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Apocalyptica Preview

publisher: Konami Europe
developer: Extreme FX
genre: Action

PII 400, 700MB HDD, 8MB video card
ESRB rating: M

release date: Apr 09, 04
» All About Apocalyptica on ActionTrip

Konami of Europe recently unveiled an intriguing new third person action game, interestingly dubbed Apocalyptica. Understandably, the UK-based development team, Extreme FX, decided to remain secretive on the subject, so there was very little to go on. For that reason we caught up with John Wildsmith, Research and Development Director at Extreme FX, to find out what awaits us in Apocalyptica. John gave us a brief lowdown on the game's combat system, weapons, characters, the game's story, etc.

Important Note: We were notified by one of the PR's at KoE (Konami of Europe) that there are no official plans regarding a US version (for the time being that is). Also, no public demos or beta tests have been mentioned yet. But, if Konami of America or KoE should make any announcements, they will drop us a line, and we'll keep you lot informed.

Action Trip: We would like to know more about the storyline. The info on your web was somewhat scant. You're team seemed to have come up with a most intriguing symbiosis of sci-fi and medieval settings. So, what's it all about?

John Wildsmith: Apocalyptica is about the eternal struggle between good and evil, God and Satan. In single player you and your team must battle with the evil forces of Neo-Satan across many game worlds, culminating in a battle with Neo-Satan himself.

AT: Just how many characters can the players choose? Where do they come from and, give us a peek at some of their skills and combat abilities?

JW: There are four main character classes, each in two main variants - good and evil. There are 16 good variants and 16 evil variants. Which gives the player a total of 32 characters to choose from.

AT: We were very interested in some of the worlds that are depicted in your game. Describe a few of them, and let us know more about what we'll be running into on our exciting journey through Apocalyptica.

JW: The first stage of the game is set on the planet of Jerusalem V. This section begins with the player in the desert surrounding the abandoned outpost of Zaraphiel. The objective of this level is to learn all the basic controls while looking for a way into the outpost. The outpost walls and gates are high and unassailable. The only way for the players to enter is by making their way to the entrance of a military base on the edge of the outpost that has been overrun by Neo-Satan's minions.

AT: What kind of approach is your team using in terms of AI development?

JW: Our A.I. solution is developed in-house and makes extensive use of simulated neural networks, the connectivity and weighting of which are derived from genetic traits carefully chosen for this type of game style.

AT: Does the game feature any boss-sections?

JW: Yes, each of the four main sections of the game end with a boss section, the fourth one being the climax of the game where you take on Neo-Satan.

AT: As for the weapons, what do you feel that players will enjoy most? And, just give us a taste of how some of these weapons work...

JW: That would have to be The Bible Basher - a favorite weapon of the Nun class of characters. It fires homing missiles, which drain and extract energy from pages of the Bible. The so-called Templars are usually equipped with the Sword of Restoration; a very effective weapon that deals huge damage, draining the energy of its pray and transferring it to the Templar (nice one! - Ed.). There are many cool and unique weapons for each character class, but I'm afraid you'll just have to wait for the game to come out if you want to know more about that one. We don't want to spoil the surprise you know...

AT: We think that Apocalytica has great potential thanks to its unique gameplay concept. When we're talking about the gameplay, what is the most alluring aspect of it?

JW: Probably the fact that it's an all-out action game, combining ranged weapons with melee weapons. Have your teammates barrage the enemy with Armageddon's Herald (ranged) while you move in to finish them off with the Hand of God (melee).

AT: What sort of challenges will players usually have throughout the levels?

JW: The challenges are all combat based. Apocalyptica is a non-stop action game.

AT: The recent trailer, which showcased some of the in-game action, was quite impressive. Visually, your team has obviously done a great job. Which engine are you guys using and what has it allowed you to accomplish?

JW: Thanks, we use an internally developed engine called Evolution. Using our own engine has allowed us to keep control of the feature set and implement the ones important to our title. Aside from the impressive visual capabilities Apocalyptica is controlled almost entirely by run-time compiled scripts meaning almost every aspect of it is open to modification by us as well as third parties.

AT: Will Apocalyptica have a multiplayer mode?

JW: Most definitely. Right now we think that the single-player experience is an important part of Apocalyptica and we're concentrating on it primarily. Nonetheless, we are also working on some rather interesting features for the multiplayer mode, to make it addictive and appealing to every gamer.

We'd like to thank Konami of Europe and Extreme FX for taking the time to answer these questions. The development of Apocalyptica is far from its finishing point. We're likely to know more about the game come E3 2003.



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