Previews

Chilli Con Carnage

Preview: Exclusive hands-on with Total Overdose's pint-sized successor

PSP owners have had it tough. For every great game released on the portable, there seems to be five shoddy PS2 ports that just aren't suited for a handheld. You don't need this. What you need is a good balls-out shooter, and that's exactly what Eidos has on its ahnd with the ridiculously-named Chilli Con Carnage.

CCC comes across as a portable, remixed adaptation of the utterly crazy Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico, released on PS2, Xbox and PC last year.

It's an all-out action, totally bonkers, comedy third-person shooter with a unique twist - it rewards you for killing your enemies with flair and style. Think of it as a bit like GTA with an SSX-style trick system.

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You'll be doing a fair amount of killing as you blast your way through the Mexican gangster-packed levels. But instead of dealing out death in messy gun blasts you must strive to earn points by killing with flamboyance - getting diving headshots, flipping from walls as you shoot you enemy or blasting a guys head off and catching his falling hat on your head. That last one is hilarious, by the way.

Just like a stunt game, you earn extra combo points for killing multiple enemies in a row. When you make a kill your combo meter begins to count down - get more kills before it empties and they string together to form a combo, with the bar refilling back to maximum with each kill. But let it run empty without fragging anyone and your combo ends.

Your reward for earning points comes in the form of health and ability-enhancing power-ups. A Golden Gun power-up lets you get headshots with every pull of the trigger, and ramping up a bigger combo doubles up whatever gun you're holding, allowing you to run around on a dual-wielding killing spree. You can even get a Rewind power to turn back the clock when you're killed, which is handy.

That's about as sane as it gets though, because other power-ups include El Gimpo - a crazed gimp that runs around frantically mauling every enemy in sight - and the Tornado power, which sees you spring high into the air and spin rapidly, blazing bullets in all directions, not only killing every enemy around you but also wrecking every bit of destructible scenery.

That's what CCC all about - destruction. When you're not driving through the air pumping crazy amounts of lead into people, you're driving tractors into gas tanks to cause massive explosions, or fighting a fat, psychotic Mexican woman that attacks you with crazed chickens that run at you with dynamite strapped to their chests.

We expected an average performance from CCC, but from what we've seen so far, PSP owners are in for a treat of a shooter, with original gameplay mechanics, crazy amounts of destruction genuinely funny comedy violence.

Chilli Con Carnage still awaits a firm release date, but is due to arrive this year.

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