Interplay has sent over its latest build of Giants: Citizens Kabuto. The build is approximately 90-percent complete, and it features a few single-player missions as well as limited multiplayer functionality. The single-player mode starts out by placing you with a team of Meccaryns marines who have landed on a planet to make some repairs to your ship. The team members become separated, and in the course of trying to reunite, you come across a young character named Timmy who comes from a race of aliens known as Smarties. Unfortunately, Timmy is kidnapped by a Reaper Guard while he is introducing you and another Mecc member to his father.
Your first task is to collect some Vimp meat for Timmy's hungry father, a task that is accomplished by flying from the Smartie village located high atop a mountain range to the valleys below where the Vimp herds are located. The Vimps are completely defenseless, so taking them down isn't difficult with the two weapons you're given initially, a weak laser gun and a rocket launcher. While collecting meat, you're confronted by some of the local sharp-toothed and sharp-clawed creatures, who aren't too happy about you treading through their land.
When you return to the Smartie village and deliver the Vimp meat to Timmy's father, he realizes the food isn't cooked and the only one who can cook it for him is his wife, who is also conveniently missing. Once again, Timmy's father sends you out toward the Reaper Guard base where his wife is located. It's a dangerous mission, but Timmy's father hands you a holly bush to disguise yourself with while entering the enemy base. The sniper mode comes in handy here, as Reaper Guards tend to hide in high places such as towers and on top of cliffs, making it impossible to reach them for close-range combat.
We also managed to play some of Giants' multiplayer mode, which blends action elements with real-time strategy. Essentially, all three character types - the Meccs, the Sea Reaper, and Kabuto - are fighting for the same resources, which are Vimp meat and Smarties. Vimp meat acts as a general resource for the Smarties while they continue to build structures around your base. In the multiplayer skirmish, it was easy to get a good feel for the character types' respective abilities. The Sea Reapers, while lacking a strong weapon at the outset, are incredibly agile and can literally fly between buildings or mountaintops in seconds. The enormous Kabuto takes a much more brute-force approach, as he likes to grab the other characters and either eat them or impale them on his massive horns. Meccs appear to have the most balanced skills, with decent agility - thanks to their jetpacks - and fairly powerful weapons technology.
Giants: Citizen Kabuto is due out in late October.