Psygnosis Airlifts for G Police Preview

Guests got their hands on the G Police controls at a laser beam-decorated helicopter hangar.

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Psygnosis helicoptered game journalists and guests across San Francisco Bay to its "secret headquarters" last Thursday, to preview G Police, a new 3-D action shooter.

Once on terra firma inside a hangar at the Oakland Airport, guests were given a tour of the game - a fairly dizzying combination of arcade-style flight sim, shooter, and strategy - starring a futuristic hoverjet-craft called a HAVOC. The demo was awash with fog, laser beams and sushi.

Odd theatrics aside, the game boils down to aerial dogfights in a fairly clean and generic skyscraper environment. The player maneuvers his gunship with what appear to be a complex set of controls, to accomplish 35 missions in more than 50 Logan's Run-style domed cities – a concept that also handily limits the area of gameplay. The HAVOC itself is a fast and nimble craft, stocked with a staggering assortment of weaponry.

Many missions involve dogfight-style combat with other fighter craft in and amongst the buildings, a scenario rich with multiplayer possibilities. Unfortunately, G Police is a single-player-only game. The impressive weaponry and explosive effects make up for that shortcoming, though.

Among the five elaborately-named missiles is the Henschel Starburst Dispersion Missile, which releases a pod containing six mini-missiles, and the lethal Henschel HS38 Firestreak. Designers have varied the explosions to suit the weapons – some have miniature mushroom clouds, others have rippling shock waves.

The contained environment seems designed to encourage collateral damage – the player can gleefully unleash hellfire down upon the traffic below, picking off motorcycles and cars with 1,000-pound bombs. Despite repeated assaults, however, buildings seem to remain intact.

While the graphics are smooth and fast – especially when running with a 3Dfx card (used at the preview) - it's too early to say whether or not the gameplay will grow tiresome after a few missions.

Players will know for sure this October, when G Police is released simultaneously for PC and PlayStation.

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