Though the movie has been in theaters for almost two months, the Clash of the Titans video game still looms on the horizon. Last week at Namco Bandai's pre-E3 event in Santa Monica, we got a taste of what's in store for aspiring Greek heroes. Given the Olympian forces arrayed against Perseus, it should come as no surprise that the game is chock-full of enemies to slay. Our demo featured a number of these foes, but more impressively, it showed off the robust variety of exotic weapons that Perseus can use in his struggles. From swords and hammers to severed wings and magical powers, the weapons in Clash of the Titans promise that you'll have plenty of new and interesting ways to smite evil throughout your quest.
Clash of the Titans follows the plot of the movie closely and is written by one of the film's screenwriters, hopefully ensuring a good amount of fidelity. Perseus begins his adventure in a fairly linear fashion, taking quests and fighting monsters in an effort to protect humanity. Later on in the game you gain access to a hub area that lets you replay earlier quests or take on challenge quests in order to earn specific rewards. Perseus can amass a substantial inventory, and he gets many of his items from the corpses of his foes.
Perseus' primary weapon is his trusty sword. This weapon enables him to execute light and heavy attacks, as well as some powerful combos. His sword is always equipped, but just because you have one sword doesn't mean you can't have another. In the bottom left corner of the screen, there are four circles that correspond to the four primary directions on the D pad. Each circle represents an equipment slot that can hold a variety of different items, and by tapping the D pad you can switch your secondary weapon on the fly. Though secondary attacks are all mapped to one button, don't expect them all to feel the same. Different swords have different power and speed ratings, and Perseus will execute a unique combination specific to the blade he is using.
Of course, not all secondary weapons have blades. Large hammers do serious damage but take more time to swing, while axes offer a powerful alternative for when blunt objects aren't doing the trick. Bows provide an effective way to take out enemies at range, though magical cores can be just as helpful. One in particular unleashes an attractive-yet-deadly plume of flame, and a healing core came in handy when Perseus' health began to get low. There is even a whole category of wings that you can use as weapons, and they use a variety of wind attacks to damage your enemies, include swirling vortices and massive gusts.
Yes, wings, like the kind you might rip off of a harpy. In fact, that's exactly how Perseus acquires his own personal weaponized harpy wing. When you pummel an enemy vigorously, it will be temporarily surrounded by a faint yellow glow. Attack in this window of time, and you'll see rhythmic prompts appear onscreen. Attack in sync with the rhythm, and you'll brutally maul your enemy and steal its weapon/magic core/wing/what have you. Get out of sync, and you'll get a sharp smack in the mouth from your recovered foe. This bit of risk means that once you've stripped a given enemy type of its weapon and added it to your arsenal, it might be best just to thrash your foe soundly without opening yourself up to a counterattack.
Taking stock of your enemies' vulnerabilities is another important combat tactic. Different baddies will be weak or resistant to different damage types, encouraging you to flex your entire arsenal. Having four different secondary weapons accessible during combat is great, though you can always pause the game and swap them with others should you feel the need. If you encounter flying enemies, for example, consider pulling out your hydra's soul to magically snatch them out of the air and throw them against a wall. Then whip out that one hammer that looks like a boulder on a stick to finish them off in style.
Though Perseus is a lone adventurer for much of the game, there are quests in which he will be accompanied by a companion. These characters are drawn from the movie, and each one brings different abilities to bear on the field of battle. Io, for example, will heal Perseus when his health gets low. A second player can pick up a controller and jump in for some cooperative action on these missions as well. Whether you play it alone or with a friend, Clash of the Titans is looking to serve up an epic portion of mythological combat. Be sure to check out the interview from our hands-on session, and keep an eye here for more on Clash of the Titans in the coming months.