100 Bullets E3 2004 Hands

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100 Bullets is the forthcoming action game from Acclaim's Austin development studio that puts you in the shoes of Cole Burns, the star of the comic book series of the same name. The game will also let you play as a new character--devised by series creator Brian Azzarello--named Snow Falls. We recently got to play a level, which starred Snow, that was set in a mansion near the end of the game. In it, heavily armed commandos were infiltrating the building and were killing everything in sight.

100 Bullets plays like your typical third-person action game, with Halo-style controls that feel pretty satisfying. There will be a huge arsenal of weapons to use in the final game, and we got to try dual pistols, a grenade launcher, a shotgun, and a rifle. The designers are toying with the idea of giving your aiming a quasi-lock-on feature, such that when you paint a target, your crosshair will stick to it for a short time. The game also has hostage mechanics that allow you to incapacitate enemies so that you can use them as human shields--or you can just brutally execute them. In the level we tried, our enemies were gunning for us so aggressively that we didn't get to try grabbing them.

Acclaim previously touted a new gameplay mechanic that was to be added to the game, but it hasn't revealed what this mechanic is until now. Essentially, you'll have a rage meter that builds up as you kill enemies, and when it's full, you can hold the rage button to unleash an attack that will kill every enemy within range. The catch here is that this happens in a cinematic fashion, so the challenge for the team is creating a system that will make this effect look convincing and cool no matter where you use it or how many enemies are around. Simply tapping the rage button will automatically kill only one enemy, and it will only take a little bit of your rage meter.

100 Bullets is sporting a finer layer of polish than the last time we saw it. Placeholder art has now been replaced by the final product in many places, and lots of elements in the environment are destructible now, which really helps to enhance the frantic quality of the action (what with things breaking all over the place). The game is slated for release in the fall, so we'll bring you more on it soon.

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