After the video on ‘Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon’, we proceeded for a break and savoured more goodies. Damn, I really want that fried chicken wing! We took the opportunity to interact around.
A couple of minutes later, the show continued with a preview of ‘Alone in the Dark’ by Nigel from Atari. If you have the ‘gamer’s eye’, you can see that it is really an early build of the game because quite easily you can spot some unpolished parts in the demo.
The demo is about your character facing off against a zombie lady and the full-motion video (cutscene) before the confrontation is simply mind-blowing! Then the action kicks with Nigel showing us your character’s inventory, which is a top down view of your waist area (as though you’re looking down at your tummy). Nice. At the moment, the character only had access to a gun so he proceeded to unload a clip of bullets onto the zombie. It is noticed that if you shoot at different parts of the limbs, the zombie gives a variety of reaction. We didn’t see blood marks or trails though, which I hope is attributed to the early build design of the game. True to realism, he soon ran out of bullets and had to look around for alternative weapons.
Nigel proceeded to show how you can interact with various items in the room to use against the zombie. You lock onto your target using the Left trigger of your controller. We saw the character picking up a chair, a sword and a coffee maker to use it against the zombie. It is noticed that the zombie is one tough daughter-of-a-b$%^@ and it takes a couple of hits before you can render the zombie unconscious. The other catch is the zombie has to be killed with fire otherwise it will become alive again! In one take, we could see how the zombie reacted and started to move away when the character held up a chair that caught fire.
I saw two things which I hope to see improved. Firstly, the character doesn’t seem to be able to walk faster or run. Either Nigel did not execute the run/sprint button or there was none at all. Secondly, the controls appear a bit clunky. In one scene, the character was facing a cabinet and picked up a coffee maker. The zombie was standing on the right, about to attack. Nigel proceeded to execute a swing attack while still facing the cabinet and while it did hit the zombie, I’m wondering whether he could have faced the zombie first before attacking. Perhaps he was locking at the wrong target? Unfortunately, we could not test the demo. More about ‘Alone in the Dark’ here. Available in June (damn, i’m gonna be broke with so many titles releasing in June)
Moving on, we were treated to a presentation by a representative from LucasArts (I’m sorry I forgot your name, Sir) on the much anticipated game – Star Wars: Force Unleashed. It was clarified while his team is not involved in making the game, he had gone through much trouble to get this demo for our preview.
In SW:FU, the setting takes place in between Episode 3 and 4 and you play as a secret apprentice of Darth Vader and you are tasked to eliminate all Jedi. He did not mention whether you have the option to customise your own character (eg. choose your own gender) though. The live demonstration started with him showing the character’s various Force powers – simply pushing away objects or move them around. He demonstrated moving huge crates, Storm Troopers and even a fighter aircraft. One interesting thing we noticed was when the character moved a Storm Trooper to the edge of a railing. We saw how the Storm Trooper clung to the railings to save himself (a nice animation that enhances your ego) but I also noticed a somewhat weird ragdoll physics when the Stormtrooper’s body started bending in a way you would only expect to see from a contortionist in circus!
The other thing he showed was how you can manipulate the environment. In one scene, the character uses Force Push to break open a gap between two huge metal doors. Once he passed through, he uses Force Push again to close the gap, preventing the threat from the other side from passing through. I thought that was really cool.
The last scene was in an open jungle-like area with huge toadstools where he showed us how interactive the environment was when he used the character’s Force Push to drag and let go the toadstools. It may sound lame, but I think you can build a good strategy around it. He then showed us a battle scene with a huge creature. Combat seems reasonably fluid with appropriate camera angles.
One thing that caught my attention was when the representative mentioned that the ending is all about Revenge or Redemption. Even though you are a powerful apprentice of the Dark Side, it is up to you whether you want to continue serving Darth Vader or join up along the Jedi. Sweet. This would be interesting to see how it takes off. This game reaches our shores on 17 September. Mark your calendars!
…More in the next report.