Midway was rocking the house as usual with their giant video display and live bands and DJ's. Oh yeah, they also had about a dozen killer new games on display. Look for lots of original new titles and a few awesome sequels like the new SpyHunter 2. Also on display were the new Hitz and Blitz sports titles that are getting a more serious treatment for their 2004 versions.
Here's a small taste of what I got to see and play during my visit.
Freaky Flyers (Xbox/GameCube/PS2)
Freaky Flyers quickly lures players in with an intriguing, humorous storyline that includes 13 engaging characters and a hilarious soundtrack featuring eight original songs. The adventure of Freaky Flyers also takes gamers to exciting locations such as Exotic Danger Island, where lush jungles and lagoons teem with all manner of peril, from pirates to pythons. Players may also find themselves in Roaring Chicago for a swinging time in the big city or in the depths of Haunted Transylvania, a dark and foreboding destination filled with craggy peeks and haunted castles. In addition, players can travel with more than a dozen unique and alluring characters such as the true-blue American hero, Johnny Turbine, the pinnacle of German discipline, Traci Torpedoes, or the spicy bandita from south of the border, Cactus Rose.
Freestyle MetalX (Xbox/GameCube/PS2)
Freestyle MetalX is totally customizable, allowing gamers to choose from 16 riders, options of motocross gear and unique bike models to create the ultimate hardcore, bone-breaking freestyle motocross experience. Gamers can create their own motocross arenas with an advanced level editor and take on creative sub-games, like riding off a cliff and turning into a human dart aimed at a giant dartboard.
I played this game for nearly a half hour and was totally addicted. The handling was superb and the trick system and objective-based track design reminded me of the Tony Hawk style of gameplay. Look for the PS2 version in June with the other formats to follow.
ESPionage challenges players to use their most powerful weapon – their mind – as they try to master the first action/stealth game to integrate traditional weapons combat with extensive Psi (psychic) mind powers. Combatting a terrorist movement set to overthrow world order, gamers take on the persona of an elite American Psi-Operative who fights using telekinesis (lifting and throwing objects), pyrokinesis (controlling fire), remote viewing (going “out-of-body” to plan attacks), mind drain (draining Psi energy from enemies), aura view (“seeing” elements that aren’t visible in the real world) and mind control (taking control of enemies) to fight against an army of programmed terrorist super soldiers that will stop at nothing to reach their goal.
Players must conquer a programmed super soldier army and its psychic agents while using Psi powers. In addition to Psi capabilities, players have access to traditional weapons such as handguns and automatic weaponry. As players strategically navigate eight huge immersive levels within four distinct compounds, they encounter multiple ways to solve missions, which greatly adds to the replay value.
The Suffering (Xbox/GameCube/PS2)
Jailed for a murder he may or may not have committed, Torque is next in line for execution when apparitions besiege the prison and inadvertently free him. Utilizing more than ten deadly weapons, Torque sets out to uncover his past and unlock the deadly secrets of The Suffering. In the game, players can transform Torque into his monstrous alter ego and unleash the power of his primal fury while battling 12 horrific creatures. Depending on how they play the game, players will arrive at three distinct endings for a unique gaming experience.
SpyHunter 2 (Xbox/GameCube/PS2)
SpyHunter 2 introduces an all-new terrorist threat and it is up to Alec Sects to command the world’s most sophisticated super spy vehicle to save the world. Exclusive weaponry such as an auto- tracking turret and an indestructible armored shield are combined with landmines and oil slicks for an impressive defense that will immerse gamers in 16 action-packed levels set across four gigantic regions. Each region is interactive and dynamic, allowing players to choose their own paths and fight against four giant end-of-mission boss battles, which include eight all-new Nostra/Phoenix enemies. The excitement also continues with the latest version of the Interceptor’s online computer, Leonie 2.0, designed to aid in mission-critical tactics and information.