Originally due sometime last year, Winback from Koei and Omega Force is now scheduled for release in the winter of 1999. The reason for the delay? According to Koei, Nintendo took interest in the title and asked Koei to work out some of the kinks in the original version, since they felt it had potential. Because of this we'll get new four-player modes, larger levels, more complex gameplay and much more.
From the makers of such PlayStation fighters as Dynasty Warriors and Destrega comes WinBack, an explosive new action/adventure title for the N64. Best described as a cross between Metal Gear Solid and Time Crisis, WinBack opens as a group of terrorists called the Crying Lions seize control of a top-secret weapons satellite. As a show of their might, Crying Lion leader Kenneth Coleman vaporizes the Center for Space Development and demands the immediate emancipation of the Lion's homeland, Zarozcia. Knowing it will take three hours for the satellite's lasers to recharge, the Secretary of Defense dispatches S.C.A.T. (Strategic Covert Actions Team) to the scene. As S.C.A.T. races to the satellite control facility, their chopper is shot down, scattering the 10 team members and throwing the mission into total disarray. Playing as S.C.A.T. member Jean-Luc Cougar (the love child of Jean-Luc Picard and ]ohn Cougar?), you must locate all surviving team members and defeat Coleman and the rest of the Crying Lions.
As mentioned, WinBack plays much like Metal Gear, only with less of an emphasis on stealth. Armed with an automatic pistol and an infinite supply of ammo, you must mow down a legion of grunts and 10 colorful bosses before taking on the big man himself. As he makes his way across a number of interior and exterior environments, Jean-Luc will come across fellow team members, who supply him with information and the occasional special item, such as A C-4 explosive and a bomb detector.
(Meeting team members also triggers a brief real-time cinema, such as the "tear-jerking" encounter with Matthew Brown, who, much to Jean-Luc's horror, receives a sniper bullet through the head after promising to attend church more regularly, should he survive the mission. So cheesy, you just gotta love it...) As in MGS, you must use items in your environment--such as crates, barrels, walls and trucks--to provide cover during firefights. If you draw your weapon near a wall, Jean-Luc will instinctively hug it, allowing you to pop out from behind it with a touch of the Aim button to surprise any unwary soldiers on the other side.
Unusual for a game of this type, WinBack also has four different Versus Modes: Death Match, Lethal Tag, Cube Hunt and Quick Draw, which should pump up the game's replay value considerably. Another welcome turn of events, WinBack will be launched simultaneously in Japan and the U.S. sometime mid-March. Kudos, Koei!
As part of S.C.A.T. (Strategic Covert Actions Team), you must infiltrate a complex that has been overrun by terrorists. Your objective: Prevent the terrorists from using the GULF system, a satellite capable of destroying large areas of the planet with a single laser beam. Combining elements from GoldenEye's shoot-em-up view with Metal Gear Solid's stealthy maneuvering, Winback features an array of weaponry, intelligent enemies, and the ability to move freely on any level. No doubt stealth is wealth this year--but will this "special op" game have enough firepower to gain an edge over its competition?
KOEI'S LOOKING TO put the moves on Metal Gear Solid with Winback, the new third-person shooter. In Winback. you're Jean-Luc, a mercenary on a mission gone awry.
The highlight of Winback is its head-to-head mode, which includes several games: a team battle, a deathmatch, a lethal version of "tag," a gathering contest, and a quick draw. Winbacks frame rate in the preview version we played remained high even during split-screen action. At this early stage, Winbacks interface had a ways to go: The camera constantly got lost, and you often couldn't see where Jean-Luc's laser sight was pointing. If Koei can fix up the control issues and add some flair to Winbacks environments, it may be the N64s take on MGS.