Death by Degrees confirmed

[UPDATE] Death by Degrees, which stars the Tekken series' Nina Williams, is confirmed for both North America and Europe. First screens inside.

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Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has today confirmed that it will release Death by Degrees in Europe during the first quarter of 2005. Previously known as Nina in Japan, the third-person action game will see players assuming the role of assassin Nina Williams while playing out the events that led to her entering the Tekken series' first Iron Fist Tournament.

In addition to many of the same unarmed fighting skills that Nina employs in the Tekken games, players will have access to an arsenal of weapons that includes a selection of guns and swords. Combat moves will be performed using the right analog stick, and, as they progress through the game, players will gain experience points, in addition to unlocking new moves and techniques. Nina will also have a "focus gauge" that, once it's been built up, can be used to execute a special "critical hit" attack, which offers an X-ray view of an enemy's body and allows her to specifically target internal organs.

Stealth will also have a part to play in Death by Degrees, and Nina will have the ability to hide behind walls and columns when combat is a less-desirable option. Players will also be able to collect fingerprints from enemies using a scanner, and then they can use the prints to gain access to secret doors and secure areas. A number of other characters from the Tekken series will make guest appearances in the game, including Heihachi and Nina's sister Anna.

The game's story mode will comprise more than 140 rooms to explore, and Namco estimates that the game will take a minimum of 20 hours to play. Other gameplay options on offer will include challenge mode, Anna mode, sniper mode, hover-camera mode, and puzzle mode.

Namco has also confirmed that it plans to release Death by Degrees in North America toward the end of this year. For more on the game, you might be interested in checking out its official Japanese Web site which, among other things, contains galleries of thumbnail-sized in-game screenshots.

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