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A new Oddworld: First Fangus image

The darker, meaner, more menacing star of the next Oddworld outing revealed

Meet Fangus. He's the lead character in the next Oddworld game, currently in development at Oddworld Inhabitants and planned for release later this year on Xbox (and possibly Xbox 2...?).

We've already been introduced to Fangus on a couple of occasions. Lorne Lanning, founder of Oddworld Inhabitants, told us last December that Fangus would be the most intense character yet seen in the Oddworld universe, and last month we discovered his name and occupation: shepherd.

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Yep, shepherd. But forget all those images of ruddy-faced country bumpkins dressed in tweed and whistling at dogs - Fangus is the coolest, meanest shepherd we've ever set eyes on. As you can see from our first image of the character, he's more likely to use hefty twin pistols and serious muscle power than a prancing Collie to keep his flock in line.

And speaking of the flock, the animals Fangus herds look flocking mental. Check out the vicious teeth and horns on the critters. Both Fangus' hand-to-hand and firearm skills coupled with his control of the flock open up whole new game mechanics for the series. Imagine unleashing your animals on a group of enemies, then peppering them with gunfire from a distance. You won't see that on One Man and His Dog.

Fangus will need all the help he can get. Oddworld is under threat (again) from invaders and Fangus has to beat them back. But he's racing against time. A degenerative disease is turning him mad as a brush, which will affect how the latter stages of the game play. It's a cool idea, and we can't wait to see how it works.

As well as all that, more Oddworld Stranger-style first and third-person free-roaming gameplay and interactive townships are promised. Fangus' game doesn't have a title yet, but we're expecting to hear and see more at E3.

Until then, enjoy our first image of Fangus. Is that an armour-plated kilt...?

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