Smilebit, one of Sega's most talented development teams, is about to unleash a pair of its latest games on the Xbox. One--Jet Set Radio Future--you've no doubt seen plenty of coverage on. But what's this about a mech-based 3D shooter called Gun Valkyrie? Well, Sega finally sent us a playable this month and we're here to spill the beans.
For a straightforward action game, GV sure has a ton of back story. Its mad-scientist-corrupted-by-absolute-power motif is kind of over-the-top, but the industrial revolution-era premise does lend the game a unique flavor. So even while the individual missions feel somewhat disjointed, GV gives you plenty of reading material to tie it all together.
As you can see from the screenshots, it's hard to argue with GV's presentation. The game runs fast, looks gorgeous, and is ripe with creative vision. What these pictures don't convey, however, is the steep learning curve of the controls. GV uses both sticks on the pad to control movement and targeting...but strangely enough, you can't strafe. That's right, no strafing. Instead, you've got to master your jetpack for evasive maneuvers. You dash from side to side by pushing in on the left stick together with a direction, and pull off quick 180-degree turnarounds the same way on the right stick. And these are just the movement controls; you've also got to worry about targeting, switching weapons, and keeping an eye on your jetpack's replenishing fuel supply.
True, Valkyrie's overly complex controls had us stymied for a while. They're manageable, and eventually, you do get good at it, but the game just doesn't feel as intuitive as say, Zone of the Enders on the PS2. Of course, a lot of it may have something to do with the hectic battles. And at its heart, that's what GV is all about. Too bad the controls probably won't change too much before the game ships. We'll reserve final judgement until we get our mitts on a reviewable copy. Until then, keep drooling.
Download Gun Valkyrie
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP