Winter, but things might be looking up.  With Sega publishing both The Conduit and Madworld this year, maybe publishers will take more risks with real, mature games on the Wii.  Now that the word is out on Winter, I wouldn't be surprised if Sega snaps it up; they're already 2 for 2.  I don't want to get my hopes up, but maybe this year will be the time when the Wii really comes into its own.  It has a huge install base, and hardcore gamers are clamoring for good games like Winter from talented developers like n-Space.  2009 might be when the Wii's long, desolate winter finally ends.
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