E3 2002: Robot Alchemic Drive preshow report

Enix's upcoming PS2 game mixes giant mechs and mass destruction.

Enix's upcoming PlayStation 2 title marks a departure from the company's popular Dragon Warrior series. The game, called Robot Alchemic Drive, is an entry that features a rather unique take on the giant mech genre. While exact details on the story have yet to be revealed, what is known is that Toshihiro Kawamoto, of Cowboy Bebop fame, is doing the character design in the game and that the action in the game will feature 50 different scenarios ranging from defeating enemy robots in a city and diffusing bombs to using your robot to move objects around a city. Reportedly, the game will offer more than 40 hours of gameplay.

Enix's unique take on the genre separates the title from traditional mech games. Your selected character will control your mechs via remote control rather than from inside them. As a result, you'll have to ensure that your human character is not harmed while controlling their mech. Ensuring the safety of human characters will be quite challenging due to the fact that every object in the environment will be damageable, resulting in falling debris and collapsed buildings.

Controlling a mech will require you to do more than just press a direction on the D pad, as the control setup will give you far more active control. For example, the L1 and L2 buttons will let you control the mech's left leg, while R1 and R2 will control the right leg. Alternating between the two sets of buttons will make the mech walk forward. You'll also be able to customize your mech with additional weapons, armor, skills, eye laser beams, chest projectiles, and fist missiles. In addition, mechs can transform into different forms that will offer additional skills and gameplay possibilities. Transforming into a tank will let you plow through buildings, while changing into a jet will let you fly above the city.

Robot Alchemic Drive is slated to ship this November for the PlayStation 2. Look for a full hands-on report from the E3 show floor.

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