Pariah Impressions - E3 2004

We take a look at the upcoming PC and Xbox shooter from Digital Extremes at E3 2004.


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Canadian studio Digital Extremes was on hand at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles to show off its upcoming Xbox and PC first-person shooter, Pariah. The game will be powered by a heavily modified version of Unreal technology--technology with which Digital Extremes is extremely familiar, being the longtime collaborator of Epic Games and codeveloper of the original Unreal Tournament.

Pariah will be a far-future sci-fi game with both a story-driven single-player game and a full suite of multiplayer options, including such modes as deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, and front-line assault--a goal-based mode in which an attacking team must capture and hold specific control points to push back the defending team's front line. The single-player game casts you as a world-weary doctor who must recover an infected patient, a young woman named Karina, from Earth--though this version of Earth is a barren prison colony for violent criminals administered by equally violent prison guards. Your ship crash-lands on the planet, and you find yourself marooned in no man's land--you must somehow rescue your ward and escape the planet alive. Doing so will require you to avoid the conflict between prisoners and guards wherever possible and make use of the game's sleek futuristic arsenal to defend yourself when stealth isn't an option.

We saw a few different environments from the single-player game, which takes place in and around the prison colony on Earth, often through curved corridors bounded by steel gratings and guardrails. In the single-player game, Karina follows you about and provides you with hints on what you must do next to proceed (though you must keep her alive or fail your mission entirely). We also saw a few multiplayer maps in action--these included a waterlogged basement composed of tight corridors with drums of volatile fuel floating in undulating waves of waist-deep water. We also watched a front-line assault map take place in an autumnal mountain valley lined with rows of deciduous trees that periodically shed handfuls of fluttering leaves. This and other multiplayer maps will feature one or more of the game's six multiplayer vehicles, which will include three grounded vehicles and three hovering vehicles--the game will also feature one-player vehicles and team-based vehicles that can be used by as many as two or four players. And taking a cue from the Unreal Tournament series, the game's multiplayer modes may be played offline with computer-controlled "bot" enemies.

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