VIRUS is a 2D, top-down action game with RPG and puzzle elements in which the player controls a genetically-engineered super virus (referred to only as ‘the Virus’) as it travels through a host. The Virus has been designed with only one objective: to proliferate by taking over the host’s brain and using the host to infect others before the body gives out.
The gameplay of VIRUS is an exciting mix of traditional top down shooters and action role-playing games wherein the player will combat enemies using both melee and ranged attacks, grow in strength and develop new abilities, configure the Virus’s “equipment” to accommodate different play styles, and solve innovative puzzles to advance in his or her quest through the body.
The story of VIRUS is about the Virus and its creators. The Virus is a genetically-engineered super virus, capable of mutating within a host and controlling the host’s mind by infecting the brain. It is a project of H.E.L.M., a government-sponsored biochemical weapons development agency. The story begins when, during an autopsy, the lead H.E.L.M. scientist accidentally drops a bloody scalpel on his foot and releases the Virus into his system. The Virus immediately sets off to accomplish its designated task; meanwhile, an elite team of H.E.L.M. agents have quarantined the lead scientist and are doing everything in their power to stop the spread of the Virus before it is too late. Now, the Virus must contend with the team’s healing efforts in addition to fighting off the scientist’s immune system, traversing the body’s enigmatic terrain, and competing with other pathogens. Both sides are fighting for their survival and the survival of their entire species.
The look and feel of VIRUS is a cartoon abstraction of the human body, which will accentuate the very alien and organic feeling of the environment. The art style is focused on maintaining the esoteric look of the internal environment while simplifying complex biological systems to make the game accessible to the average player. Also, art and design choices will incorporate scaled versions of familiar objects (e.g., syringes, medicine capsules, bones, and internal organs) to achieve a believable sense of scale. The style will make the player feel like a very small part of a very large, hostile environment that appears biological but not distastefully gross.