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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Dead Man's Hand' (Xbox) Announced - Facts & Screens

by Rainier on March 28, 2003 @ 11:19 a.m. PST

Atari is bringing all of the drama and fast-paced action of the Old West exclusively to the Xbox this Fall with Dead Man's Hand, a first person shooter chock full of gun fights and dripping in frontier lore. In development by Human Head studios, the creators of Rune, Dead Man's Hand uses the latest Unreal technology from Epic Games to provide amazing graphical performance, non-stop action and enhanced multiplayer capabilities through Xbox Live!

"Dead Man's Hand will be an amazing recreation of the Old West, from the high drama of showdowns to the window-smashing action of shoot outs to the bitter plights of vengeance," said Steve Allison, vice president of marketing for Infogrames, Inc.'s Los Angeles studio. "Using the power of the Xbox and Unreal Technology together, Human Head is creating one of the best looking, best playing and truly unique first person shooters ever released. Xbox owners are in for a real treat, both in single player and against online foes through Xbox Live!"

In Dead Man's Hand, players will step into the boots of El Tejón, a master gunslinger riding with one of the roughest gangs in the West, known as The Nine. When the ruthless leader of The Nine betrays El Tejón, El Tejón turns to a life of vengeance, vowing to put every member of his former gang six-feet under.

Through an epic single player story of vengeance and betrayal, the player will travel the American Frontier, experiencing bar fights, shoot outs, stagecoach chases and other definitively Western scenes. Dead Man's Hand captures the grandeur, action and drama of the Old West with six-shooters, rifles, black hats, horses, hombres, dancing girls, riverboats, saloon poker and many other iconic images.

Besides straight shooting, Dead Man's Hand incorporates unique gameplay elements taken from the Old West. Gamers will try their hands at blasting desperados from the back of their trusty steed and shooting it out on a moving train, ducking just before going through tunnels. In addition, as the game progresses, players will acquire "Legend," a unique scoring system that awards points as the player blazes a path into Western folklore. When accumulated, Legend will allow gamers to pull off amazing trick shots and death-defying feats. Players will also be able to pick their own path through the game, revealing new mission choices as the game progresses.

Saloon poker also plays a major role in Dead Man's Hand. Players will sit down for a poker game before each mission as a bonus round. If successful, the player will earn bonuses such as additional Legend, health or ammo. The player then decides whether to gamble their initial earnings for bigger bonuses. However, they could lose all of their bonuses in the process.

More than 20 adventures will challenge gamers, through the deserts, hills and towns of the old southwest, across the mountains and mine shafts of the great northwest, and in the riverboats and cities of the Midwest. Missions will take place upon vast maps that feature detailed indoor and outdoor locations, from rickety old saloons to sprawling mountain vistas to dark mysterious mineshafts.

Players will have nine different Old West firearms to choose from, each modeled on the real pistols, shotguns and rifles that made the Old West famous. Other weapons include knives and dynamite, as well as fixed Gatling guns and cannons that will blow enemies clear into the next county.

Players will be able to compete against other Xbox owners via Xbox Live! as well as against friends in their living room in split screen multi-player mode. A variety of competitive and cooperative play modes will be available.

Utilizing the power of the latest Unreal technology by Epic Games, Human Head has developed an amazing recreation of the sweeping vistas and rustic canyon towns of the American Frontier. The sophisticated in-game physics engine will make hats fly off enemies when they are shot, bad guys fall off roofs, knock over barrels and bust up furniture as they drop; and wagons and carts buck and bounce realistically as they race across the desert floor.

Human Head's unique "Semi Persistent World" technology (SPeW) enables varying terrain through mountains, deserts, prairies, and river valleys. This technology enables multiple missions to be played on the same map and reveals new missions as the game progresses. In addition, SPeW allows for many items that get changed or destroyed in one mission to remain destroyed when players return on later missions.

The name Dead Man's Hand itself is steeped in Western folklore. History reports that the famous "Wild Bill" Hickok, the Prince of Pistoleers, was murdered with a single shot to the back of his head while playing poker in a Deadwood, South Dakota saloon - the first time he ever sat with his back to the door. The poker hand Wild Bill held when he died with was two pair - black aces and black eights. Since then, this hand has been known worldwide as the Dead Man's Hand.

Dead Man's Hand is scheduled for release on Xbox in Fall 2003.

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