Interview: Techland explains Dying Light – Hellraid

Last Updated July 9th, 2021

We were all a bit surprised a couple of weeks ago when Hellraid, the long-dormant Techland project, reappeared as DLC for Dying Light 1, a game that is now five years old. The original Hellraid was shown off at gaming events in 2014 before being put on hold in 2015, and there seemed to be no reason to believe it was coming back. But for $9.99 you’ll be able to play some form of the game via an in-universe arcade machine in Dying Light when the DLC pack releases on July 23rd.

There are still a lot of questions surrounding this surprise announcement, so we reached out to Techland and got some answers from Ola Sondej, Senior PR Manager.

GameCrate: How closely is this DLC related to the Hellraid concept we saw back in 2014/2015? Was the game rebuilt from the ground up, or was the original work developed into this DLC pack?

Ola Sondej: Dying Light – Hellraid is a game mode that’s based on the currently-on-hold project. While it contains locations and assets from the original Hellraid project, it is more of a fun introduction into dark fantasy in the Dying Light universe.

The two games are very different from each other. We decided to use some of Dying Light’s gameplay mechanics, implement those of Hellraid’s that wouldn’t interfere with the overall experience, and which fit well. Our end goal is to build a different world within Dying Light – the dark fantasy setting, the enemies, the weapons. The DLC is full of Hellraid’s original sounds and models, so Dying Light – Hellraid will let the player experience an entirely different dimension.

GC: How much of the original Hellraid team worked on this DLC?

OS: The original Hellraid team is currently working on different projects within Techland – Dying Light 2, our unannounced fantasy RPG, and Dying Light which is still receiving regular updates – including Dying Light – Hellraid. For example Mateusz Piaskiewicz, who has worked on the original project is currently working as a level designer on Dying Light – Hellraid. He’s a member of the Dying Light post launch support team led by Agnesa Belegu.

GC: Our interview with the game’s original producer had a lot of detail about the flexible, grounded melee-and-magic combat system at play in Hellraid. And there was also talk of environments that were interactive and somewhat destructible (like chandeliers that could be dropped on enemies). How much of that remains in the new Hellraid?

OS: It is a game mode for Dying Light, but you will be able to slay the original Hellraid enemies in locations we envisioned for Hellraid, using Hellraid weapons. It’s Dying Light gameplay with a hellish twist.

5. I’m sure many people were surprised to see the original Dying Light getting DLC so long after it was released. Is this the final DLC pack planned for that title?

OS: We don’t think of Dying Light – Hellraid as the final DLC and we plan to continue our support for Dying Light.

6. Are there narrative connections between the world of Hellraid and the world of Dying Light? We see the game is playable via an arcade cabinet, in the reveal trailer. What else can you tell us?

OS: The arcade machine is a way for us to connect the two worlds. Some weapons obtained in the Hellraid dungeon will be transferable into Dying Light, but otherwise Dying Light – Hellraid is a game mode, and it’s not connected to the main game story-wise.

7. Any chance we ever see a full Hellraid standalone title?

OS: Never say never, but the game currently remains on hold. Right now we don’t have any plans in terms of working on Hellraid as a standalone title, as we’re fully focused on developing Dying Light 2

8. Anything you’d like to say to the fans wondering if work on Hellraid delayed development of Dying Light 2?

OS: We have three development teams at Techland: one is responsible for Dying Light 2, one is working on Dying Light’s post launch support, and one is developing our unannounced fantasy RPG title.

The small team working on the DLC is totally separate from the Dying Light 2 development team, there is no overlap between them, and they don’t have any influence on one another.

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