Haunted Mansion Hands-On Impressions

TDK is working on a game loosely based on the popular Disney attraction and the upcoming film.

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TDK was showing an early build of the PlayStation 2 version of Haunted Mansion, the game based on the upcoming film and Disney attraction of the same name. At the beginning of the game, you'll enter the mansion as a character equipped with a lantern. This lantern can be used to shoot at hostile ghosts, and it can also be used to capture them--in a somewhat similar fashion to Luigi's vacuum in Luigi's Mansion. However, capturing ghosts is easier said than done.

Not only do you have to fend them off when they come through the walls and attack your character, but you also have to look for the ghosts that can be captured. To do this you have to search chairs, bookshelves, tables, and other objects in the environment--if you've searched the correct item, a ghost will fly out. It's also worth mentioning that you actually have to find the light switch for a particular room before being able to capture wandering ghosts. When you're all done collecting the spirits in a particular room, you can move on to the next.

Not all of the gameplay in Haunted Mansion involves just shooting different creatures and ghosts. One room that we saw had a pretty hard-core platforming element--the main character had to jump from platforms that would form only when he reached certain points in the room. There is also a heavy exploration element that encourages you to look for secret passages that contain special items or power-ups.

There are plenty of references to the ride in the game as well. The loading screens have the paintings from the ride's hallway, which gradually change from something normal into something gruesome (or at least gruesome by Disney's standards). The disembodied head that communicates with spirits in the ride will be your guide throughout the early portions of the game, telling you how to use the lantern and how to proceed through the mansion. The mansion itself has rooms that are based on those found in the ride, but for the most part, the structure seems to be based on the mansion featured in the film.

Haunted Mansion is scheduled for release on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube this October.

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