E3 06: Bomberman Act: Zero Preshow Report

Hudson's classic action puzzle series takes on a fierce new look on the Xbox 360.

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Bomberman, Hudson's adorably destructive mascot, has been providing fans with solid multiplayer puzzle action for years, and now he's making his way onto the Xbox 360. It might've been all fun and games in the past, but in Bomberman Act: Zero, everyone's favorite demolitionist is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore.

Bomberman Act: Zero will give the classic Bomberman gameplay of running around a maze and dropping time-delayed bombs to clear new paths and destroy your enemies a dark new purpose, taking place in a bleak alternate future where potential Bombermen are imprisoned in an underground facility, suited up with potent battle armor, and trained to be vicious warriors. In an effort to determine which of these postapocalyptic gladiators has what it takes to be the perfect weapon, they're pitted against each other in an all-or-nothing fight to the death. Bomberman's no chump, though, and he makes it his mission to escape this vicious cycle by detonating his way through 99 mazelike levels.

It's a radical aesthetic departure from what you might've come to expect from a Bomberman game, and Act: Zero also promises to literally put a new perspective on the franchise by giving you a less omniscient view of the battlefield, which makes it that much harder to avoid your opponents' deadly munitions. While past Bomberman games have been predicated upon one-hit kills, you'll have a life bar to fall back on this time around, as well hidden items that can enhance your already-sturdy exterior and give you some tactically advantageous new abilities. Making everything explode can be OK when you're on your own, but Bomberman is arguably at his best with live opponents to compete with, and Act: Zero will scratch that multiplayer itch with Xbox Live support for up to eight players. Plus there will be a worldwide ranking system, and the ability to customize your avatar's color, armor type, and perhaps most interestingly of all, gender.

Bomberman Act: Zero has thus far been announced exclusively for the Xbox 360, and his fuse is set to go off this summer.

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