|a game by||GSC Game World|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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The explosion of raw coding talent from former Eastern Bloc states is a trend we're quite fond of pointing out here at ZONE, and one that has already spewed forth many of the year's most enjoyable games. While innovation is generally not their strongest suit, the new flock of European development companies have proven themselves more than capable of producing solid genre outings with a refreshing depth ofgameplay.
As you can probably guess, Russian developer GSC Game World is one of our favourite examples. With Cossacks and Codename Outbreak, they've given us two of the year's finest outings in two very different genres, both of which surprised us with a raft of well-implemented features that belied their 'me-too' facade. Consequently, when the first images of their latest project flashed up on a ZONE monitor, there was an uncharacteristic flurry of motion among the normally comatose editorial staff. We were not to be disappointed by what we saw.
Initially revealed at ECTS in the guise of a tech demo, GSC has since revealed that what we saw was in fact its next game, currently going under the name Oblivion Lost. It's a squad-based first-person action affair, offering advanced team management that should build on the skills learned with the excellent wingman system seen in Codename Outbreak. Set in a not too distant future in which the discovery of mysterious travel portals has opened a new age of exploration and discovery, you'll take the role of a specialist operative in a team of heavily armed new world pathfinders. Each level will open up a distinctive new realm with unique flora and fauna, and, needless to say, they won't always be entirely affable. The potential also clearly exists for each world to have its own unique physics and gravity, but GSC was not to be drawn on this possibility.
At this early stage of development, the most impressive thing about the game is GSC's new proprietary X-Ray engine. Equally capable of rendering inside spaces and vast outdoor environments, as well as allowing seamless transitions between the two, X-Ray boasts impressive dynamic lighting and shadow effects, skeletal animation, and exact hit calculation for bullet collisions. If none of that floats your boat, how about accurately modelled hearing and sight for opposing units. Still not fussed? Well, just take our word for it - based on track record alone, Oblivion Lost is one to watch.