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volume 1, issue 38

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

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loonygames goes to E3!
(part two)

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

 

Amen: Cavedog's Amen was probably the biggest surprise of the show, and definitely one of the best titles on display. The game is similar in tone to Half-Life, although where Half-Life took place entirely in a single location, Amen has you travelling all over the place. Some of the locations I saw were a brilliantly constructed airport, a hidden jungle city, and the opening, which has you parachuting out of an airplane onto a skyscraper. Fantastic stuff. Look for this one to make some major noise when it's released.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Games: I saw several Rainbow Six titles, including the sequel, Rogue Spear. The sequel is very similar to the original, although they seem to have enhanced the game in a number of notable ways. The engine, while still not able to handle outdoor environments very realistically has gotten a nice overhaul, and now has a cool breath wisp in the colder levels. Weather now plays an important role in the game, as they've added snow with footprints and a number of cold-weather levels. Other nifty things include a swanky "sniper crouch" position, and the ability to hunch over when running (so you can run past windows…previously a dead giveaway). I was told that in all there are now 60 new death animations, and that characters will limp when shot (gotta love that). I saw one level that was still very much early in development, but pretty impressive, that had you sneaking onto a grounded 747. The plane itself was done to scale, and while the sky was wonky (still to be implemented) the whole area was very impressive. Cool stuff indeed.

The other Rainbow Six titles I saw included the astounding R6 for the Color GameBoy (now that I've got one of these, I can't wait to play this title) and the ports for the PSX and N64. The Color GameBoy version is the weirdest, and one of the cooler games I saw at the show believe it or not. I was amazed when they showed me that they managed to squeeze in all of the strategy elements of Rainbow Six (oddly enough they pretty much left this out of the PlayStation version!) despite the cartridge limitations. Due to technological restraints, the CGB version is played primarily from an isometric view, although certain rooms will have you switching to a first-person perspective. Simply insane. The PSX port of Rainbow Six is much more action oriented than any previous version. They've shrunk your team down to only a few people, and it plays much more like Delta Force than R6 (which isn't really a bad thing, since Delta Force was a mighty cool game). The N64 version is cool, although owners of the PC version (and its mission pack) will probably want to pass on this, since it's just a compilation of previously available levels.

Hired Guns: Developed by VR-1 and published by Psygnosis, this title hasn't been talked about too much. It's basically a team-oriented first person shooter, and it uses the Unreal engine. What makes Hired Guns different from the other squad-shooters out there (like Delta Force and Rainbow Six) is the fact that you actually have control over all your characters, all the time. You have a split-screen view (although it can be turned off) so you can see out of their eyes (or actually their shoulder) to see what's going on all over the level. You can give commands to each character, and each one has individual abilities, such as night vision, or the ability to access the computer network. Most of what I saw was fairly basic gameplay, although I was told about some of the missions (which did indeed sound cool). One interesting scenario is an "assassinate the speaker" mission, where you have to well…kill the guy on stage. You position your people around him, and take him out, but then you've got to get out alive - and there's the real challenge. The solution I was told sounded horribly complex…but I'm eager to check it out. In all, I saw a lot of potential in Hired Guns…I'm definitely looking forward to giving it a shot.

 

(Continued on next page)

 

Credits: Illustration © 1999 Rowan Crawford. This article is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...or we'll peck your eyes out.