Codemasters had another massive booth this year with plenty of new games like Soldiers and Wartime Command on display and a few old ones including the Xbox version of Operation Flashpoint and the long-awaited MMORPG, Dragon Empires, which is now in beta testing.
Introducing groundbreaking game play tactics to real time strategy gaming, Perimeter is the enthralling science fiction RTS title from Russian companies 1C and KD-LAB. Shipping in June 2004 exclusively for PC/DVD-ROM, Perimeter has already received "Best PC Game" and "Best Game Design" awards at this year’s Russian Game Developers Conference.
Perimeter’s key game play elements deliver a challenging and rewarding experience in both single and multiplayer environments. These elements include strategic terraforming to acquire resources, projecting an impenetrable perimeter force shield to protect from attack and combat unit transformation through manipulative nanomorph technology.
Set in a future universe where Earth is dying, multiple civilizations are in a race against time to discover a new galaxy and colonize it for suitable living conditions. This epic journey shows players exploring new worlds as well as battling against other societies and indigenous species, all in an attempt to acquire energy and continue the search for a new home planet.
Game play is built on territory seizure, where players terraform diverse alien landscapes in order to extract vital energy supplies to power structures, units and the perimeter force shield. For the first time in RTS gaming, the landscape is a tactical participant in combat and base development as players and indigenous natural forces fight to change the physical structure of the game world.
The energy drawn from a planet’s surface enables players to build devices and collect further energy reserves as well as expand and defend their territory with a wide variety of units and structures. Ultimately, players acquire enough energy to activate a portal, transport to a new world and move one step closer to a new home planet before other civilizations beat them to the punch.
I've been following this title ever since 1C was showing it back in 2001. A lot has changed over the past three years and this could very well be the game to finally redefine the RTS genre. If nothing else, Perimeter is certainly going to offer a unique approach to what is quickly becoming a stale genre. Look for it to ship this June.
- Strategically terraform planet landscapes to extract energy to power units, buildings and force shield. Without power buildings, bases are susceptible to capture and immediately affect the outcome of game play.
- Deploy an impenetrable force shield when land and structures come under attack from hostile aggressors. The force shield will last for as long as energy reserves allow.
- Use nanomorph technology to instantly combine and transform basic units into more specialist combat units. Morph units, while engaged in combat, will suit any attack scenario.
- Control troops via command groups. Up to 250 individual units can be managed on a higher strategic level.
- 27 scenario driven missions, 30 morphable units, 24 structure types, 30 single player maps and eight multiplayer maps (1-4 LAN and online).
- Stunning visual environments utilizing a graphics engine rending over one million polygons per second.
Colin McRae Rally 2005 (Xbox)
Colin McRae Rally 2005 is coming with an engine-burning roar to next generation consoles this Fall, taking the leading rally game brand online for up to 8 players.
The steering wheel-gripping heart of Colin McRae Rally 2005 is the all-new Career Challenge, which takes players through a full professional rally career, driving the most diverse selection of rally cars. An incredible 23 individual rally events provide a personal challenge with real progression and rewards through a non-linear series of Challenges, Cups, SuperCups, Shields and Championships as players earn the right to compete with the very best.
Players begin their careers as amateurs and progress onto more powerful cars, taking part tests to win further upgrades. Through the 23 events, drivers will be pummelled through a staggering 300+ stages, driving cars from 4-wheel drive, 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel Classics, Super 2-wheel, Rear Wheel, Distinctive and 4x4 classics. Beyond the Career Challenge, there’s a toy box of rally-fuelled adrenaline racing gaming with its 4WD Championship, Rally, Stages and Online gaming modes.
Enhanced damage and scenery visuals include new individual damage models for each car and environment - if a player crashes into a tree, it will shudder and even drop leaves. The new bonnet-cam and an improved chase cam give a real sensation of speed and undulation.
With its impeccable car handling, superbly designed stages and online play, Colin McRae Rally 2005 is set to be the most complete and rewarding rally experience when it launches this Fall for next generation consoles.
I have to admit, it's going to take a LOT to surpass RalliSport Challenge 2, but the Colin McRae franchise has always had the edge when it comes to realism, and those looking for the ultimate in realistic rally racing will certainly find a lot to like with this latest edition.
- The award winning rally game goes online for up to 8 players with more cars, more stages and new challenges.
- Players can drive the most diverse selection of cars through new, non-linear Career Challenge with 23 individual rally events and more than 300+ stages.
- 30+ featured cars include the Volkswagen Golf MK5, Toyota Celica VVTLi, Lancia Stratos, Alfa Romeo 147 GTA, Alfetta GTV Turbodelta, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, Peugeot 206, 205 T16 Evo2 and the distinctive VW Beetle RSi!
- 9 international locations (new German rally joins events through USA, Sweden, UK, Finland, Australia, Spain, Greece and Japan), in Rally game mode, each with 8 stages. Large, animated spectator crowds cheer drivers on through the stages.
- Incredible detail: An individual damage model for each car – right down to paintwork scrapes and a ‘dazed’ visual effect as drivers recover from a crash. Realistic collision reactions include bending and breaking posts and look for out for potholes, loose rocks and other on-stage hazards.
IndyCar Series 2005 (Xbox)
Officially licensed by the Indy Racing League®, IndyCar Series 2005 gets a boost with a host of new features to complement the action-packed oval track racing at speeds over 220mph. The game’s new online racing will allow up to 12 players to go head-to-head and three-wide in the lanes via Xbox Live™. Improved graphics, support for steering wheel peripherals and in-game rear-view mirrors add to the incredible realism of the game.
It is the only game to feature the full IndyCar Series season including the Indianapolis 500®, which allows drivers to compete from Pole Day to Bump Day to race day as one of the 33 drivers in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing®. Racing action is realistic, accessible and authentic down to the very last detail, including TV-style presentation with race introductions by ABC Sports broadcasters.
IndyCar Series 2005 also features an advanced and updated AI system that renders each race as a unique experience. The AI drivers make dynamic strategic racing decisions, defend their position, slipstream to overtake other drivers and even make mistakes.
With its incredible high speeds, dangerous close pack racing, skillful on-track maneuvers and challenging drivers, IndyCar Series 2005 will launch this June for Xbox.
I had some issues with last year's Indy game as did a lot of race fans, but apparently somebody was listening because most of those complaints (like rearview mirrors) have been addressed and the gameplay has been taking up several notches to make it much more of a sim and much less an arcade game. This could be the ultimate CART racing game to date when it ships this June.
- 15 IndyCar Series tracks, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®, Texas Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Pikes Peak International Raceway and the newly featured Twin Ring Motegi SuperSpeedway in Japan.
- Head-to-head online racing via Xbox Live (up to 12 players).
- Up to 33 cars on the track simultaneously in single player.
- All-new steering wheel support for third party peripherals with in-game calibration.
- Realistically functioning rear-view mirrors so drivers can watch their back.
- The only game to feature The Greatest Spectacle in Racing: The Indy 500.
- Official drivers, tracks, rules and sponsors of the IndyCar Series.
- Ability to re-create a full season competing as a favorite driver, including Sam Hornish Jr., Gil de Ferran, Al Unser Jr., Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Sarah Fisher and more.
- Updated Masterclass training mode narrated by Bombardier and Autosport Rookie of the Year Dan Wheldon.