Colors E3 2005 Updated Hands-On Report.

We get a deeper look at Colors at E3 2005, including some more details into its unique multiplayer system.

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We got a chance to check out Colors from Gizmondo, which has a few new additions, particularly to the multiplayer, since the last time we saw it. The single-player is still pretty much the same, a GTA-reminiscent third-person action game based on inner-city gang warfare. While nothing about this sounds particularly novel (not even the story-driven spray-painting element that we've been seeing versions of in games pretty consistently since Jet Set Radio), it is the multiplayer, and the relationship between it and the single-player that puts Colors entirely into a league of its own.

The objective of the single-player is to run and gun your way through 50 different missions (which Gizmondo claims should take upward of 10 hours), taking out rival gang leaders, pushing drugs, and otherwise initiating yourself into the seedy gang lifestyle. Although at the beginning of the game you have no affiliation, continued play will provide opportunities for you to pledge allegiance to different characters in the universe, and ultimately affect your relationship with everyone as a result. So if, for example, you're sent to kill the family member of a particular gang leader, don't expect him to call on you for any jobs in the near future, unless that job is taking yourself out. All told, there are about 15 different storylines for you to follow, so there's potential for you to play through the game multiple times to see life on the other side.

While the fluctuating relationship with the characters sounds worthy enough to be a game on its own, Colors features a rich multiplayer gameplay that promises to be like nothing you've ever played before. In single-player, the money that you earn can be used to purchase weapons and keep yourself equipped sufficiently for any of the missions you encounter. That money has an even greater purpose in multiplayer, however, because it can be used to purchase turf and protection. Essentially, in Colors, multiplayer brings you to a map, courtesy of the Gizmondo's GPS system, of your current actual location in the world. With the right amount of money, you can stake your claim to your neighborhood, and begin setting up homies who will protect your turf when you aren't around to do it yourself. The homies will also begin to produce money for you presumably by doing whatever it is that people do to gain money when they're hanging around on city streets, and you can then go and collect it.

The entire world (or at least as much as the Gizmondo will be able to support) is divided into sections that are approximately 300 square feet. You can buy as much territory as you want, but if anyone near you is playing Colors, and wants to challenge you for the right to your turf, you better be able to put up a fight. The best way to do this is to fill your neighborhood with the aforementioned homies for protection, but you will also be able to take matters into your own hands if you're around when the challenge is issued. Through the Gizmondo, you'll also receive messages alerting you to other people's presence, such as if they've tagged a portion of your turf.

If Gizmondo gets a sufficient install base in cities around the world, this could be a very exciting new method of gameplay, combining both the realistic aspect of dealing only with your environment and the exaggerated violence through which you can protect it in the game. Colors is set to arrive in the United States shortly after the Gizmondo's North American release at the end of this summer.

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