'Awakened' Offers Up A More Customizable 'inFamous'

You might have read in recent weeks about a canceled Midway project called "Hero," a super-powered, open-world adventure that compares closest with the PlayStation 3-exclusive "Infamous." There were some cool ideas behind it, but alas... it isn't to be. Or is it? It seems that much of the "Hero" dev team got together to form Phosphor Games, where they're working on "Awakened," which looks like it borrows many of the cool ideas that "Hero" promised to deliver on.

The underlying concept, as Phosphor head Chip Sineni lays out in an interview with Gamasutra, is to let players "create the video game characters of their dreams -- to create something and actually play with it." It all started with Cryptic Studios' "City of Heroes" and the superhero wish fulfillment levels of character customization that the MMO offers.

While the Phosphor folks weren't able to carry over any of the actual work they'd done on "Hero," the idea still remains and it's a potent one. "We just totally started over," Sineni said. "We don't have any connection to the old codebase, story, assets, whatever. What we have is the very cool idea that create-a-player [concept of 'Hero''s central feature] is this really awesome opportunity to change your character and your abilities to whatever you want them to be."

It's all very much in the early stages, but not so early that Sineni and Phosphor have nothing to show. The game they're currently working on, called "Awakened," already has a sweet proof-of-concept video online. The visuals are admittedly a little rough, but remember that it's still in the early days of development. What the video does give a sense of is the scope that Phosphor is shooting for, and it's pretty damn impressive. I'll be watching "Awakened" very closely, and you should too.