Kameo: Elements of Power - 360 - Preview
It’s not every day that you get to see a game evolve from multiple consoles. We already know how Kameo improved from its N64 days. It looked good (but had frame rate issues) on GameCube; looked even better on Xbox. Today Microsoft held a meeting behind closed doors that showed, side-by-side, the Xbox and new Xbox 360 versions of the game.
The old Xbox version looked great, but it will never be released. We found out why when they booted up the Xbox 360 version. The trees, characters and textures improved 110%. The mountain tops, castle structures, etc., they all appeared to be real, touchable pieces of the environment. Although these environments were interactive, their design was not intricate at all – it was flat! Rare has always been a premiere developer for graphics (remember Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong Country?), and part of that comes from their way of handling visuals. According to Rare, it’s all about the textures and the unprecedented texture power of Xbox 360. As much as I hate all the delays that have taken place, the transition has been a beautiful one.
Several levels and several character transformations were shown to us, including a clever rock beast that disperses its body (which is made up of rock parts) to attack enemies. There was an armadillo-type transformation. That beast had spikes on his back, could roll up into a ball, stomp on enemies or roll [slice!] into them. Another transformation indicated the advantages of being a monstrous ape – you can climb to areas that others can’t reach.
One of the most impressive moments was when they showed us a large-scale battle between you and 3,000 monsters. The camera was spun, zoomed in and out, and yet the game had no problem displaying a few thousand monsters, all of which could be seen in clear detail whether you were close to them or not. All could be hit, killed, eliminated, whatever. They could also gang up on you. It was really fun to see this, because of all the things I’ve experienced at E3, large-scale battles have not been one of them. (Some of PS3’s games had large-scale battles, but right now they’re non-playable tech demos.)
This is a very promising game. Kameo should be a must-have Xbox 360 title as soon as it launches (assuming it actually will).