Back again at E3 was Eidos? cops ?n robbers FPS for the PS2 and Xbox, 25 to Life. This game plays a lot like SOCOM, only you can opt to be a police officer or a criminal. 8 on 8 gameplay will be available, with over 40 different lethal and non-lethal weapons at your disposal, including Shotguns, Machine Guns, Stun Guns, and Tear Gas. It will be your choice whether to kill or apprehend an opponent, but an apprehension puts your rival out of the game for 40 seconds, whereas a kill puts them out for 10 seconds before respawning. There will be new items to unlock and character customization is a big part of the game. You?ll be able to create a clan, select your character?s specific look and also customize your tag to a certain degree. Speaking of tagging, there will be a Tag mode in the game where you?ll win the levels by tagging stuff. 25 to Life sports a killer soundtrack comprised of hip-hop tracks from the likes of artists such as 2Pac, Xzibit, Public Enemy, DMX, Shyne, KRS-ONE, Geto Boys, Tech N9ne and others. There are also 5 custom tracks made specifically for the game. Look for it to hit the shelves in Summer of 2005.
Next up was a game that looks like it will be a lot of campy fun. It?s called Total Overdose and it will be coming out for the PS2, Xbox and PC. Total Overdose reminded me a lot of Driver in that you spend time in vehicles (about 30%), but also on foot (about 70% of the game). It?s a 3rd person action adventure that has a very Quentin Tarentino / Robert Rodriguez feel to it. There are 20 story missions and 30 side missions, so you are looking at about 25-30 hours of gameplay here. You can build chains of kills to get rewards in the form of special ?Loco? moves like the Burrito Boost and the El Mariachi where, yes, he goes all ape-shit with the guitar cases. It?s a beautiful thing. Another cool factor that really makes it feel cinematic is the fact that you can ?rewind? the game back 7 seconds if you die. This is cool, because if you do something stupid, you aren?t terribly penalized for it. Overall, this one looks like it will be a lot of tequila-infused fun. No release date is finalized as this is an SCi title, but it will be releasing this Fall in Europe, so expect it sometime after that.
Hitman is back with the latest iteration, Hitman: Blood Money. Slated for release on the Xbox, PS2 and PC, Agent 47 is back once again to kill, kill and kill some more. This time, there is a Blood MOney reward system, that allows him to take his earnings and do things like customize his weapons, reduce his notoriety and garner specialist items and information. Agent 47 now has new moves such as scaling ledges, climbing, hiding and automatically passing low obstacles. The improved A.I will now follow blood trails and investigate suspicious items and behaviour. There's also a new camera system which has Agent 47 moving independently of the camera. Overall, if you are a fan of the Hitman series, stay on the lookout for this one in the fall.
Also back for another round in the Commandos series is Commandos: Strike Force. This time, the gameplay is first person shooter and you will be in control of three members of the Strike Force Unit: the Green Beret, the Sniper and the Spy. Each have their own style of play and attributes. There are three linked campaigns spanning across France, Norway and Russia, but it's non-linear, so there are multiple routes to complete each mission.
Commandos: Strike Force will be released this year on the PS2, Xbox and PC and will have a single player campaign as well as multiplayer modes with support for 16 players on PC and 8 on PS2 and Xbox.
Finally, announced during E3 is Just Cause being developed by Avalanche Studios for the PC and consoles. You are Rico Rodriguez, an undercover CIA agent working to overthrow the corrupt government of San Esperito, as they are suspected of stockpiling WMDs. Just Cause takes place in the lush, tropical setting of an island with 1,225 sq. miles of mountains, jungles, beaches, cities and villages which can be explored by land, sea and air. You'll get your job done by whatever means are necessary, whether it be by pitting factions against one another, building alliances with drug cartels and rebel forces, or starting rebellions among the teeming masses. No release date has been set yet, but finally, gamers get that chance to prove that we could have found the WMD's, if given the opportunity. ;)
Of course, you don't think I could have possibly forgotten my favorite game vixen, Lara Croft, do you? She is important enough to get her own coverage, so check out Tomb Raider: Legends and the scoop thereof here.
Look for full reviews on all of these games as they release.