Black9 Impressions

We took a brief look at Majesco's new futuristic action adventure at E3. Details inside.

Today at Majesco's E3 showcase, we got to check out an early version of Black9, the company's new third-person action adventure for the Xbox and PC. The game is set in the year 2080 and will cast you as one of four freelance mercenaries working to make a living in an emerging interplanetary society. The game's title refers to nine Illuminati-like organizations that effectively control the world's political and economic flow. These organizations will represent a variety of different interests, from tech corporations to religious societies. Your character will work out of a headquarters and take jobs from these nine groups, and the story of the game will see you changing allegiances quickly based on what you find out about their objectives and affiliations.

The gameplay in Black9 uses a fairly standard control setup--you'll use your mouse or an analog stick to aim, and you can run, jump, and otherwise move around the game's indoor and outdoor environments. You'll also gain access to a pretty cool-looking "wing pack" that lets you fly around, and the development team is thinking about basing a significant portion of the gameplay on this flying ability.

Black9 will have heavy RPG elements, as your character will have four main attributes: strength, agility, dexterity, and constitution. You'll be able to gain and upgrade a large number of nanotech-based skills and abilities using the money you accumulate. The game will also feature full competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, and the Xbox version will of course work with Xbox Live to accomplish this. Graphically, Black9 looked pretty solid, with detailed models and clean texture work, and it ran at a smooth frame rate. The characters' appearances will also evolve over the course of the game, depending on the mission you're in. The PC and Xbox versions will be released simultaneously sometime in October or November, and a PlayStation 2 version will appear sometime early next year. We'll bring you more on this promising game in the weeks to come.

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