On a recent visit to the PlayStation Experience event in London, we found that Activision had two different PS2 demo versions of Pitfall Harry on display. The demo that we played featured only a single level from the game, but it gave us great insight into the kinds of puzzles and traps that the game will be tormenting players with come January.
The level we played looked like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, and initially required us to negotiate narrow walkways with holes in the floor through which large spikes were appearing. Our actual objective at this point was to close three large eyes on different walls by reaching and then pulling levers directly beneath them. Since the spikes coming up through the floor were doing so in a simple and predictable sequence, reaching the first eye wasn't too difficult. When we pulled the lever the eye closed, one of three stepping stones required for us to climb up to the next area emerged from a wall, and the spikes in the floor were replaced with flames. The pattern adhered to by the flames was a little more complex than that of the spikes, but by jumping across the large gaps in the floor rather than trying to walk along the narrow ledges all the time, we reached the second eye without too much difficulty. Upon pulling the second lever, the flames disappeared and the remaining open eye began to shoot at us at a fairly rapid rate.
Once we'd pulled all three levers on the ground floor, we were able to reach the next level up, where a further three giant eyes were in need of our attention. There was no floor for us to negotiate this time around, though--just four ropes to swing on, and a few flamethrowers to avoid. Swinging on ropes in the game is achieved simply by moving the left analog stick while using the right stick to climb or descend the rope itself. The control system really couldn't have been any easier to come to grips with, and when used in conjunction with the manual camera controls, it makes it relatively painless to complete even the most tricky-looking swing and jump maneuvers.
At this stage of development, Pitfall Harry is still looking a little rough around the edges, but if all the levels in the game are as playable and challenging as the one we played, there's every chance that it'll turn out to be a very enjoyable game indeed. For more information on Pitfall Harry, which is also in development for the Xbox and GameCube, check out our previous coverage of the game.