Summary: There's a new tin can in town, and his name is Glitch. He's all about heavy metal, and his arch-nemesis is General Corrosion. We're talking about Metal Arms, the upcoming shooting platformer for Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. We got to play through a work-in-progress version, and today we bring you our hands-on impressions.
From what we can make of it thus far, the story is your typical Big Evil Guy trying to take over the world and the Lone Underdog Hero is trying to put a stop to him and his Ingenious Evil Plan. You play Glitch, a rather unassuming and harmless looking bi-ped, and it’s your job to save the inhabitants of Iron Star from the clutches of General Corrosive and his minions.
We got to play through a couple preview levels that gave us a good idea of what to expect from Metal Arms when it ships for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube later this year.
Glitch in the System
The objectives of both demo stages we played were simple – to reach the goal. Of course, along the way are numerous robot minions that are looking to turn you into scrap metal. Thankfully, Glitch has a pair of hands and opposable thumbs to go along with them. The right hand holds guns (right shoulder button to fire) and the southpaw handles secondary items such as grenades (left shoulder button to throw). Two face buttons are devoted to cycling through weapons, similar to the setup found in Metal Gear Solid. The two other buttons are used for actions and jumping. Controlling Glitch works just as if it were a first person shooter with the left analog thumb stick used for movement and the left analog thumb stick for aiming.
Swingin' Ape Studios
Vivendi Universal Games
Xbox, GC, PS2
Glitch can also hop into vehicles to use them for both combat and transport. Even vehicles not meant to be used for pure combat can be offensive weapons. For example, a loader vehicle normally used for moving heavy items is perfect for grabbing enemy robots and flinging them away.
Glitch in the R&D Labs
The first level we checked out was the R&D Lab. You pass by a locked door with a floating hologram of a chip, signaling what is needed before you can go through. Throughout this level, Glitch gets to use his “Control Tether” to possess others to go do his dirty work. After working your way through part of the level to obtain the door chip, you then fight your way past a series of ramps and catwalks. Eventually, you find a switch to activate that sends down a massive drill bit, which is big enough for Glitch to walk on the threads to reach the goal. The R&D Lab was an elaborate find-the-key-and-hit-the-switch level.
Glitch in the Ruins
The second level brought us to the Ruins, which played more like a straight-forward shooter. You must go from beginning to end and blast everything in your way. No chips, no switches, just guns – lots of guns. Here, you’ll be happy to be armed with grenades, rocket launchers, and a ricocheting-razor blade just like the Razorjack from Unreal. You’ll even get a scope that you can attach to one of your guns for some sniper action. If handheld weapons aren’t enough, Glitch can jump behind a turret for extra firepower. Certain moments from this level remind us of the Max missions from MDK2.
SIDEBAR: Remember the Shiny game Messiah? That game let you possess other characters as well. There’s nothing quite like a little cherub baby suddenly taking control of a prostitute.
With a little additional polish, Metal Arms: Glitch in the System could be one of the shinier third person shooting platformers to be shipping during the fourth quarter of 2003. It'll be a busy Holiday for robots with both Glitch and Clank (of Ratchet and Clank fame) going at it, but gamers can always learn a thing or two from gun-toting robots (I know I have). Until then, feast your eyes on these screenshots!
SIDEBAR: Both Glitch in the System and Ghost in the Shell share the same acronym. Isn’t that kind of creepy? Okay, not really, but we really dig GitS: Stand Alone Complex.
|© Copyright 2003 FS Media, Inc.|