previews\ Jun 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The Grinder - WII - Preview

E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

In a world where vampires and werewolves walk the streets, there is little you can do except fight. In the southwestern area that encompasses the story of The Grinder, fighting is all you do. Overrun by some of the world's ugliest and most gruesome creatures, The Grinder is a first-person shooter of epic proportions. Developed by High Voltage, the studio behind The Conduit (this month's highly anticipated Wii-exclusive shooter), The Grinder is as beautiful as it is brutal. Over the course of the 15 minutes High Voltage spent demoing the game, there was maybe one moment when a monster wasn't attacking. Just one. Every other second was spent on the run, with handguns, machineguns, shotguns and explosives being your only defense.

Vampires were the primary enemy in the demo, often attacking in huge numbers. When their heads are blown off, blood splatters like water being shot out of a fountain. The effect is a tad cartoony right now but it looks great. Visually, the vampires almost looked demonic. Their arms are webbed (or so they appeared), and they don't really have any hands. That, however, won't stop them from trying to eat you alive.

The Grinder Wii screenshots

In a way, werewolves are the opposite of vampires. Rather than hunt in packs, they like to work alone. They're much bigger, stronger and move a lot faster. It took several shots for a developer to take one down, and he had to keep moving the whole time.

If you think werewolves are tough, you might be truly horrified by the Slasher. This scary, overgrown Jason Voorhees-type carries not one but two axes, which he will gladly use to cut you into tiny pieces. He can be killed but won't go down easily. The word "unstoppable" came up once or twice. Plus, he has the ability to spawn in new, dangerously inconvenient locations...such as right behind wherever you are standing. Which is why the developer playing the game decided to run away as fast as he could when he believed the Slasher was about to make his move.

There will be other kinds of Slashers within the game, as well as zombies (the flesh-eating beasts you just can't ignore) and Horrors, who, based on the concept art, appear to be giant snake-like creatures with huge fangs and scales running up their backs.

With the development team shooting for a late 2010 release, The Grinder has a long way to go. But the graphics are already looking good. No matter how many vampires flooded the screen, the game stayed fluid. The character models are great, and the environments have a wonderful western feel. It's not quite a gunslinger; this is not a game that'll make you think of Gunsmoke. Unless, of course, you can imagine what Gunsmoke would be like if it were overrun by the world's most hideous creatures.


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