E3 2002: BeamBreakers preshow report

Fishtank Interactive's futuristic driving game will be at this year's E3.

Fishtank will be showing its upcoming futuristic PC hovercar driving game BeamBreakers at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The game is in development at German developer Similis and will be a colorful arcade-style driving game.

BeamBreakers will take place among the skyscrapers and rooftops of a futuristic New York City reminiscent of the motion picture The Fifth Element. Just like in that movie, the heights of BeamBreakers' New York will be cluttered with lots of air traffic, the tops of buildings, and floating city and traffic signs. Similis' game engine actually allows for hundreds of animated objects onscreen at the same time, and pretty much every moving object you will encounter will be on its way to a different destination so that the different areas of the game will really seem like bustling thoroughfares.

You will choose from a selection of futuristic hovercars, such as the Acora and the Dudge, most of which are modeled after existing automobile models, but with wings, thrusters, and rocket engines. Each vehicle will handle differently depending on its size, mass, and features, and the game will have additional secret cars, as well as secret levels, that you can unlock after completing enough goals.

Once you have chosen a vehicle, you'll fly through the skyways of New York in 30 different missions as a cabbie who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd. You will meet different gangs in the city and will have to carry out objectives that are often less than legal, including driving stolen vehicles and dropping off criminals at different parts of the city. Fortunately, you will be able to fly past slow drivers and discover shortcuts to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Then again, other drivers will be doing the same thing, so you may find yourself getting slammed into walls and buildings by rival drivers, and you'll have to slam right back.

BeamBreakers is currently scheduled for release this summer. We'll have more information at the show.

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