E3 2002Star Wars Bounty Hunter impressions

You'll get to play as master bounty hunter (and father!) Jango Fett in LucasArts' forthcoming action game. Impressions inside.

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With Attack of the Clones tearing it up at the box office, Jango Fett stands to become a household name--this dangerous bounty hunter is one of the key players in the film, and he will now be starring in his very own video game. The events of Star Wars Bounty Hunter actually precede those of Attack of the Clones, thus shedding new light on the events of the film and providing more detail on one of its more compelling characters. Scheduled for release this fall for both the GameCube and the PlayStation 2, Star Wars Bounty Hunter lets you step into the armor-plated boots of Boba Fett's dad and blast your way through 18 different levels across six different environments.

As Jango, you'll get to shoot, ensnare, punch, blow up, and burn up your foes using a wide variety of weapons and gadgets. Jango can wield two blasters John Woo-style, and he can lock on to several targets simultaneously, making fights with multiple enemies manageable. In fact, some of his enemies will even turn tail and flee from Jango if things are looking grim for them. Jango can also lock on to individual opponents, making your control over Jango relative to that enemy. Combining Jango's quick evasive rolls and his ability to fly using his jetpack will allow you to weave intricate patterns around your foe, all while firing on him or her.

Jango is versatile even when he isn't just shooting. Locked doors don't stand in his way--he can use a sort of welding torch to rip them right down. Jango can shimmy sideways while hanging onto ledges, and he can even throw thermal grenades onto the ledges above him to take care of any enemy guards lurking up there.

The game's environments take place in some of the seedier systems in the Star Wars universe. Though Bounty Hunter is played mostly from a third-person perspective, you can also switch to a first-person perspective at any time, allowing you to scan for any folks in the vicinity who might have bounties on their heads. Jango can take them in dead or alive for rewards, which will be tallied up and used to unlock hidden items and other special features.

We saw Star Wars Bounty Hunter running on a GameCube--the PS2 version wasn't on display. The game looked colorful, but the environments and characters looked a bit simple and the frame rate wasn't quite ideal. However, Star Wars Bounty Hunter won't be released until later this year, so there's still time for LucasArts to iron out any wrinkles in Jango's armor.

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