|a game by||Warp Inc.|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 4 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Originally created to run on the 3DO's stillborn D2, Warp's art-house game D2 is finally seeing the light of day in August. The game has undergone extensive retooling over the years and become an odd combination of computer-generated cinemas and first-person shooting with Tomb Raider elements. Sega had to make a few changes for the U.S. version, like no giant tentacles spewing milky white liquid. It's surprising that the sequel to an FMV adventure looks like this.
D2 is a strange little game. While technically a sequel, the only thing it bears in common with the original is a creepy story line and the main character Laura. After years in the making, Warp has ditched the full-on CG FMV for a real-time cinematic approach. That means everything that used to be prerendered is now done using the game engine. Funny thing is it really doesn't make much difference since all the events are scripted, and the game moves at a Myst-like pace. Supplementing the glacial tempo of the game is a third-person exploratory mode, where you can actually move a 3D Laura through a beautiful snow-covered Canadian environment. The hitch is that you run into "random" battles along the way that switch you to a first-person perspective. While it sounds like fun, these battles cease to be random when they occur every 15 virtual feet. You'd think the snowmobile would scoot you around faster and farther, but all it achieves is getting you caught in battles that much faster. The gunfights themselves are agonizingly repetitive with the same few monsters showing up time after time. You can shoot rabbits and fry 'em up with your cooker, but health canisters are everywhere anyway, so why bother? The story line is enjoyably bizarre in that uniquely Japanese way, but the pretentious ending feels like Warp ran out of ideas. If you're interested I'd definitely rent it first.
Ah...snow-covered mountains, single-room shacks, people "blossoming" into monsters left and right. Good Canada, how I miss her! This game is not D, it's more like D meets Parasite Eve. When Laura's indoors the game feels a bit like Warp's original 3DO title, but outdoors she's got monsters to shoot, vast mountain ranges to navigate, and animals to hunt. It's an odd mix that seems pretty unintuitive at first, but grows on you as the very disturbing plot of D2 begins to develop. Although Sega screwed up the experience with horrible dubbing and a comical attempt at censoring the more inappropriate sections of the game, D2's still worth playing.
This is a strange game. Wait, that's an understatement. D2 is one of the most screwed-up games ever made; Sega toned it down a bit from the iapanese version, and the game suffers for it. The one true thing D2 has going for it is its incredibly strong sense of the surreal. And while that feeling still exists, it doesn't have quite the impact found in the original release, bringing the problematic gameplay closer to the forefront. The combat system is horrible and you're often just walking around in a very boring snowy landscape. D2 is still strange, wacky and wonderfully unsettling--just not as much so as it once was. And that's kind of sad.
Originally designed and developed for 3DO's ill-fated M2 console, D2 has a long and storied history behind it. In development for over three years, D2 is the third, and supposedly final, Warp game that will feature their near-mascot Laura Parton.
Having appeared in the eponymous "D" (on 3DO, Saturn and PlayStation, and the neo-follow-up Enemy Zero, Laura makes her third appearance on a next-generation console in the long-awaited D2.
The game opens with a CG-rendered FMV (found on disc 4 of all places) that shows Laura traveling on a plane flying high over the Canadian mountains. Unfortunately, terrorists happen to be riding the friendly skies, and it's not long before gunfire interrupts the proceedings. As if that weren't enough, a mystic shaman and a meteorite also factor into the chaos and soon the plane (and Laura) find themselves plummeting to the snowy tundra down below. What ensues is a frozen struggle for Laura and the other few survivors to find their way out of this frigid wasteland.
Gameplay takes place via a number of styles, all seen in previous Warp games, but never all at once. Like the original D, you get to watch a lot of FMV, only this time it's rendered by the game-engine instead of being CG. Like Enemy Zero, action sequences are handled in a first-person perspective, although it's not free-roaming. Instead, you're fixed on the spot as you attempt to mow down the enemies that surround you. Lastly, and only in minute quantities, there will be moments of sheer blackness and silence, much like Warp's experimental Saturn/Dreamcast project Real Sound.
While this makes for an interesting hodgepodge of gaming styles, it remains to be seen if gamers will embrace it. A number of changes are being readied for the American release, such as toning down some elements that some might find racially offensive. There are also some moments certain gamers might find sexually offensive that will be altered to make the game more accessible to a wider range of gamers.
While no release date has been set in stone, it seems as if D2 has tentatively been pencilled in for an early spring release, possibly as soon as April. Check back for more details as the American version nears completion.
When we last left Laura, the heroine of D (3DO's top adventure game), she was languishing on the D2 system, waiting for her sequel to debut Now Warp has taken Laura to the Dreamcast--where she'll find a much happier home. Given that the game will move over a million polygons per second, Warp points out that even individual expressions will be noticeable. Indeed, most characters in this action/adventure/RPG hybrid will contain at least 5000 polygons. D2 should make more people sit up and notice the Dreamcast.