previews\ May 8, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Dirge Of Cerberus - Final Fantasy VII - PS2 - Preview 2

E3 2006 First Look Preview

Vincent has been somewhat enigmatic. There is the beast form he sometimes assumes, but aside from that, and his propensity to use a gun, not a lot is known about it.

That is about to change.

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII is a shooter-style game that delves into the background of Vincent, fleshing out the story and allowing players to get to know his background and the story of his beast form.

The game takes place three years after the events of FFVII. An army of seemingly unstoppable soldiers appear, destroying the peace that lays over the land with ruthless abandon. Vincent Valentine finds that members of the elite force are pursuing him and to survive he must take action against them, eventually becoming the one hope the world has.

Featuring between 15-20 hours of gameplay, the game sports a mix of melee and ranged attacks, though as players progress, the melee elements do less damage and become more oriented to getting distance from the targets so they can be finished off with the guns. The game has a level/experience point system and at the end of each level players are graded, with the grades translating into weapon upgrades or levels for Vincent. Other items can be found adventuring through the world, enabling players to customize their weapons. There are three settings on guns, which can be switched out using the R2 button.

Vincent can, of course, achieve beast form, using a skill called the limit breaker. The game also has some arcade-like elements.

Visually the game is very good, with solid lighting effects and textures, terrific animations and spell effects. Because the game is, basically, a shooter, players can target specific body parts for greater damage, and play out the first- and third-person perspective. While the game is technically an offshoot of FFVII, the graphics have been completely redone.

Those who disdain using the PlayStation 2 controller can also play this game with a USB keyboard and PS2 mouse.

With great graphics and solid shooter action, this game will likely have a solid appeal to FPS fans who also straddle the fence and occasionally masquerade as FF fans.

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