Publisher: Red Mile
Developer: Plastic Reality
Release Date: Q3 2006
El Matador is a third-person tactical shooter about a top Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Victor Corbet, who has been sent deep into drug cartel territory to stop drug trafficking. Mainly taking place in South America, El Matador's mission is simple: kill and eliminate all drug lords and bosses. As you progress through the game, its movie-like storyline unfolds with in-game cinematics and dialogue.
The story of El Matador is told through expository movie sequences, and the dialogue and cinematics inform you about the targets. Gameplay is very linear, but it still allows the gamer to enjoy the action sequences to their heart's content.
There will be a total of 60 levels, taking you through Mexican drug lord territory all the way into the jungles of South America. All of the available levels should keep you busy for a while, and the entire game should take anywhere from 10-12 hours for the average gamer to complete. The game gets to the point pretty quickly; there are no interrogations or annoying details to get between you and the kill, allowing for a full-on action game.
Taking a page from Max Payne, El Matador uses a bullet time system to allow you to slow down time so you can better dodge or kill your opponents. This bullet time system employs artistic blurring effects to make it obvious when you're using it, and it does look impressive the first time around, but it's best to not overuse the ability. The coolest-looking way to use it is to dive forward, slow down time, and kill your opponent.
There will be a huge arsenal of weapons available, from handguns to fully automatic weapons. A very cool feature in the game is being able to ricochet bullets. If you are clever and see someone just out of your range of vision, you might be able to bounce a bullet to kill your opponent. You can't always rely on that to kill your target, however, as a deflected bullet won't carry the same killing force, so this method may require more bullets than usual. This still makes for a useful trick to use the environment around you to attack, which you'll need, considering you'll be deep in enemy territory. The only caveat is that you can't bounce bullets on every surface.
All smaller objects in the levels are destructible and can be used to your advantage if you need a clear shot. Sadly, not everything will be destructible, but to make up for this, the AI is touted as being "very realistic" and will react to your style of play. With a good variety of enemies, the AI will protect the more important characters accordingly, just as we've in the movies, where the big bosses will be protected by the less important goons.
El Matador will be hitting beta soon and will ship in August for the PC. Anyone who's looking for a good time destroying and crushing drug cartels like a bat out of hell should look forward to this one.
Ricardo Chimal also contributed to this preview.
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