One of the less visited booths at E3 was PlayLogic, a Dutch publisher and developer. Playlogic was established in 2002, and the company now reports that it is the largest Dutch independent publisher for all systems, PC and console. Their E3 booth contained many demos, but not all of them were playable.
Wizard of Funk
Wizard of Funk was developed internally by Playlogic Game Factory for the PS2 and the EyeToy accessory. This game was not playable by attendees at E3, but an employee was playing around with the game to demo it to all who were around. Wizard of Funk is described by Playlogic as a light RPG. Your character is a young wizard who must physically cast spells in front of the EyeToy camera. You achieve this by moving your hands in specific patterns for each spell, and directing that spell towards a particular enemy.
Wizard of Funk is cel-shaded, so that might turn people off from it right there. However, this looks like it may actually be an interesting game to try out, as it uses the EyeToy in a very unique and interesting way. Whether or not it will have any lasting power is a question, however, as you have to constantly make gestures with your arms during battles. Some gamers may find this just a tad uncomfortable to keep up for an hour or more, leaving one to wish for a controller.
Wizard of Funk is still in development, so no physical release date has been set. However, this would be one to check out if you love to play with your EyeToy.
Knights of the Temple II
Knights of the Temple II (KOTT2) is an action game developed by Cauldron for the PC, PS2 and XBox. In KOTT2, you take on the role of Paul de Raque, who is in a fierce fight to rid the earth of the demons of Hell. The game is set in 13th century Europe, where you must scour the land to uncover the secrets of three artifacts and fight off demons at the same time.
This particular title looked pretty good on the systems I played it for (mainly PC and XBox), but it just seemed to me like your typical hack and slash RPG with nothing much else driving gameplay. Your character has a few weapons to choose from, and you just use those weapons to beat on the bad guys. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this formula, as a hack and slash can be a very good game in which to unwind after a hard day of work/play/etc.
According to Playlogic, there are multiple paths that you can take in the game, but this is an item that I was unable to test in the time that I played it. If the concept of an interactive storyline pans out in this game, it could actually be a very interesting game to play. Knights of the Temple 2 has no set release date yet for the states, so I guess we?ll just have to hang on and see.
Gene Troopers is a first-person shooter developed by Cauldron for the PS2, XBox and PC. In the game, you take on the role of a human who is in the fight of his life to escape from an elite battle force called the Gene Troopers, whose sinister goal is to gather and collect the life forms of the universe. The main character was captured, but managed to escape, and gained special powers from the experimentation performed on him.
As expected, the PC version of Gene Troopers was far superior to the console versions. What I did not expect, though, was the extreme difference in the visuals between the different versions. The PS2 version was very grainy, and at times, it was very hard to see. If you have access to an XBox or PC, I would recommend those versions over the PS2 version. Overall, this was a pretty typical shooter, with a few nice touches including some terrain interactivity. At one point in a jungle level, the foliage started to burn after an explosion, and the fire will hurt your character.
In short, I believe Gene Troopers could be a fun game to play around in, but die-hard FPS fans may find it a tad light. However, the RPG back-end of this game allows for a much more customizable character than your common garden-variety First Person Shooter, so if something like that would interest you, check this game out when it?s released. As of yet, Playlogic has not set a release date for this game, so you?ll just have to keep checking back to see.
World Racing 2
There are so many arcade racing games in existence, it?s hard to get noticed if you aren?t producing the next Cruisin? game. Enter World Racing 2, developed by Synetic for the PS2, XBox (with Live support) and PC. World Racing 2 sports over 40 cars from 16 different brands. To add to the realism, there is a large array of licensed accessories and lifestyle products for you to choose from in the game.
World Racing 2 has a pretty good racing engine from what I could gather on my playtest. The racing physics aren?t the absolute best, but they are definitely up there with the best in the genre. The cars don?t generally deform very much when hit, but you will start to see your car fall apart if it gets hit enough. Another neat feature that I noticed is that if you are driving on a dirty part of track, or even off of the track, your car will actually start getting mud and dirt all over it, which is a really neat touch and adds a good bit to the realism. While this may push it more towards the simulation side, it still retains its arcade racer roots.
Stay tuned here for the full scoop as these games release.