Raw Danger First Impressions
We meet with Agetec and get our first look at its previously unannounced survival adventure game for the PlayStation 2.
Currently scheduled for release in February, Raw Danger is the sequel to 2003's Disaster Report, in which you assumed the role of a newspaper reporter attempting to rescue survivors in a city that has been torn apart by an earthquake. The premise of Raw Danger is similar in so much as you'll be attempting to survive and make yourself useful in the wake of a natural disaster. But on this occasion, it's a flood that you'll have to overcome, and you'll get to do so walking in the presumably quite-moist shoes of at least six playable characters. During a recent meeting with Agetec, we had an opportunity to see some of those characters in action in a near-finished version of the game, and we're pleased to report that we came away feeling quite intrigued by a number of its features.
The first gameplay sequence that we got to see was taken from the beginning of the game, at which time you'll be playing as a college senior named Joshua Harwell who's working as a waiter in a banquet hall. The hall has already become flooded when the game gets underway, and while you're trying to escape, you'll have the option to assist one of your fellow students (and a potential love interest) to safety. One of the most interesting gameplay mechanics that we got to see in play was the way that you'll slow down (and ultimately die, presumably) as you get cold and/or wet, which happens at an accelerated rate if you're walking around in wet clothes. There are various ways to combat your dropping body temperature, including standing close to heaters, changing into dry and warmer clothing that you find, and eating warm food for a buff effect.
Escaping from the banquet hall required some well-timed movements on Joshua's part as he overcame fast-moving water, narrow ledges, a loose fixture that was swinging close to head height, and other hazards. After making it out of the banquet hall safely, you'll be afforded some degree of freedom to explore the flooded city. During our demo, we witnessed Joshua finding and putting to good use a jet ski, but since we weren't allowed anywhere near the controller on this occasion, we can't comment on its handling. We can tell you that the jet ski was used in an impressive set piece, though, in which Joshua had to race across a flooded bridge before it was completely destroyed by a tidal wave. Other vehicles in the game will include a number of different rafts and a taxi cab.
After playing through Joshua's story, you'll have opportunities to play through those of other characters, and one of Raw Danger's most interesting features is undoubtedly the way that your actions in one storyline can affect any that you play through subsequently. The most basic way that this is implemented is through a non-player character that you're able to give items to so he can hold onto them until later, when you, or another of your characters, might need them. There are plenty of other, far less obvious situations in which the actions of one character will affect another, and it's unlikely that you'll spot most of them on your first play-through until it's too late. When playing as Joshua, for example, a policeman will ask you if you've seen another of the game's playable characters--an escaped prisoner. Without giving away too much, your response to that question has the potential to make things easier for you in the short term, but more difficult for another character later on.
Based on what we've seen of Raw Danger so far, it certainly isn't a game that's going to win any awards for its visuals, but there's every chance that its unique gameplay will make it well worth a look. We look forward to bringing you more information on Raw Danger as soon as it becomes available.
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