A headless bard, strumming on a three-stringed instrument called the sanxian, sits leisurely on an exposed root of a great gnarled tree, seemingly alone within a brown, parched wilderness of grass and bushes. Yet from the skies, several cloaked figures give chase to a fleet-footed Sun Wukong, the eponymous hero of Black Myth: Wukong, as he carves a bloody path towards a derelict temple. It’s a breathtaking introduction to the latest trailer for the soulslike game, developed by Chinese indie studio Game Science, with a release date that’s slated for 2024.
The global buzz around Black Myth: Wukong may be gradually reaching fever pitch, but the excitement over the game feels like it has peaked back in China, with local publications referring to Black Myth: Wukong as the pinnacle of locally-made AAA games. When it was introduced in 2020 with a 13-minute pre-alpha trailer, Black Myth: Wukong was met with international acclaim for its sleek, cinematic visuals and high-octane, high-fantasy combat scenes. Within a day of its release, the video had garnered 2 million views on Youtube and 10 million views on Chinese streaming site Bilibili. At the height of this commotion around Black Myth: Wukong, Game Science even had to fend off unsolicited visitors at its studio by putting up a notice outside its premises, according to a report from IGN China. One intruder, who thought the office would be vacant on a Saturday afternoon, broke into the building through a window to pay the studio a visit—a stunt that shocked the employees who were working at the office over the weekend. In another incident, a visitor abruptly turned up at the door, declaring that they had quit their job to participate in the game’s development.
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