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|Action Adventure Games, Action Games
Capitalism, eh? You were warned about the rampant rise of the evil multinationals, but you were too busy buying the latest consumer desirables to listen. Now look what's happened. Mega corporations have taken over the planet and original humans have been wiped out during a decade of persecution, war and general misery. In their place, cyborgs are systematically stripping the planet of its remaining natural resources - and all because you had to get your whites whiter than white. Feeling suitably guilty yet?
So reads the blurb behind the latest game from Oxford-based Rebellion. Having coded the sublime Aliens vs Predator (which didn't do as well as it should have done in our opinion), they've turned their talents towards Gunlok, a 3D RPG, set 500 years in the future on a dark, disturbed planet. Crikes.
You play the part of the eponymous hero and the first robot to gain consciousness. Your task is to work your way through 15 3D environments, aided by four customisable companions (presumably impregnated with the consciousness bug as well): Frend, a huge, hulk of a robot who's very loyal but just a little bit dim; Hark, who's small and quick-witted but extremely easy to kill; Elint, a technological genius no less (who actually rebuilt himself from spare parts - impressive, huh?) and Maskelyn the mystic. And what have you got to do with them? Er, save the world. So, no surprise there then.
But, forgetting the somewhat trite storyline, Gunlok looks mighty impressive. If you've played AvP, then you'll know that Rebellion can handle its 3D engines with a huge amount of aplomb. Early screenshots of Gunlok back this statement up, with an advanced particle system for fire, smoke, rain and lightning, and super high resolutions using DXT texture compression, multitexturing and realtime shadows. If you don't know your DirectX 7 technicalities, this means that Gunlok is going to look rather smashing to say the least. The action is viewed in a third-person 'from above' viewpoint, and you also have the freedom to move, rotate and zoom your viewpoint to get as close to the action as you dare. Combat is in real-time, with the promise of advanced AI (we've heard that one somewhere before), upgradeable weapons and more pyrotechnics than you can shake a stick at. Environmental 3D sound effects are going to back up the visuals, meaning that Gunlok should prove to be an extremely immersive experience.
Along with the huge single-player and co-operative multiplayer campaign, Gunlok is promising at least ten distinct multiplayer and skirmish levels playable over a network or the Internet. We've yet to see code running, but we're getting quite excited about the prospect, and if you've got a soft spot for robots, we'd suggest keeping an eye on Gunlok's progress. We'll keep you up to date with the latest developments as they happen - as always. Until then, go and hug a tree or something.