While waiting for a closed door session of Assassins Creed to start, suddenly everything was cast into darkness. Yes, the power went out (we found out later that someone drove a car into a power pole just down the street). During this time I ran into Wayne Santos. A fellow long time gamer and an industry writer. We spent a good hour discussing our history while chain smoking and enjoying the open bar (Wayne has done freelance work for IGN, been a gaming pundit on the BBC and worked at various publications).
Waiting for the generator to arrive, we decided to go back into the basement and see if there were any closed door presenters still around that we could do a Q&A with. Things seemed deserted, until Chris Priestly walked out from the Mass Effect booth and was more than happy to sit down with us. Apparently all the other media decided that if there wasn't game footage to see, they were out of there (funny, since the closed door sessions couldn't be videotaped anyways).
So in the basement, lit by candlelight, we tried to ask the questions that were on our minds...
X07 Interview with Chris Priestly from Bioware
- Back story discussion.
- Skill/Talent experience trees in Mass Effect.
- Party members (most of them named) and their effect on story.
- Use of controlled versus interactive narrative.
- Ebert vs Clive Barker (Are Video Games Art?)
- Chris and I share our love of Keanu Reeves as Constantine.
- DLC Talk
- All 3 Mass Effect games on the 360?
- "There's a lot of great stuff here at PAX, errr..."
Don't stop watching when I seem to wrap it up, we ended up turning the camera back on for some Bioshock talk and I dropped one last question.
I'd recommend watching this in Quicktime or VLC. Windows Media Player decides to play this in fast-forward for some reason. Though it may just be my codecs. You'll need to grab the whole file, as streaming isn't working for it.
Chris was a riot. I ran into him numerous times throughout the day on the show floor. Definitely a man who knows his games. From the scale of the work they're putting into the Mass Effect universe, it's apparent this is going to be a series we'll still be discussing decades from now.
I had no preconceived notions coming into this demo as I'd only seen a few screenshots for the game, though had heard it looked to be heading in the right direction. I was a fan of the original back when it was out on the N64, not so much on the sequels.
Turok Gameplay Demonstration
- Complete reset of the series.
- Squad based (non-controllable).
- Less over-the-top Sci-fi, more down-to-earth Dinosaur hunting with a pulse rifle.
- Lots of ways to pit your enemies against each other (and they'll do the same against you).
- Great character model animation.
- Solid A.I. (both for your own squad and enemies).
- Fluid graphics engine.
- Weapon switching on the d-pad very simple to perform on the fly.
- Dinosaurs can scare the crap out of you. Seriously.
- Fun physics effects (for gore and explosions).
- Dino-maul system.
- Non-light based stealth system.
- As it should be in a Turok game, getting kills with the bow is really, really satisfying.
(Note: Once again, my camera chops when there's too much action going on (which is, well, for quite a bit of the demo as you'll see), but it should give you some idea of the gameplay. The game ran without chop while I played.)
The gameplay was definitely fun. On the whole the game looks to be shaping up quite well as a solid FPS. The weapons were what you'd want, the enemy A.I. was quite interesting (turning the soldiers against the dinosaurs was sweet), and the level design was well done. The best part for me was hiding in the tall grass and using my arrows for stealth kills. I only got to play about 10 minutes at the start of the game, so I can't tell how deep the story, enemies, weapons or level design will go on from this. But what I saw was great and was what I'd hope to see from a well made Turok title. As a personal preference I'd probably lower the aiming sensitivity, but that's my only complaint from what I played (and I'm sure it's in the controller options).
The part that stood out the most for me (aside from the A.I.) was the graphics. Screenshots don't really do this game justice, as it's one of those (like Halo 3) that you really need to see in motion.
Thankfully this will be coming out after the holiday rush, as it'll definitely work to their advantage. It may
turn out to be the "great" game during a quiet release period. Will this bring Turok back into the limelight? Only time is going to tell on this one.
Turok is planned for release in February 2008.
Coming up for part 3, who knows? I've still got a number of titles to give impressions on, and a bunch of video that needs edited. Needless to say it'll be out as soon as possible.