Tantalus CEO Tom Crago agrees that Metal Shell amounts to a new direction for the company. “Tantalus began doing conversions from coin-op to console, and we soon earned a reputation as one of the best developers in the world for this type of work,” Crago said. “The next step for us is to release an original title that will earn us similar acclaim. Metal Shell is a game we all wanted to make. It features some incredible new technology, but gameplay has driven the design process from day one.”
Also renowned for its Game Boy Advance expertise, Tantalus has developed a new incarnation of its own Mercury game engine to power Metal Shell. “We wanted to create game arenas that made total sense,” said Crago, “with no artificial rules or boundaries. Everything in our game can be shot, blasted, shifted or destroyed. You can reduce mountains to rubble, create new rivers by blasting through a dam, and uncover hidden underground areas by shooting through the earth. The theatre of battle is constantly changing. It is literally the case that no two games are the same.”
Other Metal Shell features include a visually striking 60fps frame rate, multiple game arenas suited to different types of tank and game mode, and a vast range of weapons and pick-ups, further enhancing the arcade appeal of the title. The online element, on both PS2 and X-Box, is a further defining feature of gameplay.
Tantalus is just four months into development on Metal Shell, and as yet no Publisher is attached to the project. According to Crago, E3 was the perfect place to preview the game. “It’s the one time of year where everyone in the industry is in the same place and right now we’re looking for as much early feedback as possible. The demo we have is very preliminary, but by releasing it so soon we hope to finish with a better game come November 2004. Even now, though, we think there’s a lot to like about both the concept and the technology. If you come and play the demo you won’t be looking at a finished game by any means, but I guarantee you’ll have a fun few minutes blasting your way through tanks and terrain alike.”
- Over 20 different tanks.
- 60 frames per second graphics.
- Multiple environments, each with several unique arenas suited to different game modes.
- Online multiplayer and split-screen multiplayer.
- Comprehensive terrain deformation system incorporating the effects of everything from simple weapon explosions to divots created by falling debris. A gameworld where everything makes sense.
- Unique, intuitive physics and handling system.
- Tank deformation and damage system.
- Vast range of weapons and pick-ups, often hidden underground. Blast through the terrain to collect the spoils.
- Destructible objects. Unparalleled degree of interactivity between player, opponents and terrain.
- Huge, varied selection of single and multiplayer game modes.
- Comprehensive and flexible AI system.
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