Until very recently, Black Myth: Wukong wasn’t a game that many people were talking about (or even know about), but it has caught the attention of many people over the last couple of weeks. Developer Game Science released the game’s gameplay reveal trailer, and everyone seems to be taken aback by just how good it looks. If you’re curious to learn more about it, here, we’ve compiled all the info you need to know on the game, its developer, its launch plans, and more.
Black Myth: Wukong is based on the popular Chinese classic Journey to the West. It certainly isn’t the first story to be inspired by it – Dragon Ball owes a lot to it, while Ninja Theory’s 2010 game Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was based on it as well – but Black Myth’s world and setting seem particularly interesting. There seems to be a lot of focus on the mythological and fantastic elements of the story, which is clearly abundant in all the magical combat and creatures we’ve seen in its gameplay video.
For those who don’t know, Journey to the West sees Buddhist monk Sun Wukong travelling to the Western areas of Asia, and that’s who we will be playing as in Black Myth as well. Also known as the Monkey King, Wukong is blessed with countless fantastical abilities in book, from magical spells and the ability to transform into various creatures to even weather manipulation. Some of these were seen in Black Myth’s gameplay reveal trailer as well, so here’s hoping all of those find their way into the game.
The one aspect of Black Myth: Wukong that has stood out to most people more than anything else – perhaps with the exception of its stunning visual fidelity – is the combat. Developers Game Science are describing the game as an action-adventure RPG with inspiration drawn from the likes of Dark Souls and God of War- all of that is clear to see, but the combat here looks much faster and frantic. Players are equipped with an iron staff – which can apparently change its size on command – while magical abilities also figure into the combat, and changing stances on the fly to tackle different threats will also seemingly be an important mechanic. On the more defensive side of things, it seems dodging and blocking enemy attacks is key.
Something that Black Myth: Wukong seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on is the variety of abilities players will have access to in and out of combat. Wukong’s iron staff can change its size, as we mentioned, while players can also infuse it with magic for elemental attacks. Meanwhile, abilities serve defensive purposes as well. For instance, in the gameplay reveal trailer, we can see Wukong furiously spinning his staff to block projectile attacks from an enemy as he advances in its direction. According to Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad – who has translated quite a few of the developer’s interviews over on Twitter – there will be 72 different abilities in the game.
Combat seems to be the star of the show from what we’ve seen of Black Myth: Wukong, but exploration of what look like very detailed environments also looks to be an important part of the gameplay. Interestingly enough, it seems the protagonist’s unique abilities will have an impact here as well. We’ve mentioned earlier that Wukong can transform into various animals and creatures, and in the gameplay reveal, we see the player travelling through environments as a cicada. Towards the end of the gameplay trailer, we can also see Wukong flying around the world on top of a cloud, all of which would suggest that there will be various methods of traversal in the game.
It also looks like there’s going to be a pretty healthy variety of enemies in the game. During the course of the 13 minute-long gameplay trailer, we can see Wukong fighting against everything from tigers to foxes to monkeys, and at times even entire armies all by his lonesome. Given the fact that this was just a small slice of the game, we can probably assume (or hope, at least), that there will be lots of enemy variety in the game.
Of course, what’s impressed us even more than the variety of enemies shown in the gameplay demo is the variety of bosses. Set piece boss battles against formidable foes is seemingly going to be a crucial piece of the puzzle in Black Myth: Wukong, and we’re already excited about what the glimpses we got at some of these big bads in the gameplay trailer. From a giant spider to a giant wolf, it seems the bosses in Black Myth: Wukong are looking to strike the perfect balance between size, impressive visual design, and variety.
We’ve mentioned Game Science a couple of times so far, but who exactly are they? You would be forgiven for not knowing much about them. Founded in 2014 by several former Tencent developers, the Chinese studio has been making games for a while, but Black Myth: Wukong is their first major AAA production. Currently, the developer is operating with a pretty small team of about 40 developers, but they’re looking to expand as they continue working on their ambitious new project.
Black Myth: Wukong is in the middle of development, and clearly, it’s looking rather impressive based on what Game Science have shown of it so far- but when can we expect to play it? Well, there’s no firm release date for the game yet. The developers have said they don’t want to take extraordinarily long to wrap up development, but they’ve also made it clear that they will only release the game once it’s properly done. As for the platforms, it’s supposed to launch on PC and consoles- which consoles it will release for hasn’t been specified, but seeing as this probably won’t be out for at least a couple of years, the PS5 and Xbox Series X seem like a pretty safe bet. It also remains to be seen whether the game will see a simultaneous worldwide release, though given the interest it has generated since reveal, hopefully that’s something Game Science will be working toward.
Interestingly enough, it seems like the launch of Black Myth: Wukong – whenever that comes – isn’t going to be the end of the road for Game Science. The developers have said that they might release DLC for it following its release, while they also mention on their FAQ page that they’ve already started mapping out future instalments in the Black Myth series. Of course, whether or not they can get to that point depends on whether or not Black Myth: Wukong will be successful, but it’s interesting that they’ve already started planning ahead for possible sequels.