When "Resident Evil" introduced "The Mercenaries" bonus game in "Resident Evil 4," everyone was pretty thrilled about it. It's inclusion in "RE 5" was also appreciated. But, when it came to releasing "The Mercenaries" as a stand-alone, full-priced title on the Nintendo 3DS, it didn't really work. There just wasn't enough there to justify $40 price point. At a more reasonable, budget price, however, I think the concept could be a real success. That's where "The Haunted: Hell's Reach" comes in.
"The Haunted: Hell's Reach" began life as a free Unreal mod. It ended up winning the 2010 "Make Something Unreal" contest, which awarded the developer with $50,000 and a free commercial Unreal Engine 3 license. The win was parlayed into a full-featured release which will be published by THQ in late 2011 for PC, with the plan being to bring it to XBLA and PSN in early 2012.
You can watch some gameplay in the clip above. As you can see, the game takes "The Mercenaries" and expands it with traps, upgradable weapons and a considerable number of environments. The announcement mentioned that "The Haunted" will feature four game modes (Survival, Cooperative, Battle and Demonizer) and four playable characters, with a planned price point of $20.
It's not the first time a "Make Something Unreal" winner has made it to retail. One of the past contest winners was "Red Orchestra," a multiplayer shooter set in the Russian theater of World War II. That too went on to become a retail PC game, and there's a sequel, "Red Orchestra 2," releasing in just a few weeks.
If the prospect of "The Haunted" has you curious, and you happen to have a copy of "Unreal Tournament 3," you should give the mod a shot, as it's a pretty excellent taste of what the full game should offer.