Dropship: United Peace Force Preview
Sony is doing it again, this time, it's from Sony's European group, SCEE. In Dropship, you control a number of vehicles to carry out missions and try to keep the world at piece. If you don't, you find yourself at the brink of war...
Beginning in the year 2050, there is a lot of conflict going on in the Eastern part of the world. China is trying to take over the government without even being elected which has the Chinese in a stir. China also has the weapons to blow up a huge chunk of the world. NATO alongside the United Nations are trying to prevent China from going any further, but they're just not giving in that easily. This is where the United Peace Force (UPF) comes in. The UPF was specifically formed by NATO and the United Nations in hopes to get China under control.
You will control various vehicles to try to lead the UPF into a victory over the Chinese government. Each level will make you carry out missions somewhat like those of Rogue Squadron 2. The levels span all over the world in a number of real life places such as: Columbia, the Sahara Desert, and Kazakhstan.
The controls are pretty standard for a flight shooter. However, there's a slew of different commands according to which buttons you press with which. Pressing L2 with R2 will make your ship gradually descend to the ground while pressing the L1 and R1 buttons at the same time is used for taking off. Usually X is a firing or attack button, but in Dropship it makes your ship accelerate. Tapping X twice will fully start your engine upon leaving the take off and then if you press X twice again it will let off of the ‘turbo' type movement. The square button brakes your vehicle; if you're not moving, then square will make you slowly move backwards . Triangle fires off your primary weapon and circle is used for your secondary weapon. L1 and R1 by themselves lets you select your weapons while L2 and R2 rotates your ship's axis. Pushing the right analog stick forward will zoom in or zoom out similar to a sniper rifle. The D-pad pulls up menus such as: maps, mission objectives, and damage status on your vehicle. To top it all off, three training levels are included to get used to the controls.
As of now, the graphics are looking very impressive and will only get better further into production. The cut-scenes are done with FMV's that look pretty darn good. Environmental effects such as dust and light are also nicely done and not far from reality. Even ground items such as buildings and whatnot have a bunch of detail. Dropship has been completed and is set to ship in the UK soon. Based on the final product, the visuals looked fantastic and very hi-res. We'll keep you posted on screenshots of the game in action.
If you really want Rogue Squadron 2 but don't have a Gamecube, Dropship is looking like a fine substitute. Hell, maybe even better. The levels are all mission based with various objectives throughout them. Radio support will also aid you, taking you through the mission objectives. The way you perform in the missions will also affect the cut-scenes and determine how the mission plays out. So, there are a few various things that can happen in each mission instead of one "set-in-stone" mission.
The missions are also greatly different from each other. Some missions will require you to shoot everything in front of you while others will have you defending something, such as a base or ground troops. Stealth is also a key element used in the missions. One mission, for instance, requires you to infiltrate a base without being detected. Throughout the mission, you will have to take a more "strategic" approach dodging surveillance cameras as well as any other threats. What even makes the gameplay more intuitive is the fact that some missions will require you to pilot a ground vehicle such as a jeep or tank while others will require you to handle something like a dropship. Furthermore, the levels are lush, huge and full of detail.
SCEE has finished Dropship and will be shipping it in the UK, but a US version has yet to be confirmed. I'm sure though, that SCEA will bring this bad boy on over to the US because from the looks of it, Dropship is shaping up to be one fine game for the Playstation 2. Stay tuned for more coverage, as PSX Extreme will get their hands on an import copy of the game soon.
12/29/2001 Joseph Comunale