C-12 - Final Resistance Hands-On

Sony Cambridge, the internal development studio responsible for the Medievil series, revamps the Medievil engine one more time for its last project on the PlayStation, C-12 - Final Resistance.

Sony Cambridge has taken gamers to the past with its swords and sorcery adventure games, Medievil and its sequel. Now the development team plans on taking PlayStation gamers into the future using a modified version of the Medievil engine. Known for its ability to create challenging 3D action-adventure games, Sony Cambridge is sticking to what it knows in its latest project. C-12 - Final Resistance is an incredibly frantic shooter with large environments and a futuristic setting.

In C-12, an alien invasion has taken over the majority of Earth and either killed or mutated most of the population into brainwashed mutants who act as an expendable military force for the aliens. Nuclear missiles were launched at the aliens, and although they failed to defeat the aliens, they did succeed in turning much of Earth into a desolate wasteland. You play as Lieutenant Vaughan, a survivor who is determined to take back Earth. Before the attack, you were a simple military man in a simple military unit, but now you must be something more. In the face of overwhelming odds, you decide to use military scientists to implant alien technology into your own head. Armed with a new alien bionic eye, you're ready to take the fight to the aliens.

The alien eye provides you with all sorts of advantages. You'll be able to use it to communicate with your base. Through the eye you'll receive information from your commanders, and you'll be able to receive mission updates and objectives. Additionally, the eye can be used offensively. The eye has a zoom, which essentially turns your gun into a sniper rifle. Through the zoom, you'll get information about the enemy you're targeting, you'll be able to gather information, and you can take out enemies from a great distance. Additionally, the eye allows you to view the game at any time through a first-person perspective.

C-12 puts a major focus on shoot-'em-up action. Vaughan has plenty of ammo, and there are plenty of aliens that deserve a bullet. You'll spend most of your time running about in a third-person perspective and smoking any enemy that comes within your range. Still, C-12 has plenty of variety to keep you interested. The game will feature mission-based objectives that must be completed before Vaughan can progress to the next level. At first you'll be completing simple missions like locating and escorting troops from danger, but later you'll be eliminating certain characters or rescuing downed VIPs.

The game has a very simple and effective control system. The game uses analog control to move Vaughan around, and the face buttons control his attacks. You access the sniper mode on your alien eye by hitting the R2 button, and you can manage your weapons and inventory through the select button. You'll be able to lock on to enemies with the R1 button, allowing you to move about while keeping that enemy in front of you. Additionally, Vaughan can generate a shield by holding down the triangle button. The shield will prevent him from taking damage from enemy fire, but it only lasts a few moments, and it requires a great deal of energy to activate. Unfortunately, the alien eye does not give Vaughan the superpower of jumping, so Vaughan will have to navigate multileveled environments using ladders.

The graphics are looking very impressive, even at this early stage. The textures are all extremely smooth and detailed, and they're varied enough to keep the levels looking different. The level design is extremely well thought out, and the backgrounds all convey a definite sense of a postapocalyptic future. Vaughan's animations are still a little rough around the edges, but they will most likely be tweaked before the game's release. Unfortunately, there's a slight problem with the camera. At this point, the camera has a real problem following Vaughan, and it lags quite a bit. Additionally, turning suddenly or entering a room will often leave the camera behind, requiring you to reset the camera manually by tapping the R1 button.

What really stands out is C-12's amazing sound, which creates a definite spooky atmosphere. There isn't a whole lot of music while actually playing the game, so it's the sound effects that really create a lot of tension. Enemies will make frightening sounds in the darkness, then emit horrible shrill noises when they see you. Plenty of ambient sounds, such as factories working or electricity generators whirring, create a very immersive audio package.

At this point in time, C-12 is looking very hot. With only a few minor problems to correct, Sony Cambridge could easily have another winner on its hands. With Sony and fellow publishers looking to next-generation consoles, C-12 could very well be Sony's final jewel for the aging PlayStation. C-12 is set for an April release date in Europe, and it should be brought to the US shortly thereafter.

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