X-Squad Preview

The game's onscreen display has a radar graphic on the bottom left corner, and the current weapon and ammo is displayed at the bottom right.

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Electronic Arts Square announced X-Fire (pronounced Cross Fire) at the Tokyo Game Show '99 last fall as its first big PlayStation2 project. The game is similar to first-person-shooting games on the PC, such as Quake or Duke Nukem. The difference is that instead of one main character, you control a team consisting of four individuals. You can only control one individual at a time, while the remaining three will move according to your orders, using complex AI routines. After completing each mission, you will be awarded points. You can distribute these points to your characters' status, and you can choose to distribute all the points to one character or divide it among your team members.

The game will include more than 40 minutes of cutscenes. Characters will have voice-overs that feature the talents of Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon), Tesshou Genda (Ryu from Akira), Kotono Mitsuishi (Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion; Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon), and Yuko Miyamura (Asuka Langrey from Neon Genesis Evangelion).

The game's onscreen display has a radar graphic on the bottom left corner, and the current weapon and ammo is displayed at the bottom right. A small pop-up window will appear on the top left when you receive a transmission from one of your team members requesting back-up or requiring your assistance during the course of the mission.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the game has a team of four individuals, a multiplayer game is not being developed. With the absence of the network capability on the PlayStation2 until 2001, perhaps Electronics Arts Square didn't have much of a choice. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see a non-PC first-person shooter on the PS2. X-Fire is scheduled for a release this spring in Japan.

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