Hands-onRobocop

Dead or alive, the new Robocop from Titus is hitting stores this November.

Based upon the three films, Robocop for the PS2 puts you in the shoes of Alex Murphy, a cybernetically enhanced supercop who patrols the mean streets of Detroit. Created by the Omni-Consumer Products Corporation, Murphy is the city's Robocop, a nearly unstoppable champion of justice. Using a first-person, inside-the-helmet perspective, you will endure 15 missions' worth of crime busting, an endeavor that eventually leads back to OCP itself.

The game was in rough form at E3, but from what we did play of it, the design feels right. Each mission asks you to satisfy some main objective, usually acquiring information from a well-protected informant or ridding the streets of ED-209 mechanized tanks. The majority of action is presented from Robocop's viewpoint, and there's always a heads-up display present for targeting, distance, and topographic information. True to the films, Robocop walks at a sluggish pace, but the automatic-tracking system and evasion buttons help even things out. If an enemy is taking pot shots at you, you can lean behind an automobile or stairwell abutment. Since Robocop has excellent zoom capability, you can also lock onto enemies from a distance and begin attacking from a safe range.

There's more excitement in close, however, as the character models in Robocop are a real sight to see. Humans grimace and run in a manner similar to the way that real-world people do. Police cars and pedestrian vehicles can be shot to ribbons or launched into the air with explosives. Since much of the game is set in Old Detroit, levels are dark and dingy. Despite this, however, buildings are fully detailed, with breakable windows, sweeping atriums, and even a water fountain or two. Titus is trying to make Robocop as free-roaming as possible in light of set mission goals, so you can even climb to the top of a few of the game's structures.

The game is in its early stages, so many of its character models and buildings are either unfinished or oversimplified--or both. As well, a majority of the enemy characters and weapons were missing, so the quality of AI or strategy is also unknown. However, Titus' representative did say that they're shooting to give the game adaptive AI that adjusts to the skill level of the player, as well as enough weapons to suit every action lover's needs. We'll have more information as the game gets closer to its November release.

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