E3 2002: Lethal Skies PS2 preshow report

Sammy is bringing Sidewinder F to the US, and it'll be at E3.


Lethal Skies Elite Pilot: Team SW

Released last December in Japan as Sidewinder F, Lethal Skies is the US version of Sammy's flight sim shooter, which is in the same vein as Ace Combat. While the game's control may be realistic and complex, the world of Lethal Skies features quite a bit of fantasy. In the alternate future depicted in the game, the world has suffered from increasing levels of global warming, causing the polar ice caps to melt, thus submerging many of the coastal centers of modern civilizations. New York City's skyline barely peeks out from under the ocean's depths, and the inhabitants of Washington DC have fled underground. Taking advantage of the situation, and causing the good people of the world endless grief, is the World Order Reorganization Front, which is launching strategic strikes against the remnants of civilized Earth from its floating fortress. As a crack pilot on the International Alliance's elite Team SW, you've been ordered to seek and destroy, taking down WORF at any cost.

You'll be able to pilot 13 different aircraft, including versions of the popular F-14s and F-18s, and arm them to the teeth with a wide variety of different armaments, such as air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. Some weapons will be laser-guided, some will be radar-guided, and some will rely on pilot accuracy for results. The game's controls are deep and relatively complex--you'll control your plane's pitch, roll, yaw, thrust, and weaponry, with the ability to choose between the a number of different perspectives, including various third-person views and a first-person cockpit view.

While there are a number of missions to encounter, each traversing an increasingly more dangerously inhabited area, you won't be alone in the fight. When you select your armaments, you'll also choose the AI routines that you want your wingmen to operate under, as well as what types of weapons they'll be using.

We'll be checking out Lethal Skies on the E3 show floor, and we'll be sure to bring you hands-on impressions.

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