Trauma Center: Under the Knife E3 2005 Hands-On

We operate on an accident victim using a stylus as we check out this unusual action game for the DS.

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During a recent visit to Nintendo's E3 booth, we were able to get hands-on with a playable demo of Trauma Center: Under the Knife on the Nintendo DS. The demo saw us assuming the role of a junior surgeon at Hope Hospital, where an accident victim was in urgent need of help, and the only surgeon available to operate was us.

The operation appeared to be one of the first that you'll perform in the game, since there was a nurse on-hand giving us instructions and introducing us to the different equipment at our disposal at all times. The victim's complaints included infected cuts and broken glass both underneath and protruding from his skin. The top DS screen was devoted to our ongoing text-based conversation with the nurse, as well as to a countdown clock that let us know how long we had to save the patient's life.

The touch screen was where we actually performed the operation, and by tapping small icons down the sides of the screen, we were able to turn our stylus into around 10 different instruments, including a scalpel, tweezers, a needle, and swabs used to apply various disinfectants and lotions. The operation itself essentially amounted to a series of minigames, such as drawing stitches over lacerations and using tweezers to extract pieces of glass. Although this appeared to be a tutorial level, the time limit we were up against was actually pretty tight, and we're sorry to report that the patient didn't pull through on our first attempt. We managed to save him the second time, though, and were awarded a C grade (rookie doctor) for our performance.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife is currently scheduled for release in North America toward the end of this year. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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