ECTS 2001: First look: Incoming Forces

Rage shows off its follow-up to Incoming, which pushes the envelope with spectacular PC graphics.

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Rage Software's Incoming was a great-looking game, and the developer has spent the last three years ensuring that Incoming Forces has visuals that are comparably even more advanced. The game will take advantage of a number of the powerful capabilities of the latest generation of GeForce3 and Radeon 8500 graphics cards, including dazzling particle-based explosions, layered terrain textures, and impressive water effects, like reflective rippling water. The engine smoothly zooms down to a level where you can see the 3,000 or so polygons that make up the foot soldiers and the soft shadows cast in real-time by units. Fortunately for those without a $400 graphics card, the engine will also gracefully scale the graphics down for more mainstream cards to look pretty similar but at a lower level of detail.

Beyond the pretty visuals, there's a lot more of the fast-paced sci-fi shooter gameplay that characterized the first game. In Incoming Forces, you've switched roles to control the aliens who are now retreating under a persistent assault by the human armies. There are 10 playable vehicles, including three sizes of tank and a range of aircraft, all of which include fighters, gunships, bombers, and a morph craft that smoothly transforms between a fighter and tank. You can also man the static base defenses. Incoming Forces tries to bring more variety to the solo campaign, stretching its 16 missions across four alien worlds and giving each mission multiple story-based objectives. There'll be opportunity to not only defend your bases from human attacks, but also strike back on your own offensives.

Incoming Forces' long development cycle is finally coming to a close. The game should hit stores next February.

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