The The Ball wiki last edited by HyperPaul on 05/30/14 04:22AM View full history

Overview

The Ball started out as a mod for Unreal Tournament III , but has since grown into a full blown commercial product. It's a puzzle game where you must use a strange device called the Hammer to move an enormous round artifact, known as the Ball, through different environments and puzzles. The Ball is a 5 time winner of the Make Something Unreal contest.

Story

The player is cast as an anonymous archaeologist working on the slopes of a dormant volcano somewhere in Mexico in 1940, when a crane collapse drops you into a cavern and traps you there. It doesn't take long before you realize this is more than just a cave and that you've stumbled upon centuries-old secrets. You discover ancient ruins that have been hidden from outsiders and find a mysterious artifact, a gold and metal shelled sphere. As you venture deeper into the volcano, you uncover some of mankind's greatest secrets, and a strange link to ancient aliens who may not be as extinct as they appear.

The game maintains an Aztec setting with secret temples and evil monsters. In addition to the story, a separate survival mode is available where you must fight off waves of enemies, though the combat is easily the game's weakest aspect.

Gameplay

The Ball is played in a first person perspective. Your goal is to push around a giant sphere, called, appropriately enough, the Ball. Said Ball can be pushed thanks to a mystical gun-like "Hammer" that uses ancient technology. A right click will pull the Ball towards you, while a left click will push the Ball away. You can use the Ball in a variety of ways. The goal of the game is for you to make it to the end of the level using the Ball as assistance. You can put it into a hole to create a bridge, you can fire it to hit a trigger and you can even use it to crush evil monsters like mummies and giant insects that will explode into gibs.

The Ball can also transform and interact with the environment. It can be dipped into oil, light enemies on fire and detonate explosives. On top of that, you can make the Ball grow spikes to crush enemies in even more gory ways. Tie the Ball to a rope that is attached to a heavy object and you can pull said object.

Promotions

In 2011, a special survival level, simply titled "Portal" was added to the game in a patch. The game tied into the then-upcoming Portal 2 as part of their potato-themed ARG. The level was not a true survival level; instead it was a series of puzzle chambers just like the main game. The Portal level incorporates elements of the Portal franchise, namely the mechanical influence and appearance of an Aperture Science facility, as well as specific elements such as Portal turrets, buttons, the Weighted Companion Cube, and voiceover by GLaDOS (some is lifted directly from the first Portal, while some is new, and voiced by an unknown actress doing an impression of Ellen McLain's GLaDOS voice), but it also continues The Ball's Aztec visual theme, as well as its rivers of lava, mummies and giant insects, and of course, the Ball. Throughout the level, GLaDOS refers to the Ball as "the Aperture Science Edgeless Artifact Cube".

In addition to Portal 2, The Ball briefly crossed over with Killing Floor, in the form of the archaeologist protagonist being made a playable character in 2010, just after the release of The Ball, in order to promote the game. Because the character has no name in The Ball, in Killing Floor the archaeologist is given the non-canon moniker "Harchier Spebbington".

PC System Requirements

Minimum

  • OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista, or Windows 7
  • CPU: Any 2.0 GHz or better
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • HDD: 1.5 GB free disk space
  • Graphics: SM3 Compatible video card
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c

Recommended

  • OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista, or Windows 7
  • CPU: Any 2.2 GHz or better
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • HDD: 1.5 GB free disk space
  • Graphics: GF 6800 or higher
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c

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