E3 2001 Hands-onGiants: Citizen Kabuto
We play the PS2 port of Giants.
The Planet Moon Studios-developed Giants: Citizen Kabuto was received very well by the PC gaming community when it was released late last year. Interplay's subsequent announcement of a PS2 port came as a surprise to no one.
Playable for the first time at this year's E3, Giants has gotten the full console-port treatment. The game's interface has been touched up, and the controls have been adjusted to accommodate a standard console controller. Various elements have been added to the game's levels in order to make the action more constant--the idea being that constant action will directly correlate with satisfactory penetration into the console market.
The PS2 version will provide players with access to only the PC game's single-player campaign. In it, players will eventually align themselves with each entity that inhabits Island--the mysterious, solitary planetoid on which the game is set. They consist of the meccs, a crew of small spacemen who've crashed on Island; delphi, an estranged member of a seafaring race native to Island; and Kabuto, a thorned behemoth. Another of Island's native races--small, simple creatures called smarties--plays a variety of roles throughout the game.
Each "character's" missions will be different, to reflect the abilities of each. Playing as the meccs will treat you to an almost RTS-like experience. You'll have to rally the scattered members of your crew early on and mobilize Island's smarties to build you weapons and a variety of other gadgets. Playing as Kabuto, on the other hand, will call for a more heavy-handed approach. He's huge and savage, and he's equipped with a variety of attacks appropriate to a creature of his size. His missions involve much smashing, and he hurls smarties at his enemies or eats them in order to heal his injuries. Delphi is a much more sophisticated character. She uses a variety of magic spells, swords, and bows to achieve victory.
In the PS2 version, much more cannon fodder now populates Island, in the form of stronger versions of its naturally occurring fauna. In tandem with a host of smaller tweaks--such the meccs' ability to cycle through entire arsenals by means of the shoulder buttons--this serves to make the PS2 version of Giants relatively twitch-oriented, when compared with the PC version.
The game was in a pretty bare graphical state, when we saw it. We spoke with some of the members of the development team, however, and they made it clear that they've been focusing on refining the game's play mechanics for the console platform, rather than on optimizing its visual presentation. Technically speaking, though, the characters are built with more polys than the PC version's. This seems to indicate some foresight on the part of the team, so we wouldn't be surprised if the PS2 version of Giants ends up being visually strong.
We'll have more on the PS2 version of Giants for you very soon.
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