previews\ May 24, 2002 at 8:00 pm

RTX Red Rock - GC - Preview

E3 2002 - First Look

E.Z. Wheeler is a major in the U.S. Army in the year 2103. He is also an astronaut. Space was where the accident occurred that left him with a few bionic parts, and turned him from an excellent soldier into a deadly weapon.

RTX Red Rock is an action-adventure game with a science fiction background. Yep, it is big on action, has its share of puzzles, multiple environments and 10 single player (four multiplayer) levels.

LucasArts demonstrated a pre-alpha build of the program at E3 2002 in Los Angeles, and it is clear that the company has big plans for this character.

The storyline has it that Mars, colonized by humans, has been attacked by deadly aliens who plan to use it as a stepping stone in an attack on Earth. Wheeler is sent in to find survivors and … well, take out a few aliens in the process.

According to LucasArts, everything within the game is NASA inspired, and a new graphics engine has been used to enhance the game’s texturing. The game promises to be 60 percent combat, 20 percent puzzling and 20 percent control of robots and vehicles.

Of course, Wheeler doesn’t undertake such a mission alone. He has his trusty digital assistant named IRIS, a female voice that tantalizes, teases, seems to have a crush on Wheeler, but who can also give him guidance and direct, as well as take over, control of peripheral robots.

The game is designed to have players not just jump in and blast away, but to focus on strategy and intelligence.

Not only will Wheeler have to navigate his way around in the usual manner, but he may have to take advantage of air or electrical ducts to circumnavigate doors that won’t yield to any manipulation. And not only are there the invading aliens to worry about, but other little nasties that may jump out and attach themselves to the back of the head while gnawing furiously on your life force.

The game’s graphics still have a ways to go, but from what was demonstrated, there is great potential here. Real-life physics were being employed, and the animation was solid. Effects were also very good for the pre-alpha demo.

This is a game that will be worth following the progress of. As mentioned, LucasArts has preliminary plans for an E.Z. Wheeler game franchise, and as this is the first step, it is an important one. Doubtless this game will be done right.

This game is set for a spring 2003 release on the PS2 and GameCube.

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