previews\ Apr 28, 2003 at 8:00 pm

RTX Red Rock - PS2 - Preview

The handle is E.Z., but life is anything but what the acronym implies. Life is quite challenging, but instead of merely impeding progress, the obstacles encountered shoot at you.

Some thought him dead. E.Z. Wheeler is anything but, and it may be that the living version is the only hope of halting an invasion force from outer space.

RTX Red Rock is not your typical shooter-style game. LucasArts has taken a decent premise and allowed their game designers to have a field day with it. Not only does Wheeler have to contend with the alien forces that have invaded the colony on Mars, but also he has to do it in a variety of ways with a variety of weapons and transportation at his disposal. received a demo of the PlayStation2, and hopped into a suit to tour the Red Rock known as Mars. The game content appears as rich in texture as the graphics.

Wheeler is a Radical Tactics Expert, who was injured saving a space station crew. His injuries required some replacement parts ­ in this case a bionic right hand and a bionic left eye. He is a lone wolf, a one-man wrecking crew armed with what he can take from the LEDs (Light-Emitting Demons ­ the aliens), his own human-based arsenal and I.R.I.S., a computer brain that carries intell on the enemy.

The game begins with some minor puzzle solving on an outpost near Mars. But in addition to slowly immersing players in this evolving storyline, the opening levels also act as a tutorial to get players into the game interface and the technology used by Wheeler.

Graphically this game is wonderful to look at. The game presents a third-person perspective and players can activate Wheeler’s left eye for a variety of views of the world. The animations are very well done, and the environments steal the show. Based on actual Mars landscapes, to the average player this barren landscape is a sparse backdrop to the action. But the textures are very nice and the environment actually lends itself to mood and desperation of the gameplay. Wheeler is up against a lot of bad guys in this game, and players will have to use their intelligence to work through the challenges.

Special effects are superb, with the power of the LucasArts crew shining through.

The control elements are easy to navigate through. The game has kept them relatively simple and players should have a good idea of the fundamentals of controlling the game within 10-15 minutes of playing.

The beta actually did have some sound elements in place and the vocal characterizations were perfectly in tune with the mood of the game.

RTX Red Rock looks to be a fascinating game that jumps genre lines and pulls in gamers with shooter elements and exceptional graphics. Wheeler is a likable character that is resourceful and sardonic.

This game will only be ported on the PS2 platform and is slated for release in June.

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