Last week, Monolith invited GameSpot's editors to its Seattle offices to play Sanity, its upcoming 3D action game, which is now nearing completion. Sanity is a top-down, third-person action game, where you play as a psionic superagent named Cain. The game takes place in the future, when an evil scientist named Dr. Aiken has developed a serum that can be injected into in utero fetuses to unlock the unusued 90 percent of their brains, thus giving these children incredible psychic powers. After several disasters that resulted from the initially unchecked use of this serum, the government stepped in to regulate the creation of such psionic beings. In this future, a regiment of psionic police officers is charged with watching over the burgeoning psionic population. Your character, Cain, is one of these psionic cops.
As a psionic officer of the law, you have various psychic powers, which are initially centered on the ability to manipulate fire. You can create walls of fire, hurl fireballs, and even call down meteor storms. Throughout the game, you battle other psionic characters, and after you defeat them, you take their powers as your own.
There are 90 psionic powers in Sanity, and they all are arranged into nine totems, each with its own theme. However, you can only equip ten powers at a time, so you'll essentially need to build a hand from your overall deck of powers, much like in the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. In fact, the powers are presented almost like cards in that game.
GameSpot had a chance to play a multiplayer game of Sanity. There is a lot of strategy involved in picking your initial powers and then building your subsequent deck. With the nine different totems and multiple types of attack and defense powers, there is a lot to think about - even in a mundane deathmatch. However, the powers appear to be well balanced. For instance, if your opponent is hurling lightning bolts at you, you can use a reflect power and send them back at him. Of course, he can do the same to you. You can also cast invisibility on yourself and stalk your prey. When you have your opponent in sight, you can use a dampening power that prevents him from using any psionic powers - a true superweapon in this game - and then unleash a hail of attacks. Alternately, you can summon demons to fight for you, lay down traps, and access a number of other unusual powers.
The game uses the Lithtech 1.5 engine, which provides high-quality graphics and special effects. It also features the voice of Ice-T as Cain. It's due out sometime in the coming months.