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Xenus - Game Features & Story

by Rainier on May 20, 2002 @ 11:42 a.m. PDT

Deep Shadows "Xenus" is coming together nicely. Periodically they feed us some screens and today they informed us about the actual game features, storyline and the hit calculation ... read on soldier!

The Story

The story begins when Kevin Myers receives a call from magazine his sister works for. He is told that she didn't contact them more than 10 days and they are afraid she missed in Colombia during her journalist investigation. Kevin departures to this country to rescue her. Having arrived he finds himself in the world of violence where 70 out of 100 hundreds people are killed each year. In the country where there are many forces that fight for the power. You must rescue the sister and keep alive. The scenery that looks banal in the beginning step-by-step gets mixed up and finally becomes semi-mystic.

The Game World

There is no level or ammunition selection. You just press "Start Game" button and begin to play. All actions take place on a huge not-subdivided territory 25x25km. There are no "locations" in Xenus. You may freely move on the territory. Due to the big size of the game world we introduce different vehicles: helicopters, different kind of cars, tanks. All of them are drivable. Xenus is not another 3D action game with some elements of RPG. It is really both RPG and action. Killing is not the goal of the game. Your goal is to find the sister, so you need to talk with many people to gather necessary information. And these people will not be always friendly to you. There are no predefined enemies in the game. There are a lot of characters but almost all of them are neutral to you at start. Actually, there are six sides in the game: officials, guerrilla, narco mafia, Indian, bandits, CIA. When you help to one of the side you inevitably spoil your relations with others. In the world of Xenus everything costs money. Therefore you have to purchase weapons, ammo, armament take a car for a rent. Money is also helpful to get necessary information.

Weapons & Hit Calculation

We try to create all weapons and vehicles as closer as possible to originals. There will be approximately 20 kinds of weapons. But there is a wide possibility to upgrade each kind. Each weapon has its weak and strong sides. The difference is in fire rate, magazine size, effective range, accuracy, etc. We realize that weapon balance is one of the key moments in the game. Therefore we dedicate significant time to this aspect. The bodies of your enemies consist of following parts: head, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, trunk. If bullet hits a leg, the men begin to limp (and to retreat looking for a shelter). When bullet hits the arm with submachine gun, the player drops a gun and runs away / calls for help. Head hit causes momentary death, and enemy utters no sound. So, if you need to kill one soldier in such a way that another soldier must not hear his cry, you must shoot exactly at head.

Artificial Intelligence

Having developed Codename Outbreak we gain a good experience. Now we try to create even clever and funnier AI. The computer rivals artificial intelligence is based on usage of virtual hearing and sight algorithms, helping computer players to pattern their behavior in the game. The virtual hearing algorithm allows rivals to react upon sounds spread around a level. Thus, for instance, the sound of skirmish or explosion will attract a patrol that have heard it, or if the player passes behind the backs of a patrol, the noise produced by his steps may end up in the soldiers turning back and opening fire.

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