One Updated Hands-On: Character Customization

We take a look at One's character customization options at GDC.

Game Developers Conference, San Francisco--We've managed to take another tantalizing look at One, the N-Gage's upcoming 3D fighter, and have come away with new details on how the game's character customization options will work, among several other important particulars. Developer Digital Legends still has a lot of fine-tuning to do before One can compete for the portable fighting game title, but it's definitely beginning to round into shape.

If you've played the recent console beat-'em-up Def Jam: Fight for New York, you'll slide right in to One's fighter-creation scheme. The game offers you all the standard options you might expect. After selecting your champion's gender--yes, the game now features female fighters--you'll get to scroll through dozens of options for his or her skin color, facial structure, hairstyle, facial hair (if applicable), clothes, shoes, bling, tats, and other accoutrements. Combine this with a color selector for your accessories, and all of a sudden you'll be looking at hundreds of thousands of possible combinations. We created a nasty-looking fellow with a mummified face; his wardrobe consisted of a white undershirt, camouflage pants, cowboy boots, and a bandana to conceal his horrid countenance.

An intimidating appearance is certainly the first step on the path to victory, but the road is going to be paved with bones crushed by lethal jeet kune do techniques--more than 300, to be exact. Many more moves have been added in the two months since our last account, including some brutal throws, elbow strikes, and flying kicks. In one instance, our fighter grabbed his hapless opponent, kneed him in the stomach, and brought an elbow down on the back of his head, making our claim to victory almost irresistible. The female fighters bring some unique moves to the table, too, such as acrobatic, twirling capoeira kicks.

We also nabbed some more information on the game's environments. There will be 14 fighting venues in total, all of which will be based on famous locations. We've already fought in the 97th Street alleyway in New York City, but we didn't know that we'd have a chance to compete on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean or in Area 51's fenced-off facility. We're not sure if the environments will have any unique features that bear on the gameplay, but it seems as though the variety of stages will match or trump most of One's competitors.

The One team still has a lot of work to do, but we're no less impressed with the features that are in the bag now than we were during our checkup two months ago. If the fighting gameplay gets buffed to a fine sheen, this could very well be One for the ages. Be sure to come back often for more details.

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