Vectorman Impressions

Sega resurrects its robotic hero for a new action game on the PlayStation 2.

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We recently had a chance to check out a brief playable demo of Vectorman, a new action game based on the character introduced back in the Sega Genesis days. The development team at Pseudo Interactive has constructed a third-person shooter filled with plenty of action. Special attention has been paid to the game's physics engine and level interactivity, which come into play in several different ways over the course of the game. For example, Vectorman can shoot out ledges underneath enemies, making them easy targets as they fall to the ground. In addition, Vectorman can pick up various objects in the environment, such as crates or even pieces of a defeated enemy, and use them as weapons.

Vectorman will have a wide array of weaponry at his disposal throughout the game. We got to see the chaingun, flamethrower, grenades, sticky bombs, and force hammer, which doesn't actually do any damage to enemies, but instead pushes them back great distances. Vectorman will also be able to change into different vehicles, but this has not been implemented in the E3 version of the game.

Interestingly, Vectorman is also equipped with a grappling hook that he can use on specially designated surfaces in the environment. Since the levels in the game will be quite large, this particular item will come in handy for discovering hidden places or getting a tactical advantage on enemies--though, it's worth noting that the enemies in the game are reasonably smart and will also try to shoot out ledges from under Vectorman's feet.

Just to give an example of how extensive the game's AI is, even the innocent worker robots will react differently depending on how Vectorman treats them. If he starts shooting at them, they'll attempt to retaliate by firing their relatively weak weapons. Otherwise, they'll just go about their business and attempt to repair any vehicles or machinery that has been destroyed in the environment.

It was quite apparent that the game was early, especially since the level that will be shown at E3 was built specifically for the show. Most of what is in the demo is simply there to give an idea of where Pseudo Interactive is going with the game, as many of the major features (like two-player cooperative gameplay) have yet to be implemented. Vectorman is currently scheduled for release on the PlayStation 2 in spring 2004.

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