We had a chance to sit down with one of Ubi Soft's newest action titles, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Almost an exact translation of the critically acclaimed movie, Crouching Tiger features stunning cinematics and incredibly graceful gameplay. Only one level was available in the demo, which showed a courtyard battle against multiple enemies. Instead of using a traditional combat system found in most fighters, Ubi Soft puts both analog sticks to use in this game, making combat much more fluid than most games. You control your character with the left analog stick while using the right analog stick to swing your sword and use other attacks. Where you strike in the game is dependant upon where you position the analog stick in relation to your characters stance. For instance, if your character is facing the screen and you jam the right stick forward, you can perform an attack on your flank, and vice versa. You can also use large, fluid sweeping motions with the analog stick to perform more complex maneuvers.
There is very little use for most action buttons in this game, with a few exceptions. Each character has a 'chi' meter, which is basically a bar that fills up over time. Once the bar is full, players can perform a special move by pressing the Square button, which varies between characters. In addition to the special move, characters have a secondary move/attack that can be activated by pressing the Triangle button.
According to Ubi Soft, the game is currently 30% complete, but the levels we played already look incredible, with very smooth animation and action that lives up to the movie. Combat in Crouching Tiger is incredibly fast paced, and players can face up to five enemies at one time, often ending up surrounded. This definitely heightens the tension of the game, and looks to redefine the action genre.
At this time, there is no specified release date for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but we will bring you more information as the details become available.
5/22/2002 Ryan Hartmann