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PC Preview - Beam Breakers

by Patrick on April 24, 2002 @ 1:06 a.m. PDT

Beam Breakers is set in a futuristic New York City. Players race a variety of high-speed flying vehicles through 3D environments. The game features an advanced 3D physics engine that supports realistic damage modeling. It includes more than 30 vehicles with different attributes, a detailed game environment complete with skyscrapers, moving traffic, and authentic landmarks, and five different factions.
Racing games to me are boring games, where you sit in your car and drive laps one through three, and most levels look the same. Beam Breakers looked just like another futuristic racing game and I didn't expect much from it.

 

The first thing I tried out was the Tutorial game which gives you an introduction how to move your vehicle and such.

The tutorial looked like the 1982 movie TRON (starring Jeff Bridges) which pretty much sucked so I thought "If this is how Beam Breakers will look like, God help me".

Of course nothing could be as wrong as that.Luckily that was only the freaky tutorial.

When choosing the Mission option I was presented with two options. One mission was to steal a car, or a gang race. I didn't do any good on neither one of them but that isn't the point. Now movies like Bladerunner and The Fifth Element came to mind instantly. Whoever came up with this game sure loves sci-fi movies ;)

There are no specific pre-set trajectories you have to follow. You get going at the starting point and you have to get to your objective. You decide by yourself how you want to get there and which way you want to follow. This futuristic New York feels so VERY much alive. You have the traffic jams, faster and slower vehicles, if you drive like a nut people will honk their horns. All you have to do is twist and turn your way around, over or under the obstacles. The flowing traffic on the maps are in layers, meaning if you avoid other traffic by diving under of trying to go over the, you will eventually hit another layer of traffic where the fun starts all over again. The trick here is to avoid slamming into buildings and oncoming traffic since logically the more damage you inflict upon yourself, the worse your car will handle.

Since I failed miserably on both missions I took my time instead of driving through the area, in this case Little Italy. With the nice background music and the scenarios being one of the best I have ever seen in a game I cant wait to get my hands on the final version of this game.

This is absolutely one of the most interesting games I have played so far. The graphics are outstanding, lots of color, tons of cars, pedestrians (who will always jump out of your way when you try to run them over, so no gore in this game as far as we can tell), nice and detailed maps. Very well done!

The full version will include following features:

  • Campaign with 57 missions
  • More than 30 distinct vehicles in five vehicle classes
  • 5 districts: Little Italy, East Village, Chinatown, Harlem, Downtown
  • 5 gangs
  • Survival mode, observation mode
  • Support for up to six multi-players
  • At least 5 racing modes: Taxi, Escape, Race, Challenge Checkpoint and Thief.


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