First Details: Zombie's Shrapnel
Zombie president Mark Long gives us the first details on a new action game currently in the works at the offices of the Seattle-based developer.
Earlier this week, we mentioned that Spec Ops developer Zombie had been bought by Advanced Interactive Systems, a manufacturer of professional law-enforcement simulators, for an undisclosed price. In the news story, we told you of an unknown game based on a comic book that's currently in development at Zombie.
Mark Long, Zombie cofounder and president, called GameSpot News to elaborate on the details behind this new title. The game is called Shrapnel, and it's being codeveloped by Jim Lee's Wildstorm Comics. Long said that the game's plot will involve an alien invasion of Earth by bug-like creatures. While details are still sketchy, Shrapnel's story will unfold with these bug/aliens colonizing the dark side of the moon, eventually moving it closer to Earth to alter the planet's weather cycles and overall climate, thus making it more suitable for an invasion. You'll play as a member of a resistance pocket on Earth and use handheld weapons and land- and air-based vehicles to fight off the alien aggressors in a game that combines the action of Tribes with Crazy Taxi's detailed environments and free-roaming gameplay, according to Long.
As part of an agreement with Zombie, Wildstorm Comics will release a Shrapnel comic book just before the game's launch to generate hype and interest in the series. Tommy Yune, who's worked in the art department of San Diego-based Presto Studios in the past, will oversee the art direction of both the game and comic book. According to Long, the decision to sign Yune was an easy one, as his style is a perfect blend of classic anime and the detailed realism so prolific in Wildstorm and Image comic books.
Long expects development on Shrapnel to last "between 12 and 16 months," placing the game's release date around late spring 2001. Don't expect the game to make an appearance at E3, but we'll be bringing you additional coverage of Shrapnel in the future.
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