Previews

King Kong

Page 4 of 4

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL...
PC game-players can expect to have the most detailed and beautiful version of the game (competing against the version on the much-heralded Xbox 360), with all manner of hi-tech lighting effects, normal mapping and infinitely more polygons than in the last-gen offerings. However, whether Kong gameplay will suit the platform remains a case of wait and see. I, however, still have heavy dibs on the fact that it will by the time of release.

Another bonus is that, because of lowly GameCube releases and the like, King Kong will be able to run satisfactorily on most games PCs - the graphics will look worse, but old and new graphics cards alike will be able to run the game without too much jittery-pokery.

Don't let this word of warning get you down though: King Kong will without doubt be as big as its namesake and far, far cleverer. After just playing for a few minutes I came across an unscripted moment when a raptor grabbed my leg, dragged me onto the ground and had me frantically jabbing him away with my spear and screaming (in real-life in front of Michel Ancel and his lovely shirt) "Gerroff! Gerroff! He's got my leg!"

It's not just that though: King Kong is taking the traditional FPS and doing loads of interesting things with it - turning it into a more cinematic whole - an 'event' game, in which the pursuit of reeling in the player leads to clever stuff like Skull Island's food chain and some blindingly obvious, yet previously unseen stuff as simple as the need to hold your rifle above your head when you wade through rivers.

With the team promising some "extremely nice stuff" appearing after Kong's debut on the New York social scene at the close of the game, a stream of production notes and designs appearing from the WETA workshops on a weekly basis and remarkably frequent meetings with Jackson himself, King Kong is the rarest of beasts. It's a movie game being made by people who don't wear suits, who care about narrative and gameplay and who certainly don't bother using an iron on their shirts. It's a game that has direct interaction with the very highest ranks of the movie's production. It's a game with ideas at its heart that are big enough to hide the cash register that lurk behind it. It's a good game too. All this and there's an absolutely gigantic monkey that features quite heavily.

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