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Microsoft Announces Stellar Lineup At E3 - Screens

by Thomas on May 21, 2002 @ 8:52 a.m. PDT

Microsoft highlighted its next wave of highly anticipated titles for the Xbox today to a packed house of journalists and retailers from around the world, as well as cheering game fans, who rattled the rafters in the historic Orpheum Theater. With blockbuster games such as "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic " (LucasArts Entertainment Company), "Brute Force" (Microsoft Game Studios), "NFL Fever 2003" (Microsoft Game Studios), "Unreal Championship" (Infogrames) and "Panzer Dragoon ORTA" (SEGA of America, Inc.), Microsoft previewed its top Xbox games that will be shown at this week’s E3 and available to game fans this holiday season. We added some screens from Kung Fu Chaos, MechAssault and Blinx: The Time Sweeper. Njoy!

UPDATE: More screens added, check them out!

Microsoft also provided a glimpse of its future blockbuster games, including "Project Ego" (Microsoft Game Studios), a groundbreaking role-playing adventure game from Peter Molyneux, in which the player’s every action determines the skills, appearance and morality of the main character. Microsoft also showcased "Ninja Gaiden®" (Tecmo®, Inc.), created by the celebrated developer, Tomonobu Itagaki. The game features the return of character Ryu Hayabusa, a deadly Ninja assassin, in a neoclassic adventure featuring extraordinary new worlds, deadly new weapons, Hollywood-style movies and interactive 3-D environments.

"The pipeline of Xbox games is jammed with new titles in every category," said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox game content at Microsoft. "With 300 Xbox games in development and 200 games slated for the holiday season, gamers will have a mountain of high-quality titles to choose from this year. No other console has ever accomplished these types of numbers in its first year."

Blockbuster Games

Microsoft announced that more than 150 Xbox games will be previewed at this year’s E3. Featured games include the following:

"Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus" is the perfect blend of fighting realism and stunning special effects. "Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus" delivers a classic battle between good and evil as two ancient Chinese clans of superfighters, each seeking to uncover the secrets of immortality, battle for dominance. Hand-to-hand combat is furiously intense with amazingly realistic fighting and stunning special effects. Arenas are highly interactive and destructive. When the fight ends, players will witness the devastation of battle.

"Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge" combines the thrills of low-to-the-ground air combat with the swashbuckling style of an action-adventure movie. Players pilot powerful fantasy aircraft in a game reminiscent of a classic Hollywood tale, as they battle enemy aces and navigate tricky stunts in single- and multiplayer modes. As the handsome and daring air pirate Nathan Zachary, players barnstorm through 1930s America hunting down the murderers of Zachary's best friend.

"Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™" (LucasArts Entertainment Company) presents a deep, engaging story- and character-driven role-playing game (RPG) set 4,000 years prior to the time frame revealed in the "Star Wars" films. The era, unexplored in any previous "Star Wars" game, is dominated by an enduring conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. Developed in conjunction with BioWare Corp., the game will feature customizable male and female heroes, evolving playable characters and dynamic lightsaber combat. It will be available during the holiday season of 2002.

"Brute Force" (Microsoft Game Studios) is an action-packed sci-fi squad-based shooter game that lets players experience the intensity of a shooter game with the cunning strategies of team-based tactical combat. "Brute Force" can be played solo through six worlds in the extensive single-player campaign, or gamers can have as many as three friends jump in on the fly in Dynamic Co-op mode or battle it out in a multitude of competitive death-match modes. It will be available fall 2002.

"NFL Fever 2003" (Microsoft Game Studios) is the award-winning football game for Xbox that takes full advantage of Xbox Live online technology. Easy to pick up and start playing, "NFL Fever 2003" delivers all the action and excitement of the National Football League, allowing gamers to create, play and control their ultimate NFL team. With the opportunity to earn all the accolades and honors of the National Football League, "NFL Fever 2003" challenges hardcore football fans and gamers to be the best in the world. It will be available August 2002.

"Unreal Championship" (Infogrames) provides console gamers with an adrenaline-packed, first-person action experience designed specifically for Xbox and the Xbox controller. Console-specific features such as jump and speed pads, double jump, a high-performance frame rate (60 frames per second), power-ups, unlockable features and more will keep players’ appetites at their peak. It will be available fall 2002.

"Panzer Dragoon™ ORTA" (SEGA® of America, Inc.) takes place in a distant age when a legacy was born that ruled the skies. Dramatic chase battles pit gamers against powerful enemies in high-speed aerial combat. Players will enjoy 10 stages of frantic action featuring Berserk Mode, special attacks to rain destruction upon enemies, and real-time dragon morphing to customize fighting styles. It will be available fall 2002.

Microsoft also showcased several of the 300 games in development and announced a bevy of new games announcements, including the following:

"Blinx: The Time Sweeper" (Microsoft Game Studios). Blinx is one cool, clever cat on a mission to fix glitches in the space-time continuum. This game lets players actually control the flow of time, a feature only possible on Xbox. Gamers can record their actions, play them back and have dual characters cooperate to complete challenges. The game will be available fall 2002.

"Shenmue II" (Microsoft Game Studios). This epic adventure has all the elements of a great movie — drama, mystery, suspense and action — and offers a unique gameplaying experience that seamlessly blends elements of action, adventure, fighting and RPG games. Led by renowned developer Yu Suzuki, the group that developed the smash-hit fighting game "Virtua Fighter" is developing "Shenmue II." The game includes an advanced fighting system with more than 50 punches, kicks, holds and combos: the most developed fighting system for a nonfighting game. It will be available during the holiday season of 2002 in the United States.

"Psychonauts" (Microsoft Game Studios). A wildly surreal action-adventure game in which players use paranormal powers to plunge into the minds of bizarre characters. Players journey deep into crazy worlds of infinite possibility to thwart the secret plan of an evil madman and realize the ultimate dream of joining an elite force of psychic superheroes, the Psychonauts.

Players delve into people's minds as Raz, a powerful young cadet at psychic summer camp. While working on his merit badge in levitation, Raz discovers that someone is kidnapping psychic children and stealing their brains. To foil this evil plot and earn the title of Psychonaut, Raz must project himself into the mind of one bizarre character after another to battle their nightmares and inner demons. He does all this while continuing to earn psychic merit badges in subjects such as telekinesis, clairvoyance and fire-starting.

Features:

  • Blast, think, dodge. Players use cunning wit, paranormal powers and logic to solve twisted puzzles inside other people's minds. Players run, bounce, float, climb, swing, sneak and scoot through this bizarre psychic journey, defeating monsters, lunatics and demons with the Psi-Blast, a mental burst of energy that will banish nightmares.
  • All in the mind? "Psychonauts" is the only game ever to take place in the minds of the insane and the world in which they live. Players will face the fears, neuroses and bizarre thoughts of villains and lunatics - and even see themselves in a new light - as they progress through a twisted, imaginative, colorful and scary yet fun journey.
  • Master the powers of the mind. As the game progresses, constant training will unleash in Raz new powers of teleportation, telekinesis, levitation, fire-starting, prophecy and invisibility. Players will use these in the quest to become a stronger, more dynamic hero and to fulfill Raz's lifelong dream of joining the elite force of Psychonauts.
  • Feature-film quality. Handcrafted animations breathe life into every character. From the sound of sneaking footsteps to the crash of a Psi-Blast, rich sound effects make the worlds come alive. The original soundtrack was recorded to match the action and mood throughout this twisted journey.

"Tork" (Microsoft Game Studios).A furious, fast-paced action game, "Tork" introduces a fearless caveboy hero who uses magical powers to transform himself into a bulldozing yeti, an armor-plated armadillo or a swift flying squirrel on a mission through time.

Evil warriors have upset the balance of order in Tork's village and taken his father away. With his favorite weapon at his side, a bolas that packs a punch, Tork must travel through a variety of worlds on a quest to find his father and complete the journey before the course of history is changed forever.

Features:

  • A bolas-wielding caveboy. Tork fearlessly taunts the biggest, scariest dinosaurs; he uses agility and speed to dodge hails of spears and arrows; and he survives earthquakes, avalanches and spewing lava around every corner with sheer toughness and resolve. Confident and strong, swift on his feet and steadfastly determined, Tork is a courageous caveboy who sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to track down his father. His favorite weapon, a bolas that is always at his side, is swung through the air for a melee attack.
  • Unleashing inner animal spirits. To survive battles and hazards on the long journey, sometimes it pays to look within. When the going gets tough, Tork's magical powers can unleash inner animal spirits that transform him into three super powerful creatures:
    An abominable, bulldozing yeti who bashes walls to create rock slides and power-slams enemies
    An armor-plated armadillo, outfitted with impenetrable shielding, who can tuck up for a cannonball attack
    A swift flying squirrel who glides through the skies and plummets for surprise torpedo attacks
  • Time travel. Tork quickly adapts to new surroundings as he travels from his home in the Stone Age to a fortified castle full of jousting knights in the Medieval Age. He forges on through the Fantastical Age of Machines where enemies use huge lumbering land machines to battle on earth and fantastic submarines to protect underwater fortresses. Tork even visits the surface of a blazing comet for out-of-this-world gameplay.
  • Awe-inspiring worlds. Tork doesn't just stand around and admire the gorgeous environments - these are dangerous places! He encounters earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, dinosaurs, erupting geysers, exploding catapults and more while traveling through the various worlds.

"Kung Fu Chaos" is a quirky brawler game inspired by the '70's Kung Fu movie era. With the outrageous cast of characters in "Kung Fu Chaos," gamers can go head-to-head with up to four of their friends, battling it out on interactive movie sets that add an element of challenge to the mayhem. Players will become completely immersed in the game as they engage in Hong-Kong-style combat with over-the-top gigantic leaps, suicidal stunts and multiple-opponent action - all while unleashing humiliating insults that can be as damaging as the karate kicks themselves. Featuring appropriately themed music tracks, including "Kung Fu Fighting" and the theme from "Enter the Dragon," "Kung Fu Chaos" will hit gamers with a brawler experience packed with fun, competition, and glory - as well as humiliation, insults and back-stabbing!

Features:

  • An incredible cast of characters. "Kung Fu Chaos" features an outrageous cast of eight would-be superstars. Each character has a unique fighting style and signature move, as well as an array of hilarious mistranslated taunts and a repertoire of spectacular special attacks.
  • Combat with a twist. It will take more than just cool moves to win this game. "Kung Fu Chaos" features a combat system with an added twist of humiliation. Gamers can pummel opponents with slick combat moves or power up with taunts that add to the impact. Combat moves are easy to learn but have depth, so experienced gamers can gain new skills and really go to town on their opponents.
  • Diverse "main feature" movie sets. Gamers can battle it out on six diverse movie sets drawn from the traditional Kung Fu movie era as well as contemporary Hollywood blockbusters. Huge animating structures, traveling sets, incidental details and spectacular action sequences are combined to deliver epic battles that are fast-paced, highly competitive and downright comical.
  • Gameplay diversity. Featuring a wide range of single- and multiplayer gameplay modes, seven sets of combat rules, minigames, customizable options, team-play modes and unlockable features, "Kung Fu Chaos" is a pick-up-and-play brawler extravaganza designed for a wide range of gamers.

"MechAssault" lets players pilot the most powerful weapons available in the 31st century, a 40-foot-tall walking tank known as a BattleMech, or 'Mech. In this third-person action/shooter game, environments are not only fully destructible, they're the weapons. Players choose from a dozen 'Mechs - ranging from quick 30-tonners to huge 100-ton beasts - which they configure and optimize to crush their opponents. Gamers can challenge themselves with 20 single-player missions as they prepare for the ultimate multiplayer online experience.

Features:

  • Massive destruction on a whole new level. Every structure, bridge, tower and bus in "MechAssault" is fully destructible. Players can blow away everything in the world bit by bit. Blasting the side of a building exposes rebar, hanging insulation and even enemy snipers! Players even can use the environment against their foes. If they're running low on ammo, they can drop a 20-story building on the infantry and save the firepower for the big guys.
  • A dozen devastating walking tanks. To pilot the most awesome piece of military machinery ever created, players choose from a dozen unique and formidable BattleMechs, each with enough firepower to level a city - literally.
  • Online and split-screen multiplay. "MechAssault" will ship with complete Xbox online and split-screen multiplay capabilities, so gamers can battle friends or enemies over the Internet, taunting the competition or strategizing with a teammate using full voice communication. (Broadband gaming scheduled to go live summer 2002.)
  • Midmission 'Mech upgrades. Premission BattleMech configuration and midmission weapon upgrades allow players to customize the 'Mech chassis to suit their style or mood. They can swap out weapons, outfit their 'Mech with Jump Jets or maximize armor - the choice is theirs.
  • Amazing special effects. Intense, jaw-dropping weapon and damage effects all but demand that the player fire a weapon just to see the effect on the environment. Lasers light up the sky, Particle Projection Cannons electrocute opponents, and magnetically accelerated slugs from the Gauss Rifle are a sight to behold.
  • Dynamic mission-based gameplay. Gamers are given their military objectives by operatives on the ground and must figure out the best way to accomplish them. Players hit the ground running and enjoy the unexpected events turn routine missions into chaotic all-out frag fests.
  • Epic BattleTech storyline. Engaging heroic characters and stories draw upon the rich 15-year BattleTech history. For example, gamers can play as fierce Wolf Dragoon mercenaries and lay the "smackdown" on some unsuspecting pirates.
  • Cinematic storytelling. A mission-based storyline punctuated with cinematic scenes provides key game information and clues, and heightens the drama and importance of events.
  • Awesome audio. "MechAssault" features extensive voice messaging and themed interactive music changes that reflect and drive the pace of the current in-game situation, as well as audio that reflects the current and constantly changing state of events. The audio experience is heightened by the use of Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Project Ego

Product Overview:
In this groundbreaking role-playing adventure game from game designer Peter Molyneux, players' every action determines their character's skills, appearance and morality. The character's life story is created from childhood to death. They can grow from an inexperienced child into the most powerful being in the world, choose the path of righteousness, or dedicate their life to evil. Muscles expand with each feat of strength; force of will increases with each work of wit. Obesity follows gluttony, skin tans with exposure to sunlight and bleaches bone-white by moonlight. Players earn scars in battle and lines of experience with age. Each person they aid, each flower they crush, each creature they slay, will change the world forever. In "Project Ego," gamers decide: "Who will I be?"

Features:

  • Forging a hero based on actions. Heroes age and evolve through the actions players choose and the paths they follow - be it for good, evil or in between. Those who ply the way of the sword will see their muscles bulge. Those who weave the dark arts will witness power crackle at their fingertips. And those who skulk in the shadows will watch their skin bleach.
  • Engaging in intense real-time combat. Players collect battle scars as they duel with cunning foes and deadly creatures. They can master an array of deadly weapons as they hone the art of blade-craft, hunt their quarry using subterfuge and stealth, or weave death from the elements as they harness the dark arts of the arcane.
  • Building a living legend. Through deeds and actions, "Project Ego" players build a name for their character across the land. They can recruit allies and followers, gain glory or notoriety, make friends and enemies, the whole time interacting with a living world of people, places and events all reactive to them.
  • Shaping and exploring a living, evolving world. Players champion or manipulate an ever-changing land with competitive and cooperative heroes, dynamic weather systems, and deformable environments teeming with cultures, creatures, citizens and cities.
  • Honing scores of unique skills and extras. Players master new abilities and add possessions as their character develops. They can learn to ride steeds, master the art of thievery, acquire pets, clothing or tattoos, and more.
  • Never playing the same game twice. Once an adventure has been completed, players can forge a new tale full of unexpected twists and turns, with new skills, powers, influences, allies and enemies.

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