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Conker Live & Reloaded

Door NDS (1010 reacties) op 21-04-2005 22:06
( PM )
Van deze exclusiefe Xbox games van Rare is weer wat info vrijgekomen. IGN had een hands-on speelsessie. Hieronder lees je het (vrij lange) verslag daarvan:

May 12, 2004 - Wow. I am a huge fan of the original Conker's Bad Fur Day so when I was given the opportunity to see the new, upgraded version of the little squirrel that couldn't keep his mouth shut, I couldn't wait. In fact, I made it my very first appointment of E3. It was worth it.

Live and Reloaded is like two separate games made into one. There's the completely retooled single-player game that mirrors the original in terms of content, and then the multiplayer, which is like a separate beast with nothing really in common with the original's multiplayer. Let's get the single-player out of the way first, since it's the one that will truly knock your head off.
Ken Lobb wasn't joking -- Conker single-player is one of the most impressive visual feats in gaming. It is the best-looking Xbox game to date. It looks un-f'ing-real. In fact, it looks so damn good, I may never be able to blink again. Every single hair on Conker can be counted, every one moves. In fact, everything in the environment moves, with grass and plants swaying and real-time spherical harmonic lighting creating perhaps the most realistic shadows I've ever seen. Conker looks like he has true weight and substance, but still the same raucous attitude.

The graphical beauty does not end there. You can see pollen from dandelions blowing pasts in the breeze, the textures -- a strong point in the original -- look top-notch on Xbox. The game runs at a solid 30 frames in single and multiplayer, which is where Rare wants to lock it down. Don't freak, it looks fantastic at 30 frames a second. The animations have been adjusted so that things like swinging with Conker's trusty pan doesn't rotate his entire body. While the single-player may be nearly identical to the original, it seems completely new thanks to the outstanding visuals.

I'd forgotten some areas from the original game, but I recognized them instantly when I saw them in the demo. Remember the fight with the bull, where he keeps charging and you have to position Conker so that a quick evade gets the bull stuck in a archery target. That's there, but now blood appears in real-time on the horns when he gouges Conker and you can see the steam wafting in the air. Another goodie is the hay stack battle. The shuffling stacks of hay in the barn move across the floor as in the original, but this time they have an added mixture of humor and menace because they really look like bouncing stacks of hay.

Some gameplay changes have been made to the single-player, so gamers will have a better experience. For one thing, some of the earlier levels will be a bit easier, simply to allow gamers to get to the later (and much better) levels in the game. While Conker has simple controls -- A jumps, then hold A for hover mode, and use B as the context-sensitive button -- once he hits an area where he, say, pulls out guns, the game reverts to multiplayer controls. Now Conker can strafe and aim better.

I played a short bit of the single-player, I just had to. What I played -- and really, I only played for about a minute -- was an earlier area. Mama Bee needs her hive back from some nasty wasps who are guarding it at the top of a hill. I grabbed hold and was instantly in control. It felt so natural. The cool thing is stopping an going into a closer (but not first-person) view, just over the top of Conker's head. First, you can see the strands of hair moving in the breeze, and then you can see the lay of the land, with cool-running water from the river below, and rolling hills in the distance. I also saw an underwater area, where Conker must avoid a giant piranha. To me, this was always one of the least impressive places visually from the original, no longer. Bubbles float past, as Conker swims (he needs to suck some down to keep from suffocating), and the wet little squirrel passes by rusted walls and a metal behemoth of a piranha.

The camera is the same as from the original. You can adjust it with the Right Thumbstick, and while it wasn't problematic when I played, I know from experience that it may be a problem in certain areas of the game. Rare is working on some fixes, so hopefully they will come up with a solution.

But back to the demo. I ran up the hill, after seeing the sights -- oh, and it really is the same level design, with the barbed wire fences on the side of the hill and the honeycomb hive at the top -- it was time to make the grab. I ran Conker up to my objective, hit B to pick it up, and then had to run down the hill as my adversaries buzzed after me. Just as I remembered it.

The voices are being redone, but by the same voice artist (who has worked at Rare for an eternity) and the humor is just as punchy as ever. The scary thing is, Rare wanted us to know that the graphics weren't up to par with the planned final build. There are lots of effects, such as poo squirting out of diaharreticcows, that aren't in the E3 build. Look better? Holy nuts!

The multiplayer has been getting the brunt of Rare's attention (you read that right). There are several different game modes, including a Bot mod called Botoids, but the main mode of focus are the campaign modes. You choose between Old War and Future War. One is a Private Ryan spoof, the other is a T2 spoof. The weapons, vehicles, and looks of the characters change completely, as do the missions. For each mode there are three missions, that much be completed in succession, with cut-scenes bridging each.

The campaigns support up to 16 players, or 8-on-8 teams. Even though these are "campaign missions" it's still adversarial combat, and boy is it cool. Though not as pretty as single-player, the framerate is locked at 30 and the game looks so different from last year's E3 demo, it's hard to believe the two could have ever been from the same game.

There are six character classes to choose from, though only five are available for play at E3. The one I played is the Sneaker, a cutie furry girl with a ponytail and a sword. She kicks ass like you wish Princess Leah would and she has a unique power (each class has a different one). Hers is to go invisible and the effect is friggin cool, with light bending around a watery form. In the Future War, there are flying beasts that look straight out of T2, which the Pilot class can fly. The battle was hectic with the ability to pop enemies heads off with a well placed swipe of the sword, resulting in a nice splatter of very fake blood. Die Tediz, die!

What I played of multiplayer was a blast. It's quick, fast, and fun. I'd love to spend more time learning the campaigns, but that will have to wait. More intrigue to myself (and to you, admit it) are the modes not shown. Sure, there is standard death match, but there are also modes that parody movies. There's a The Thing mode, for example, that obviously makes one character the Thing, but nobody knows who's infected. Should be fun, should be hilarious.

This is not a port, this is a reinvention. Truly, Conker Live and Reloaded has become my most anticipated game of March 2005. Okay, so that's not hard to do, but really, I cannot wait to play through the single-player again and see what sort of things are unlocked by earning medals in them multiplayer. Be sure to check out our new Conker footage, but know that the single-player looks far better. You need it. I need it. Xbox needs this one.


Ik kijk zelf heel erg uit naar deze titel, al is het alleen al omdat je teddyberen een eekhoorns af kan knallen.