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FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137 Background: I own and have completed every entry in the Ninja Storm series, so there is inherent bias but luckily this isn’t a review. These are just my thoughts on a fun series I chose to pick up after my Dragon Ball Z Budokai days. I am also only about 3 episodes behind in the...

Anachronox Preview

Johnny_Liu By:
Johnny_Liu
01/07/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE RPG 
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Eidos 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Animated Violence, Mature Sexual Themes

What do these ratings mean?

The land that PC gaming forgot.

For years now, people have been asking why there are so few games like Final Fantasy on the PC. The answer has something to do with silly demographic reports, but don't tell that to the folks at Eidos and Ion Storm. Their upcoming RPG, Anachronox, looks to take the successes of the console games and move 'em on to the greater potential of the PC.

The Rosetta Stone. The Ark of the Covenant. Dinosaur bones. Bah! Pieces of garbage. These "artifacts" pale in comparison to Mysterium Technology, or MysTech. What exactly is MysTech, and why is is so great? Who knows. It's supposed to do something REALLY impressive, and I bet some long-dead Alien race is behind it all.

But this much I do know - MysTech has something to do with the ancient city of Anachronox. This seemingly difficult to pronounce city has crumbled away, destroyed by plague and left to waste.

Among the ashes lies Sylvester "Sly" Boots. Sylvester Boots has a money problem (kind of like Sylvester Stallone if he keeps on making bad movies). The only solution for Sylvester is to get a job, but somehow he finds himself embroiled in a quest to uncover the mystery of MysTech.

Anachronox is an RPG running on a heavily tweaked version of the Quake II engine. But rather than lining up your crosshairs to frag, movement is handled through the happy marriage of third person control coupled with a point and click interface. It's similar to the kind of thing found in adventure gaming and it's very smart. For example, walk up to some colorful alien and your 'arrow' will appear. Click that extraterrestrial and you¹ll start talking to it. 'Natch.

There's even a clever rationalization on why there's a pointer flying about. Apparently, this 'pointer' is actually Sly's dead secretary, Fatima Doohan, digitized into a Cordicom LifeCursor. I gots to get me one of those!

You can control up to three characters at a time, with a total of seven to eventually choose from. One of them, the eldery maniac Grumpos Matavastros, has a skill called "Yammer" that allows him to annoy people into giving up valuable pieces of information. And they say old people aren't useful...

The battle sequences mirror traditional console based RPGs, with an arena of baddies facing off against your heroes. But rather than weaving your way through menus, you can now enjoy the ease of mouse activated screens. Watch as you zoom your way through battle commands and item inventories with ease. Battle are turn-based but with a timing element, akin to the Active Time system of Final Fantasy.

And rather than the traditional FMV's that console RPGs are smack full of, Anachronox uses impressive real-time animation. Throw in some dynamic camera angles and shots, a stirring score with sound effects and voices with actual lip synchronization (woo-hoo!), and you¹ve got all the ingredients for some seriously immersive role-playing shenanigans.

Anachronox looks to take some familiar console RPG conventions and bring them into the world of PC gaming. A gorgeous 3D world and a science fiction story with the just the right touches of humor make it one to keep an eye on. Hopefully, all the pieces will come together and Sly will be a Rocky rather than a Judge Dredd.


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