E3 2005: The Eidos Report
First up is Commandos Strike Force, due for release later this year. This game takes the franchise into the first-person realm for the first time. Players will be able to switch between three members of a “Strike Force” unit: a Green Beret, a sniper, and a spy. The Green Beret is the better overall soldier, the spy is best with stealth missions, and the sniper is best at, well, sniping. The game will take place during World War II and cover areas in France, Norway, and Russia. Pyro Studios, the game’s developer, promises non-linear gameplay and a mixture of gameplay styles—including sabotage, demolition, assassination, reconnaissance, and more.
25 To Life is being billed as the “first true cops and robbers game” by Eidos. Players will be able to play through the game as either a gritty detective or as a gang-banger who seeks revenge after being double-crossed by his former best friend. The two characters’ stories will intertwine throughout the game, which will be a third-person shooter. The game promises fully customizable characters, lethal and non-lethal attacks to incapacitate foes, and online, clan-based gameplay aside from the single-player mode. To further heighten the urban feel of the game, Eidos has licensed music from some recognizable urban talent, including DMX, Public Enemy, 2Pac, and others. 25 To Life is due this summer.
Hitman: Blood Money marks the return of Agent 47 to the PlayStation 2 platform and finds him in the middle of a war between two rival contract agencies. His fellow assassins from the ICA become targets in this war, and Agent 47 fears that he might be next; however, with contracts to complete and money to make, he attempts to continue doing his job—with a watchful eye over his shoulder. The money that Agent 47 makes by filling his contracts can vary depending on how “clean” his work is, and the money can be spent on a variety of things, from customizing weapons to gaining information. IO Interactive has added new techniques to the gameplay, such as human shields, body disposal, and the ability to create distractions; plus they have tweaked the AI to follow blood trails and investigate suspicious items and behavior. This game is due sometime this fall.
Lastly, we come to Lara Croft’s latest adventure, called Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend. Crystal Dynamics has taken the development reins from series creators Core Design, and Eidos has high hopes that Legend will restore some luster to the franchise. Lara’s appearance has improved, as Crystal Dynamics has added more polygons and animations to Lara’s character. Looks aren’t all that Legend is promising, however. New locales and tombs await Lara on her quest for an ancient English artifact, along with new gameplay wrinkles. Eidos seems confident that Legend will make it in stores before the end of this year.
Look for media and hands-on impressions soon, as we have editorial staff on the scene at E3, which is where I wish I was right now.
5/18/2005 Peter J. Skerritt, Jr.