Connor, Duncan and now Owen McLeod. Is it us or is this two MacLeod's too many? Well not according to Eidos, as the revealing of Highlander illustrates. Apparently, there's a lot of material left to mine from a franchise that has struggled to relive the appeal of the 1986, Lambert live-forever-slasher. We even miss the mullet.
The game is being scripted by David Abramovitz, who has worked on the Highlander TV show, so expect plenty of pouting in soft focus and plot holes so wide even Sean Connery's ego could fit through. The upside is that Abramovitz is probably the only one able to make sense of the paradox-baiting Highlander mythos.
Like the original film, the game's story will span 2000 years in the life of Owen McLeod as he battles for 'the prize' against an army of immortal warriors who can only be killed by lopping their heads off. We're promises stages set in the highlands, ancient Japan, Pompeii and near future New York. Each stage is a mix of platform adventure and combat. You'll need to battle through the 'fodder' before confronting an immortal in swordplay.
Swords and sorcery
The platforming sections will feature familiar moves and elements, such as swan dives, beam running and dagger climbing -if you've ever played Prince of Persia you'll get the gist of Highlander instantly. Where the game will live or die is likely in its combat. The films are renowned for the sword fights and so Highlander needs to impress. There will
be Quickening Abilities to earn as you defeat enemies; while Fireblade, Wind Fury and Stone Armour are three abilities developer Widescreen is owning up to at present.
Characters will be able to tweak their resurrection and Chi balance - read stamina and health - as well as being able to power up for stronger attacks using the 'Source Channelling' techniques.
Highlander has us confused. We expected, and wanted, a one-versus-one sword slashing beat -'em-up set in the Highlander universe - what Eidos is offering is an adventure that sits between Prince of Persia and Dynasty Warriors.
The Unreal Engine means the game looks hot, and the inclusion of Ambraovitz on the roster will ensure that diehard Highlanders will want to play through this new chapter in one of the most confusing fantasy series to date.