E3 06: Fatal Intertia Updated Impressions

We check out an extended trailer of Koei's futuristic racer for the PlayStation 3.


Fatal Inertia EX

LOS ANGELES--Earlier today we paid a visit to Koei's E3 booth and were disappointed not to find a playable version of Fatal Inertia for the PlayStation 3 there. What we did find, though, was a lengthy trailer for the game that included plenty of in-game footage and brief looks at some features that we weren't previously aware of.

Set in the 22nd century, Fatal Inertia is a fast-paced racing game in which gravity-defying craft race not on carefully constructed circuits but through natural-looking landscapes that are dotted with checkpoints and weapon pickup points. The rolling demo of the game showed races around a dark mountainous region with lava flows, through a dusty canyon, and along a river that wound its way through a dense jungle. The environments were nicely detailed, and effects such as water and dust kicking up as the craft flew overhead really were the icing on the cake.

The race checkpoints in each location took the form of large archways that you'll be required to fly through, while the weapon pickups appeared as large glowing balls hovering just above ground level. Detailed information on the game's pickups arsenal hasn't been made available to us at this time, but in the rolling demo we saw missiles, speed boosts, smoke screens, some kind of cluster bomb, and what appeared to be a magnet of some kind--perhaps something that could be used to slingshot past an opponent in front of you. We saw "the player" in the rolling demo locking onto enemies with a translucent red targeting reticle before firing and also witnessed the player craft coming under attack from some quite aggressive-looking opponents.

All of the tracks we saw in the demo afforded the racers plenty of room to fly around in, and although the correct route through the environment looked to be quite obvious, we noticed that illuminated arrow signs had been places in some areas. A small map in the lower left corner of the screen also made it quite clear which was the way forward, and it also included icons detailing the locations of checkpoints and opponents.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the rolling demo was the craft customization screen, which was shown for just long enough to give us an idea of how versatile it will be. You'll be able to customize your craft's appearance and performance by swapping out parts such as the wings, the cockpit, the spoiler, the nose, and the tail. Custom paint jobs will also be available for those of you who like to look good.

Koei Canada's Fatal Inertia is currently scheduled for release alongside the PlayStation 3 hardware in November. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game just as soon as it becomes available.

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