Embattled Britsoft publisher Eidos, widely expected to be bought by SCI, have announced four titles set to be shown in three weeks at E3. Doing nothing to dispel the theory that publishers are turning into risk-adverse Hollywood-style sequel machines, three of the four games are fresh instalments of familiar franchises; Eidos are no-doubt hoping that these will experience the can't-get-enough success of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, rather than the one-sequel-too-far mediocrity that often creeps in.
"E3 2005 marks the unveiling of the latest instalments of three of the industry's most successful franchises in addition to a first glimpse of two of the most iconic characters, Lara Croft and Agent 47,"
said Paul Baldwin, Vice President of Marketing, Eidos. "The Tomb Raider, Hitman and Commandos franchises make highly anticipated returns featuring new engines and dramatically enhanced gameplay features. Additionally, Eidos will be presenting 25 To Life the first to market urban shooter featuring timeless Cops and Robbers gameplay."
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend
The Tomb Raider series is almost only rivalled by Final Fantasy in terms of sequels, having now reached Number 7, to be titled Tomb Raider: Legend. The series is no longer developed by Britain's Core Design after the relatively poor showing of Angel of Darkness, Legend has been crafted (crofted? -Ed
) in California by Crystal Dynamics, ironically under the watchful eye of Toby Gard, the original game's Lead Designer.
Promising an all new "engine, look and gameplay", Tomb Raider: Legend is "grounded in the series' tomb raiding roots and built to challenge even the most accomplished serial adventurer". I'm not sure how to read the contradiction of all-new gameplay & looks grounded in the tomb raiding root of the series: it surely is still a 3D-person shoot'n'puzzler but with 2005 graphics... admittedly a polygon boost in all the right places, and the addition of new weapons is enough to get me interested.
Tomb Raider: Legend
will appear on PC, Xbox and PS2 later this year.
Hitman: Blood Money
Agent 47 is back, and everyone's favourite cueballed stealth'n'headshot 'em-up sports a new version of IO-Interactive's stunning Glacier engine. With other agents being picked off like flies, Agent 47 finds himself with a price on his head when a war between two rival contract agencies breaks out. Follow his story to America, where cash earnt & spent in the game affects the storyline and the weapons available.
Again set to appear on PC, Xbox and PS2, Hitman: Blood Money
promises to deliver "the most brutal and realistic simulation of the life of a merciless assassin". Sounds good enough for me!
Commandos Strike Force
In a striking (sic) departure from previous iterations, the action in Commandos Strike Force
will be witnessed from a first person perspective rather than the usual top-down viewpoint. Switching between Green Beret, Sniper and Spy characters, you must embark on missions set in France, Norway and Russia during World War II.
The game features single and multiplayer campaigns, and the graphics look pretty damn impressive. Take a guess which platforms it's coming out on? You got it: PC, Xbox and PS2!
25 To Life
25 To Life is a game of gritty urban warfare and bone-rattling hip-hop tunes in the mould of Grand Theft Auto. Play from the perspective of the Gangters or the Police, the game features online multiplay action for up to 16 players to terrorise the neighbours, hang in the hood and shoot people. And that's just the Police Mode!
No release date is available just yet, homes, but y'all be able to kick it on PC, Xbox and PS2.