You may (or may not) have heard of the video game Heavenly Sword; it was released on Playstation 3 back in 2007, and featured female heroine Nariko on a quest to free her tribe and father from a King Bohan, using a mystical sword that grants the wielder great power – at the eventual expense of his/her life.
The game sold over a million copies, and was one of the cinematic powerhouses that helped showcase the PS3’s impressive capabilities, but since its release it has been one of the few games that never made the transition into becoming a multi-platform franchise. That changes now, however, as Heavenly Sword is moving from the game console to your home theater (or computer) screen with an upcoming CGI animated feature, which you can check out in the trailer above.
This isn’t the first time Heavenly Sword has appeared in animated form; a series of five traditionally-animated shorts were released prior to, and following, the game’s release; they served as a prequel saga, detailing where the sword is from, Nariko’s warrior training, the rise of King Bohan, etc. This animated feature will presumably retell the story of the actual game in cinematic form, and will bring back original Nariko voice actress Anna Torv – best known as Agent Dunham on Fringe. Joining Torv for the film will be Thomas Jane (Punisher) as a character named Loki and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) as King Bohan, who voices the trailer.
If the footage above looks like an extended cut scene from an actual video game, you are not alone in that assessment. FUN FACT: the original game featured creative direction and motion-capture work by Hobbit and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis, and according to Playstation Blog’s Brad Foxhoven, Serkis left behind a lot of material from which to create the animated feature – which automatically gives it a certain amount of clout with cinetech enthusiasts who hold Serkis in high regard.
Still though… it does look like you’ll be watching a very long video game cut scene – but is that an issue for you? Or are video games so cinematic now that it’s just a natural progression? (Hopefully this works out better than Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within did….)
Meanwhile, on the other side of things, games like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell are making the jump to live-action blockbuster film. Is that a better strategy than CGI Animation? Or does Heavenly Sword (the movie) seem like a step in a better direction?
Heavenly Sword will be released digitally, worldwide, in spring 2014.
Source: Playstation Blog