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Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: SCi / Midway
Developer: Bits Studios


Mobile Preview - 'Constantine'

by Paul Reith on April 12, 2005 @ 1:49 a.m. PDT

Based on the DC Comics/Vertigo "Hellblazer" graphic novels, the supernatural thriller "Constantine" tells the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Warner Bros Online
Developer: Warner Bros Online
Release Date: May 2005

Constantine is now making his rounds onto your handsets, and he's ready for the challenge. Warner brings the experience to mobile this spring, so that you can pass the time in style as the man Satan is dying to get his hands on. John Constantine has been living out his days by sending evil back to Hell. Whether it's exorcising the possessed or killing the half-breeds, he's doing his part to maintain the balance between good and evil.

Warner has adapted the Constantine story into a mobile game that will run on many phone platforms, and despite its small data size, it provides hours of gameplay. Constantine is essentially an adventure where you are tracking down the reason behind escalating demonic activity. There's some action in each chapter, primarily entailing John getting to send some demons or half-breeds back to Hell. There are eight chapters in all, but Warner's preview focused on the first three of those chapters. In those chapters, John Constantine, Beeman, Chaz, Father Hennessey and Papa Midnight all make appearances.

In the first chapter, you meet John in his apartment, and Beemen shows him how to use a very fashionable tool, the Holy Shotgun. Where it usually takes John three good hits with his brass knuckles to kill a demon or a half-breed, it only takes two shots with the Holy Shotgun, and if they are really close, John can sometimes take the evil individuals out with one clean shot. Next, Beeman shows John how to see the demons that have been appearing on Earth. The main trick to these guys is that they are invisible to most humans. John learns the illumination spell from Beeman, allowing him to make the demons visible in our dimension, so he may lay waste to his evil foes. Constantine can sense the demons even when he can't see them, which is communicated to the player through a flashing red dot on the screen. John also learns about Beeman's sphere of protection spell, so that he's got something for the really hairy situations where the number of enemies is so large that death is a good possibility.

In chapter two, Constantine gets a chance to try out his exorcism skills, by wresting a demonic spirit from a man that Father Hennessey could not save. In this game, Constantine achieves success in this incident through playing a Simon-says kind of mini-game. After completing a few sequences successfully, John can call it a day, and the man is saved.

In the third chapter, John meets Papa Midnite in his club (don't worry, you don't have to be psychic and guess the right card for entry, John takes care of that himself.) Midnight confirms that evil is on the move, mostly from hell and on their way to Earth. Even though there's good and evil half-breeds throughout the club, it's the one place in town where there's a truce. Constantine finds out that the safety of the club doesn't extend outside – he gets attacked by demons as soon as he gets outside. Using the illumination spell makes them visible for John to extinguish their existence.

Constantine also contains a frag mode, a level with over 50 enemies, and you try to survive the onslaught. It is quite a challenge, and will take some real strategic maneuvering to survive even the first minute.

All in all, the game finishes out in a way that is a bit different from the movie; but the movie, video games, and now this mobile video game are all based on a comic book series. Each interpretation has departed from the original in its own way, and given the constraints of the mobile platform, some adaptation is expected.

Constantine will be available in May, and Warner's commitment to making the game so compact will benefit you. Most who have bought a phone in the last year that was a good step up from the freebie will be able to play Constantine and kill demons at will.

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