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)
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
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.