Frame City Killer E3 2005 Impressions

We meet with Namco to get more information on its recently announced action game for the Xbox 360.

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During a recent visit to Namco's E3 booth, we were able to check out a trailer for the recently announced Xbox 360 game Frame City Killer. The trailer shows off a large environment within Frame City that's literally covered in Blade Runner-style billboards and such, which also afforded us a good look at the game's sunglasses-wearing hero, Crow. Although the trailer was impressive, it didn't really contain much information about the kind of gameplay you can look forward to in Frame City Killer, so we tracked down Lin Leng, associate product marketing manager at Namco, to see what else he could tell us about the game.

You'll assume the role of Crow, a secret agent charged with locating and eliminating a terrorist and drug lord named Khan in the year 2047. Since Crow's techniques are a little unorthodox, and because the police in Frame City can't be trusted in any way, you'll have very few friends in the city. Consequently, you'll want to avoid attracting attention to yourself whenever you make a hit. What this means in gameplay terms is that once you've been assigned a target (you'll have to kill numerous bad guys before you can get to Khan), you'll want to spend some time studying his or her movements before you go in for the kill.

The amount of time you'll need to spend studying your targets isn't clear at this point, but you'll basically be stalking and observing them as they go about their daily routines, which might include jogging in the morning, going to work, grabbing a coffee, and more. Once you've got a good idea of your targets' daily movements, you'll need to decide on the best (or perhaps just the most satisfying) way to eliminate them. Sniper rifles, melee attacks, and cars when they're crossing the street were all listed as examples during our meeting, suggesting you'll have a lot of freedom to experiment. The time of day at which you decide to assassinate your targets will obviously impact your success, since different areas of the city will be busy at different hours.

Quite how Frame City will be mapped out isn't clear at this point, but we were told that the city will comprise multiple areas, such as a downtown district and slums that you'll unlock as you progress through the game. Perhaps the game will employ a similar system to that used in the Grand Theft Auto games.

Frame City Killer is being developed using the Unreal 3 engine, and it will take advantage of the Xbox 360's online functionality in some way, even though it's a single-player game. We'll bring you more information on Frame City Killer as soon as it becomes available.

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