Heroes on the Move Updated Impressions

We bowled, threw a Frisbee, and busted open some robotic heads with a ray gun in Nihilistic’s heroic character mash-up.

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If you’ve ever wondered what some of Sony’s most iconic video game heroes might do if they were thrown together in a development mishmash, then wonder no more. Heroes on the Move takes characters like Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper and Bentley, and gives them a colourful world full of Move-enabled minigames to play in. We hopped by Sony’s booth at Gamescom to take a look at the freshly unveiled game modes and size up how well the motion controls work.

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Heroes on the Move will contain a variety of different game modes, though we were shown only four of them at the show: Gun Control, Bowling, Disk, and Melee. Each uses a different gameplay mechanic and motion controls, which can be applied to different levels in the game. Gun Control is a third-person shooter-style mode, which is controlled using Move and the Navigation Controller. The thumbstick moves your character, while the pointer handles strafing and aiming. In the level we were shown, Clank had to destroy towers by collecting crystals, which were dropped by destroyed enemies. The level was timed, so the more towers Clank destroyed in the time limit, the greater the score. A nice touch was the inclusion of the light on the Move controller, which gradually turned red as Clank’s gun heated up, letting you know to ease off the trigger. At the end of each level you’re awarded a bronze, silver, or gold medal based on your performance.

Bowling and Disk are projectile modes, which require you to destroy robotic heads scattered across a level. In bowling you throw a futuristic-looking ball using a bowling motion and attempt to hit enemies. The ball can be controlled after it has been thrown by tilting the Move controller sideways. By navigating the ball through glowing power rings along its path, you also earn extra time and bonus points. Disk works on a similar principle; you throw a metal Frisbee-like disk using a throwing motion and then control the disk in the air by tilting the Move controller.

The final mode we saw was Melee, which is similar to Gun Control, only this time you’re armed with a short-range melee weapon. In the level we saw, Sly Cooper was armed with his trademark staff, which he used to destroy enemies. His task was to collect orbs scattered around the level and bring them back to a central location. The more orbs you throw in at once, the more points you get. However, holding out for higher scores means more enemies attack you at once, making it difficult to get them back to the scoring zone.

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With more than 40 missions, several gameplay modes, and characters yet to be revealed, we’re expecting to hear a lot more about Heroes on the Move soon. There’s also a storyline, which was briefly mentioned in our presentation, involving a well-known villain from one of Sony’s games. Though many of the gameplay modes will appeal to casual players, developer Nihilistic seems keen to keep hardcore players entertained with the inclusion of shooting and melee combat. Heroes on the Move is due out in 2011 on the PlayStation 3. Look out for coverage from Cologne over on our Gamescom hub.

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