Off-screen footage has been discovered online from the ongoing ChinaJoy expo of a game that's said to be named Mercury. According to sources at ChinaJoy, Mercury is said to have been developed by Yingpei Games, previously known as Epic Games China, which may explain the game's similarities to Gears of War. Let's note right off the bat that all of these details are unofficial and that the footage could be pulled off of Youtube at any time. It's best if we consider this all a rumor as this point.
It's hard to argue with what Mercury is, having seen the footage for myself. The character selected is a heavy weaponry-wielding samurai soldier of some sorts, with a katana at her side, automatic pistols on her hips and some very large gun never shown in-action on her back. The camera is over-the-shoulder third-person, very much like Gears of War, and it even does the same zoom-in that I recognize from Epic's franchise as well.
There are other similarities from Epic's Gears of War franchise too. The weapon-swap grid could literally have been taken straight out of Gears, as could some of the gun designs. Of course, that could just be due to the Unreal Engine's use, but I think we're definitely seeing some shared used of assets that Yingpei might have grabbed as part of Epic before splitting off.
As for what sets Mercury apart? The world itself in the game seems rather unique, with orbiting moons seen in the distance and a mixture of Borderlands-type scrags and large robots jumping out of the environment. Finally, the boss at the end of the level is definitely something unfamiliar. It seems more-like Monster Hunter, or perhaps Double Fine's derivative Brazen is a more apt comparison. Either way, there's a lot to be excited about, judging from the footage.
Here's some speculation for everyone. Yingpei Games has notably been working on "Atlas Technology" in the past few years. That is, persistent world server technology for MMOs. While the Mercury footage shown was single-player, the open spaces for shooting could certainly have housed a handful of players. That's not even mentioning the very MMO-like hub where the player could talk with NPCs. Could Mercury perhaps be a Destiny-like shooter, or considering the Chinese market even free-to--play?
Hopefully we'll hear more on Mercury and Yingpei Games soon. Until then, check out the footage below and please poke me if it gets pulled down.