Last year the former head of BioWare, Casey Hudson, announced his new development studio, Humanoid Studios. Described as a “company built to unleash the creative freedom of developers – bringing innovation and artistry to players through an all-new IP” the studio has now given us a glimpse at that new IP thanks to concept art posted on the company's new website. And, it looks like Hudson and the team are drawing on their Mass Effect past to create a new sci-fi space epic.
The studio is hiring for a number of positions and describes the game as a “multi-platform AAA game, focusing on character-driven narrative in an all-new science-fiction universe”. This initially gives off Mass Effect-like impressions, although that feeling only gets stronger as you look into the concept art and job listings.
The job listings mention looking for a principal character artist that will sculpt and texture “human and alien forms, faces, and hair, as well as both soft and hard surface clothing”. The concept art also gives off strong Mass Effect vibes with a crew sitting onboard a ship, and two astronauts walking across a snowy planet towards what appears to be a giant alien skull.
However, the concept art does suggest that Humanoid Studios’ first game will differ from Mass Effect in the visual department, straying away from realistic aesthetics.
The ship is invigorated with bright, warm reds. This new IP definitely seems to be straying into stylish territory compared to the hard, bone-white scientific walls of Mass Effect’s interiors. Another image shows a ship flying across what looks to be an acid-covered planet where the yellow of the acid is splashed across the brown rock beneath it.
The final image shows an astronaut interacting with some kind of device, maybe uploading data on the unexplored planet to be used by your crew in the ship. You can see two pieces of concept art for the game below, with two more in the image at the top of this article. The full art and the job listings for the company can be found on Humanoid Studios’ website.
This concept art suggests that Hudson and the team are going for the Mass Effect style experience fans love, but brightened up a bit with a more varied colour palette and vibrant environments to explore. Either way it isn’t too surprising to see the studio draw upon its past, especially as Mass Effect has struggled over the last decade to make an impact with fans.
We are likely still years away from Humanoid Studios’ game, but this first glimpse is enticing to stay the least. Hopefully, it will be able to stand up to BioWare’s next Mass Effect game which is in very early development.