At a recent press event, we had the opportunity to meet with Atari's Scott McCarthy to check out an early Xbox build of Godzilla: Save the Earth. Despite the fact that Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee was primarily a GameCube title, the sequel will be released only for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox when it arrives in stores in October. GameCube Godzilla fans, according to McCarthy, have been quite vocal about their disappointment, but given that online play is a major feature of the upcoming game, it's not hard to see why the decision to abandon Nintendo's console was made.
Godzilla: Save the Earth will allow up to four players to take control of numerous different incarnations of Godzilla and his gargantuan contemporaries as they battle it out in destructible re-creations of many of the world's major cities. During our demonstration, we got to see areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco getting trashed as a result of battles between some of the game's new characters. We're told that 10 other cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, Seattle, and New York, can expect similar levels of devastation.
The cities in the game will feature enough realistic geography and landmarks to make them recognizable, but if you were hoping to crush your own house, school, or place of work, you're out of luck. Nevertheless, damaging and destroying structures in the game promises to be much more satisfying this time around, with dynamically generated gouges and internal skeletal structures making the whole experience seem much more realistic.
Aside from the addition of online play, the most significant improvement being made in Godzilla: Save the Earth is that each of the game's 18 monsters will boast its own unique attributes (attack, defense, speed, and weapons) and fighting style. The first fight that we got to see, for example, was between newcomers SpaceGodzilla and Baragon. SpaceGodzilla is a lot bigger than Baragon and, as a result, is much less agile. Baragon was able to run rings around the big guy, for the most part, but he needed to land about four times as many blows as SpaceGodzilla to inflict the same amount of damage. Baragon will also be the only monster in the game that can move while using a beam attack.
However, on this occasion, Baragon and his beam attack were no match for SpaceGodzilla's crystal attacks and brute strength. Other new monsters on the Save the Earth roster will include Megaguirus, Moguera, and a fully playable version of Mothra, who begins each fight in her larval form. Adding even more variety to the action will be the fact that since you can upgrade monsters' attributes before taking them online, the odds of you coming up against an identical opponent will be pretty slim.
In addition to the standard single-player game and multiplayer options, Godzilla: Save the Earth will feature an all-new challenge mode that comprises a number of different minigames. The first challenge that we got to see quite closely resembled the regular game and saw "Godzilla 2000" defending San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid from a UFO attack. The second challenge, on the other hand, was a space shooter in which McCarthy took control of a UFO that was shooting various monsters before battling against SpaceGodzilla en route to Earth. The gameplay in the shooter definitely looked pretty basic by today's standards, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Other challenge mode minigames (which we didn't get to see for ourselves) will include bowling, basketball, and many more.
At first glance, Godzilla: Save the Earth might not look radically different from its predecessor, but it's poised to be bigger and better in just about every way imaginable. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.