Hands-onFrom Dusk Till Dawn

We get to slay some zombies in this movie-based game from DreamCatcher Interactive.

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At the DreamCatcher Interactive booth this afternoon, we got a chance to play From Dusk Till Dawn, a PC action-adventure game based on the 1996 action movie that featured George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. The game's story picks up where the movie left off: Seth Gecko is the sole survivor, but he's been sentenced to death and must escape from jail or die. However, there's a problem: The undead haven't gone away and are back. The same prisoners of this very jail are also demonic vampires, and as Seth, players make their escape during a prisoner mutiny and must fight off the deadly bloodsuckers to survive the night.

In the demo we received, we got to play as Seth, who is controlled from the third-person perspective. The first thing we noticed was that Seth bore quite a similarity to George Clooney. The basic weapon we used in this demo was a laser-sighted automatic pistol; the laser sight helps target the zombies' heads; zombies can't be killed unless they're shot in the head. Shooting a zombie in the arm won't stop it, as the arm will simply grow back. Shooting a zombie in the head causes it to fall to the ground, after which Seth can finish with off with a special attack that uses the game's in-engine animation. He basically swings his left arm up and forward, then lunges down on the zombie's body with a special knife to deliver a blow that vaporizes the zombie's body. Some of the weapons not shown in the demo appear later in the game. In the demo, we also got a temporary sidekick zombie who was the only "person" who could open the door to the next adventuring area, so we spent much of this demo using the laser sight, killing zombies, and protecting our invaluable sidekick.

As with many third-person games, the perspective made controlling the character and action a bit difficult. Sometimes Seth would get stuck in a wall while running around tight corners; when this happened, we weren't able to see what was happening in front of us or behind us. This type of problem seems widespread in many third-person games. In fact, From Dusk Till Dawn uses a modified version of the engine that powered another of Cryo Interactive's adventure games, The Devil Inside , and this stage of development, it has a few camera angle problems that The Devil Inside had. Perhaps developer Cryo Interactive will resolve some of the issues before the game's released this winter. On a positive note, the developers have included real-time 3D shadows and more particle effects to make the atmosphere more convincing, and so far, the graphics look pretty good.

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