Ninja Theory Announces ‘Project: Mara’ Horror Game
Hellblade and Enslaved developer Ninja Theory has yet another new game in the works – Project: Mara. Announced in a brief blog post, the game is described as an “experimental title that explores new ways of storytelling”. It will be a “real-world and grounded representation of mental terror”, as opposed to Hellblade’s historical fantasy setting.
In the development video (below) shared in youtube, Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades calls Project: Mara “a real-world and grounded representation of true mental terror.” The shots in the teaser—a computer screen and what looks like an office hallway—both look almost live action rather than rendered in a game engine. Project: Mara appears to have a modern setting, whereas Hellblade and its sequel are both more historical fantasy.
Aside from the rather intense teaser trailer, the studio said that it wants to explore new ways of storytelling with the experience. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out and what new techniques Ninja Theory uses to convey the plot.
Project: Mara will be a real-world and grounded representation of mental terror. Based on real lived experience accounts and in-depth research, the aim is to recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and realistically as possible. Project: Mara will be an experimental title and a showcase of what could become a new storytelling medium.
Since then, Ninja Theory has gotten busy. It’s first Microsoft-owned game, Bleeding Edge, is a team-based multiplayer action game that is releasing in March. The studio is also working on a sequel to Hellblade. Microsoft bought Ninja Theory to help it create more exclusive content not just for Xbox but for Game Pass, its popular subscription service.
Mental health played a big part in Hellblade, with its hero suffering from psychosis. It’s handling for the issue drew it praise from many critics and players, and helped the title win the Games for Impact trophy at the 2017 Game Awards.
So further exploration of mental illness by Ninja Theory isn’t too surprising, although it is a bit off-putting to see the company use the promise of “mental terror” to promote a project. But the studio has maybe earned some slack with its well-thought handling of the issue before. Last year, Ninja Theory also announced The Insight Project, and “ambitious combination of technology, game design and clinical neuroscience brought together with the aim of generating strategies to alleviate mental distress.”
What you need to know so far:
- Ninja Theory is working on Bleeding Edge and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II at the moment.
- The team also has a horror experience called “Project: Mara” in the works.
- Ninja Theory wants to redefine storytelling with the game that appears to focus on psychological horror.
- It’ll be part of Xbox Game Pass at launch like every Microsoft Exclusive.