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Previews

Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault

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Near-death Experience
If you or any of your squad do get injured, then you're going to have to rely on your medics - part of developer EALA's wish to jettison some of the more obvious videogame devices. "In the real world you don't just come across medipacs and rations when you need them at the end of a level or at strategic points," says Kusin. It's now vital to properly look after your squad - go storming off Rambo-style into the jungle, and your Corpsman may well be way back tending to injured soldiers, leaving you stranded. Also, if you do get shot or hurt, it's best to take cover first before you call for a medic, or you may be asking the poor doc to risk his own life getting to your position.

However, if your health does reach zero, you'll experience another innovation in Pacific Assault - 'Verge of Death' - when you start breathing heavily, hear disembodied voices, and the world slowly fades to black. In this short window of opportunity, you could be saved by a medic, rescued, killed by an enemy; in fact a range of outcomes, depending on the circumstances. It's perhaps overly cinematic, but the Verge of Death is hugely effective in giving those desperate moments a real tension and a terrifying feeling of life slipping away from you.

Zoom

I was mightily impressed (and slightly shell-shocked) after getting my hands on MOH: Pacific Assault. The EALA team is developing a WWII shooter that promises a huge range of different gameplay experiences, from epic island beach landings involving hundreds of soldiers and vehicles, through missions to rescue a downed comrade in dense jungle, to the tense seeking and destroying of silent snipers hiding in treetops. With a raft of new weapons and gameplay features, plus new squad-based multiplayer (see 'A Different Class', below), Pacific Assault could be a tropical paradise for WWII FPS addicts. We'll find out if it's mission accomplished with an exclusive review and playable demo next month.

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