The same team responsible for the acclaimed MediEvil series is finished with its latest project, a weapon-intensive action-adventure game called C-12. The game has hit store shelves in Europe, and we were able to take a final PAL version of the game for a spin to see what to expect if the game hits the States.
C-12 tells the story of a doomed future. A hostile alien force has invaded Earth and has decimated most of mankind. The weak Earth resistance has been swept aside, and those who evaded capture are now barely surviving in ghettos hidden amongst the ruins of once great cities. Those humans who have been taken by the alien troops are never seen again and are presumed slaughtered. The surviving humans fear the aliens have been droning the captured humans--an alien process of reprogramming and adapting captured humans into fearsome cyborg warriors and mindless cybernetic slaves. As one of the last soldiers capable of standing a chance against the overwhelming odds, you undergo a dangerous operation to implant a bit of the alien cybernetics into your own body in a last-ditch effort to create a weapon powerful enough to destroy the alien threat.
You play as Lieutenant Vaughan, the soldier with the alien cybernetic technology. At your disposal are plenty of high-tech human and alien weapons, and the mysterious but powerful cybernetics in your body. Dr. Carter, the head of the human resistance's research department, and Colonel Grisham, the leader of the resistance, will assist you through transmissions during your mission. Carter will help you with scientific analysis of the environments and will aid you in identifying strange alien objects you find. Grisham will give you mission updates and will inform you of important mission specifics. Your cybernetic technology is best described as a bionic eye--you can use it on the battlefield to analyze an environment or enemy, and you can even use it to help you target hostile enemies and environments.
C-12 is focused on straightforward shooting action, but the game does have several puzzles to keep you thinking. Most of the puzzles will involve your using your bionic eye to survey the terrain, then identifying and using special switches or objects to open doors or unlock areas. One of the puzzles has you manning a machine-gun turret to shoot a special door that's been covered with transparent alien slime. Once the door is open, you'll be able to get your hands on some plastic explosives that you can combine with a detonator you found earlier to blast your way to the next part of the level.
The game pushes the PlayStation to its limits from both a graphical and audio standpoint. Though the game is based on the MediEvil engine, C-12 looks very different from the MediEvil series and has some amazingly detailed environments. Sony Cambridge has combined some spooky postapocalyptic levels with great sound effects and dramatic music to make C-12 a very immersive experience. The developers have also spent a good amount of time fine-tuning the last parts of the game, working on both the in-game cinematics and the frame rate. Still, there are some camera problems, as the game doesn't always give you the best camera angle for what you need to do. The game does feature a manual camera control, though, so you can easily remedy this problem.
Seeing the quality of this game and its intuitive control scheme, it's difficult to explain why C-12 hasn't been picked up by a US publisher. SCEA has confirmed that the company hasn't signed the rights for C-12 here in the States, and no other publisher has claimed the game. Hopefully someone will step forward soon and confirm that this impressive shooter is indeed making its way over.