TGS 2002: Hands-onMuzzle Flash

JVC is working on a military-themed shooter with online support via Xbox Live.

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Microsoft is displaying a multiplayer shooter with Xbox Live support, called Muzzle Flash, at its booth here at the Tokyo Game Show. The game is a military-themed third-person shooter with a deathmatch mode for up to eight players via Microsoft's Xbox Live service.

While the game will feature a single-player campaign, multiplayer was the focus of the TGS demo, and the game was running on two linked kiosks. The game mode was a simple deathmatch, with two players trying to gun each other down. You'll have a primary assault weapon as well as a pistol and grenades. Reloading must be done manually, and it takes some time, so finding cover is a must. One issue we saw in the game's current state is its speed. While the demo video running next to the game showed the characters running around at what would seem like normal speed for a multiplayer shooter of this type, the running version of the game barely moved half as quickly. Even side rolls, accomplished by double-tapping the analog stick to either side, took forever to complete. Also, aiming doesn't seem terribly precise, since you're given a large targeting circle to work with, rather than a smaller set of crosshairs or other sort of aiming device. The circle's large size makes it difficult to determine if your shots will actually hit their mark.

Graphically, the game's models and level textures looked passable, but the Xbox has certainly seen better graphics over the past year. Muzzle Flash is currently scheduled to hit Japanese shelves in January, but representatives for Microsoft's US Xbox interests told GameSpot that it wouldn't be released in North America.

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