Project Mara

When Microsoft announced that it was acquiring developer Ninja Theory, we got a glimpse at one of its upcoming games. Project: Mara looks like something different for the studio, known for working on Devil May Cry and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Now, the developer has gone into more detail on the project, and it’s mighty impressive.

First off, the game focuses on the affects of mental health, not dissimilar to Hellblade. Ninja Theory says Project: Mara will “recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and realistically as possible,” and that it’s also based on real people’s accounts of mental trauma. It’s focused on a heavy topic then, but it does look very different from the likes of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

The ViDoc shows just how different too. This time out, Ninja Theory is setting its game in a single apartment, which has been meticulously recreated. The in-engine shots shown here are incredibly impressive, and it’s hard to distinguish the real thing from the rendered version. It goes right down to granular details too, like water settling in a sink or dust settling on the ground.

A new medium

Ninja Theory’s ambition goes even further though. The developer continues to reiterate that Project: Mara isn’t really a traditional game, and that it will be an experimental title. Right now we’re not sure what form it will take, but it certainly has shades of a “walking simulator” about it so far. That might be underselling things somewhat, but we’re not expecting a mechanically deep game from Project: Mara. Story is clearly the focus, as the developer says the game “could become a new storytelling medium.”

Senua’s Saga Hellblade Ii – The Game Awards 2019 Trailer 1

It’s great to see something like this being developed. Microsoft bought a studio that has multiple projects in the works, and this kind of experience seems perfect for Game Pass. It might not be something I’d want to drop $60 on, but as part of a subscription, it looks perfect. Project: Mara from Ninja Theory has no projected release date or platforms, but it’ll no doubt drop for PC when the time is right.

Ben Kerry
Freelance Writer. Work seen elsewhere at Eurogamer, Gamereactor and Nintendo Enthusiast. Fan of action, racing and straight up walkin' in any video game he can get his hands on. When he's not gaming, Ben spends his time listening to way too much Guns N' Roses, watching football and probably eating somewhere.

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