Paramount releasing free <i>Sky Captain</i> game

Downloadable movie tie-in will treat players to retro-sci-fi aerial combat, online tournament.

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Sky Captain: Flying Legion Air Combat Challenge
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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow isn't scheduled to hit movie theaters until September, but the promotional push for the movie is well under way. The latest form of this came today, when Paramount released a free, downloadable game based on Sky Captain, Flying Legion Air Combat Challenge, and announced a tournament in which the winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to see the premiere of the movie in London.

The game, which is available at http://www.skycaptain.com, puts you at the controls of a P-40 Warhawk, the same type of plane flown by actor Jude Law's character in the movie. Players will have immediate access to the first three levels in the game, but the fourth and final level is unavailable until the tournament.

Contestants register for the Air Combat Challenge when they download the game. They'll have five weeks to practice before the tournament begins on August 2. The three-week-long tournament will then follow. In each level, players must destroy the robotic enemies while flying laps around the course. Players will not be able to play head-to-head, but points are awarded for the quickest time and the most enemies killed.

You'll also earn credits as you play the game, which you can reinvest back into your Warhawk by upgrading certain components, such as the engine, wings, and weapons. You can also customize the look of your plane by selecting from a variety of body and nose art.

Flying Legion Air Combat Challenge will run on both Windows and Mac platforms. You'll need a PC running Windows Me, 2000, or XP, with at least a 1.2GHz CPU. The Mac version requires OSX 10.3 and a 1.25GHz processor. Both versions require a 512MB RAM and a 64MB video card, such as a Radeon or GeForce-level card. You must be at least 13 to participate in the tournament.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow will open on September 17 and stars Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Giovanni Ribisi. All of the film's sets were computer generated, and the actors filmed all their scenes in front of blue screens, a first for a major Hollywood motion picture. The game's developer, Blitz DS, was given access to the same digital files used in the creation of the movie.

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