Both DreamCatcher Games and its sister company, The Adventure Company, are releasing a slew of games for both the Xbox and the PC in the coming year.
Echo: Secrets of the Lost Cavern puts you in prehistoric time. Your character is a cave painter who is searching for a hermit-mentor. During his quest, Arok (your character) begins to realize his gifts. Arok will have to mix herbs and plants in order to create paints, he will have to hunt and fish to survive and explore an environment similar to Earth during the Paleolithic Era. When confronted with puzzles and roadblocks, Arok won't necessarily deal with the problem directly. Instead Arok interacts with the cave paintings found near the puzzle. For instance, if a sleeping bear is blocking your path, look for the painting of said bear. While observing the crude frescoes, the artwork comes alive. You can try various actions through the painting. One such action might be to throw the pile of rocks next to the human stick-figure at the bear. Once the correct solution is found in the paintings -- it will affect the real world and Arok will be able to continue his journey. Echo is scheduled to be released this October worldwide.
NIBIRU: Messenger of the Gods is an adventure that involves Mynas and aliens. It takes you across the world to such locations as Prague, Paris and Mexico. You play Martin Holan, an archaeologist and linguist who has been contacted by a friend concerning an unearthed World War II tunnel. Upon arriving at the tunnel, you find your friend murdered and the tunnel under strict guard. Your first puzzles involve just getting to the underground pathway, and once you get there, you will get thrown into a mystery that spans many ages. Future Games, the developers of NIBIRU created the hit adventure title Black Mirror. Messenger of the Gods uses the AGDS (Advanced Graphic Development System) engine, which allows them to create several stunning atmospheric effects like rain, lightning and fog. Both NIBIRU and Echo are slated for the PC only.
Cold War is an action/adventure title that lets you sneak your way through hallways or run into a room with your guns ablaze. You are a journalist called to the USSR in the mid '80's to cover a story, but when you arrive, you are arrested and thrown into a KGB prison. While imprisoned, you find out that someone is going to attempt to assassinate the President, and to top it all off, you are going to be the scapegoat. Now you need to break out of prison and stop the assassination, lest you suffer the ultimate consequence. One of the many unusual tools you will be able to use throughout the game is an x-ray camera. With it, you can look through walls and doors and watch the movements of troops before you enter an enemy-infested room. When I saw Cold War at E3 2004, my interest was peaked -- now I am impressed. Cold War comes out this Fall for both the Xbox and PC.
Both The Adventure Company and DreamCatcher are porting some of their biggest PC games from the year over to the Xbox. One such game is the first-person shooter Painkiller. This Xbox port takes the best of Painkiller with a total of 20 levels, all 5 from the expansion pack Battle out of Hell and the top 15 from the basic game. Exclusive to the Xbox version is also one new weapon and 16 player Xbox Live. TAC is also working on a port from the investigative adventure title Still Life. This version brings all of the mystery and puzzles of the PC game onto the console. While Painkiller won't come out until this Fall, Still Life hits the streets early June for the low price of $19.99.