NEWS - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Vivendi Announces Van Helsing for the Xbox

Stepping Into the Boots of Van Helsing, Gamers Come Face to Face With Dracula, Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster Creatures of the night beware, Vivendi Universal Games announced today that it will be unleashing "Van Helsing" for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, based on the highly-anticipated film from Universal Pictures. "Van Helsing," the new epic action-adventure film from writer-director Stephen Sommers ("The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns"), draws inspiration from the studio’s classic horror properties and introduces Van Helsing, Bram Stoker’s fabled monster hunter, who is summoned to a distant Eastern European land on a quest to vanquish evil. The stars Hugh Jackman ("X-Men," "Swordfish," "Kate & Leopold") and Kate Beckinsale ("Pearl Harbor") and is slated for a May 7, 2004 release. "Van Helsing," the third-person action game, transports players back to the macabre world of 19th century Transylvania -- home to the legendary Dracula, Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster. As the renowned monster hunter Van Helsing, players must hunt down and destroy the evil that inhabits these ancient lands before darkness engulfs the world. "Van Helsing" is being developed by Saffire Studios and will be available in the Spring of 2004 in conjunction with the film’s release. Working closely with members of the "Van Helsing" film production, Vivendi Universal Games and Saffire Studios have set out to put players in the boots of the title character, allowing them to experience interactively key moments and battles from the film while building out Van Helsing’s mythology through exclusive access to a backstory that they will not get in theatres. "The ’Van Helsing’ game puts a fresh, exciting and contemporary twist on some of the most legendary characters to ever appear in print or film," said says Luc Vanhal, President and Chief Operating Officer, North America, Vivendi Universal Games. "Paralleling and expanding on the epic events of the film, the game offers players a cinematic action experience packed with nightmarish creatures, furious combat and daring escapes." "’Van Helsing’ builds on the legacy of Universal’s monster franchise, while bringing a new, dark hero simultaneously to movie and video game screens," said Bill Kispert, vice president, Interactive, Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. "The haunting world created by the filmmakers, and the interpretation of these legendary characters as we have never seen them before, offers a fantastic jumping off point to develop an emotional and atmospheric action game experience." As players progress through Transylvania and the strongholds of Castle Frankenstein and Castle Dracula, they’ll encounter untold fiends and evil minions including the legendary dark prince Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Frankenstein Monster and Igor as well as a host of original creatures created for the game including stone gargoyles, fell sprits and banshees. To help turn the tide of darkness, players can dish out double-fisted damage with a devastating arsenal of melee and ranged weapons including tojo blades, scimitars, pistols, a shotgun and a hand-cranked gatling gun for maximum carnage. Additionally, players will be able to utilize Van Helsing’s signature grappling hook to escape impending doom, explore the gameworld and unleash devastating fatality attacks.


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