Heroes of the Pacific E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Encore will unveil its multiplatform World War II air combat game at E3.

Heroes of the Pacific will be unveiled for the first time at E3 2004 in Los Angeles. It will be an action-based, air combat title set in the Pacific theater of World War II between the United States and imperial Japan. Over the course of the game you'll control up to 25 different aircraft, including the F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, P-38 Lightning, SBD Dauntless, and F4U Corsair. Certain Japanese aircraft, like the infamous Zero, will be included as unlockable bonuses.

Encore boasts that the battles in Heroes of the Pacific will include more than 300 planes in the sky. As most of the battles in the Pacific theater were naval skirmishes, ships will also play a vital role as they ply the game's 3D water. Both planes and ships will be exquisitely detailed with between 15,000 and 30,000 polygons each. You'll fly through 30 missions in the game's campaign, starting off with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, through other famous battles such as Midway, Wake Island, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima.

Aside from dogfighting and bombing missions, you'll control a cadre of up to 32 wingmen, using a quick menu system to issue orders to your comrades. Heroes of the Pacific will also include multiplayer action in split-screen mode (for PS2 and Xbox), LAN (for PC), and online (PC and Xbox Live). Game modes include standard dogfighting, team dogfights, capture the flag, or cooperative multiplayer against the computer. A fifth mode, called fox and hounds, involves one player attempting to hold a flag while the other players try to shoot him or her down.

No release date has been specified for Heroes of the Pacific, but the game is currently in development for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC platforms. GameSpot will bring more information on the game from the show floor.

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