EIDOS back and showing off a small selection from their upcoming line-up. With no new Tomb Raider in sight, this year was all about Thief: Deadly Shadows, the new Backyard Wrestling and several other new franchises including the AO-rated Singles. Eidos is obviously trying to shake loose the Croft stigma and if the games I saw are any indication of what is to come, the future looks to be quite bright for Eidos and gamers.
ShellShock: Nam ‘67 (PS2/Xbox/PC)
ShellShock: Nam ‘67 immerses you in the most controversial conflict of modern times: The Vietnam War. Taking on the role of a rookie on his first tour of duty, you will experience the fear, chaos and atrocities of the Vietnam War. From the napalm bombardments of civilian villages and the gruesome Viet Cong (VC) booby traps, to the permanent threat of invisible foes and deadly ambushes, ShellShock: Nam ‘67 dares to go where no other war game has gone before.
It’s January 1967. After being drafted and completing basic training, you are plunged into the steamy jungles of Indochina. Heroic ideals of fighting for honor and country quickly fade in the face of the fierce warfare: there is no glory in death.
As a rookie soldier, you must quickly learn the finer arts of jungle and urban warfare to become a battle-hardened soldier and survive your first tour of duty.
Your Base Camp forms the central focus for your Operations, with your primary objective to pacify threats from the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army (NVA). You will need to venture deep into the hostile Vietnamese countryside to search out and destroy enemy troops and encampments. With visibility low, potentially every bush and tree could be an enemy-hiding place. Only by careful observation and hastily learnt war craft shall the enemy be overcome.
There is no denying that we are about to be swamped with war games this year, ranging from WWII to Vietnam and even some fictional creations. There have already been several attempts to recreate the controversial Vietnam war, many of them quite successful, but there is always room for one more, especially when ShellShock is shaping up to be one of the best multi-platform war game to deal with the subject matter. A gripping story and intense action will submerge the gamer in the horrors of war. Prepare to enlist this summer.
- Gritty Content – Portraying the brutal atrocities and controversial actions of the Vietnam War, ShellShock: Nam ’67 provides gamers with the most true-to-life and completely uncensored depiction of the Vietnam experience for the first time in a video game.
- Intense Combat – Powered by Guerrilla’s groundbreaking technology, ShellShock: Nam ‘67 delivers a graphically harrowing depiction of the terror of combat. You must fight your way through a variety of missions ranging from large-scale battlefield encounters with the NVA to stealth-based missions such as assassinating a VC General. You will have to rely on the same skills and tactics employed in the battlefields of Vietnam in order to survive.
- Unconventional Warfare – From napalm attacks, intricate tunnel systems and deadly booby traps to fighting militiawomen and an elusive enemy, you will experience the chaotic, atrocious and unconventional warfare of Vietnam.
- Character Growth – Develop from a fresh rookie to a hard-edged Special Forces operative ultimately becoming a member of the top-secret Black-Ops.
- Realistic Injury – Soldiers don’t simply live or die. A struggling wounded or bleeding fighter will still attempt to take down the enemy.
- Advanced AI – Creates true tension and excitement as you can never be certain things will go as planned. Misdirected support fire, random and accidental deaths of comrades in battle, and friendly fire incidents abound.
- Diverse Environments – From dense lush jungles and rural villages to claustrophobic tunnels and waterlogged paddy fields, Vietnam’s contrast-ridden environments are dangerous hunting grounds littered with booby traps and secret VC hiding places.
- Numerous Authentic Weapons – You will have full access not only to a range of US weaponry, but can also use the VC and NVA’s own weapons against them. In addition, you can call in artillery and napalm air strikes to press the attack, or rely on helicopter support units to provide cover fire for defense.
Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes The Neighborhood (PS2/Xbox)
Everyone's guilty pleasure is back and this time you are headed to the heart of Small Town America, USA. Backyard Wrestling Inc. has announced "your town" as the location of its first live pay per view. They've put a million dollars cash prize on the line for the wrestler who's got what it takes to destroy every obstacle in their way to the main event and ultimately the unified BYW championship.
Defeating the most hardcore backyard wrestlers will not be enough; as the lure of "easy money" has attracted the attention of the most violent professional wrestlers to ever set foot in a ring. When hardcore backyard brawlers, chair swinging backyard babes and blood thirsty professional wrestlers choose your town as their battle field...There Goes The Neighborhood!
I had a long personal chat with the lead designer for the BYW games and was pleased to see that the design team has been listening to all of the feedback from those who played the first title. There are tons of new features being added to this sequel and most of them are at the request of the gamers. Look for more interactive environments, more bone-crunching moves, and plenty of colorful characters when BYW hits your neighborhood.
- Fight it out online! Taunt your opponent using the USB Headset and establish yourself as the number one wrestler in our online ranking system.
- New Enviro-Mental™ game-play engine delivers unprecedented environmental and NPC interaction, as well as vastly improved graphics and damage systems.
- Robust and greatly enhanced Create-A-Wrestler System allows unprecedented freedom in defining the look, style, accessories, body type and move sets! In-game graphics editor lets the player create and edit any design, tattoo, face paint or text, and place it anywhere on the character’s body.
- New wrestling system now includes submission holds, body part specific damage, and a defense system.
- Cutting Edge Soundtrack featuring some of the greatest Rock, Metal, Punk, Hip Hop and Electronic Artists of this generation.
- Enhanced single player experience complete with re-built levels and a “quest for the belt” mode offers more game-play depth and more replay value.
IMPERIAL GLORY (PC)
Forge the destiny of the world amid the turbulent times of the early 19th century. Lead one of the Great Empires in titanic conflicts, or achieve economic dominance backed by shrewd diplomats and resolute military. Choose to rule as absolute despot or constitutional monarch. Unleash Hussars, Lancers, Dragoons and Imperial Guards across more than 50 battle maps – from the green fields of England, to the icy wastes of Russia and sweeping deserts of Morocco – all in stunning, full 3D. Fight for naval dominance in breathtaking, real-time sea battles. This is an age of change - be at the leading edge of modernity or your civilization will fall by the wayside.
KEY GAME FEATURES:
Face it, you can't swing a broken mouse without knocking over a dozen strategy games, but when the wizards at Pyro are behind the helm you know something special is going to happen. Imperial Glory does an amazing job of blending turn-based and real-time combat into one of the most unique RTS games you are likely to see. And with an estimated ship date of 2005 they still have plenty of time to make this game even better that it was when I played it at the show.
- TWO DISTINCT GAMEPLAY MODES: Turn-based Imperial Management Model, plus Real-time Land and Naval Battles in full 3D
- SPECTACULAR LAND BATTLES: Striking environments provide the backdrop for gruesome scenes of combat. Fully interactive Battle Maps allow you to gain a defensive advantage by occupying buildings, forests, boulder fields and more. The varying climates and terrains of the 50 plus maps dramatically change the look and feel of battles. Realistic weather effects influence your troops’ ability and will to fight
- HISTORICALLY ACCURATE UNITS AND WEAPONRY: Faithfully reproduced units, which differ from Empire to Empire, reflect the color and splendor of the era. Authentic period formations and maneuvers provide great tactical depth
- BREATHTAKING NAVAL BATTLES: Varying classes of ships are manned by crews with differing skills and abilities. Choose to sink your enemy, or immobilize, board and capture their vessels
- CHOICE OF EMPIRES: Choose from the five Great Empires of the period – Great Britain, France, Russia, Prussia or Austro-Hungary, in your struggle for domination. Each Empire has its own strengths and weaknesses that can change as play progresses
- IN-DEPTH MANAGEMENT MODEL: Provides challenging, rewarding gameplay encompassing war, diplomacy, politics, commerce and technology. Develop and expand your Empire throughout Europe and North Africa, across 51 Provinces and 29 Maritime Regions
- COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT MODEL: Featuring over 70 advancements, with separate Military, Political/Diplomatic, Resource and Commercial Branches and a unique system of historical Quests
- MULTI-PLAYER: Head to Head Real-time battles allow you to pit your skills as a Commander against your friends