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Jan. 17, 2002

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page



previews

Armada 2: Exodus

Developer
Metro 3D

Publisher
Metro 3D

Genre
Space Combat

Anticipation
Medium

Get the scoop on Metro3D's upcoming sequel to the Dreamcast game you never played.

Armada 2: Exodus is the follow-up to the space shooter, Armada, developed for Sega's Dreamcast console. The Action packed title scored mixed opinions from gamers and reviewers around the globe. The game was mostly criticized for the fact of not really featuring a "real" ending, meaning the game ends, but then goes on for eternity. That attribute is quite unlike many video games developed these days. Games like Asteroids and Galaga have always been fun and entertaining, and hopefully Metro3D can raise the space genre to new heights with its upcoming title.

Metro3D was founded in 1994 under the name of "Metropolis Digital". The company mad a name for itself developing special effects designed for television and movies. In 1998, they moved on to the gaming industry, which was (and still is) expanding extremely fast. Metro3D has developed such games as Puzzle Master for the Game Boy Color, and Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse for the Playstation 2. The studio currently has a hand full of titles in development for multiple platforms, including the GBA, PS2 and Xbox. At the moment, in addition to Armada 2, Metro3D is developing an Xbox exclusive FPS named Shayde: Monsters vs. Humans, expected to be displayed on store selves sometime in October of 2002.

Armada 2: Exodus is marketed as being an explosive, fast-paced action title that delivers an adrenaline rush like nothing gamers have felt before. Hopefully, the developers can deliver to the high expectations set by those few words. The playing field has been set with the original title, the follow-up looks to deliver on that promise.

Games of this genre never really featured incredibly deep storylines, but surprisingly, Armada 2: Exodus does. The setup for the game's storyline involves the last six remaining Earth tribes that are driven from their planet and are pursued persistently throughout the galaxy by an intimidating force known as the one and only Armada. Enter the player, in the figure of a high-end spacecraft. Armada 2 sets the player on a journey across the galaxy where he will encounter a variety of missions. The main assignment for the player is to eliminate the remaining Armada forces once and for all.

The only decent help out there is "The Alliance", featuring those same six tribes chassed away from Earth. Just like in the original Armada, the six groups are; Terran, Nomad, Eldred, Scarab, Drakken, and Vorgan. Each individual clan has it strengths and weaknesses, and shares the ultimate goal of wanting to defeat the Armada and return home. The game's sundry tribes are all accessible to the player sometime throughout the game. Strategy will certainly become a key element in the game early on.

Delivered to the player at the start of the game is his very own personal region in universe called "Guild Space". The player must then mle through other Guild Spaces, which he will end up cultivating if all goes well. As obstacles, hundreds of intelligent AI enemies are placed throughout the galaxy. In order to help the player actually discover something in the amazingly mammoth world, an advanced coordinate-based navigation system was planted into the game. The navigation system has potential to become the player's best friend as he/she scours through the galaxy searching for opponent forces.

Armada 2's universe is enormous. Games that feature large worlds usually become repetitive and boring very rapidly, but Armada 2's ever-changing environment should put an end to that. Exploring space alone brings the gameplay hour count into the dozens. Unlike the first game, Armada 2's planets actually have dissimilar forms, shapes and colors. That is certainly a step up in giving the game a more realistic appearance to the human eye.

Armada 2 is pretty much centered on operating a spacecraft [it is primarily a space combat game. - ed.]. The player's spacecraft is capable of numberless customizations; as a matter of fact, it is rumored that Armada 2 will trait over 1.2 million bits and pieces! Thanks to this feature, we can expect to see lots of different set ups. Credits will not grow from a tree; in fact, it will take skills to be able to afford the more advanced items. As the player racks up more kills, experience points (credits) are poured into his account accordingly. The concept is simple; destroy enemies, get a better spacecraft.

When talking features, Armada 2 has a large single-player mode, along with some kind of multiplayer co-op set up, enabling up to 4 players to play simultaneously. Thanks to the Xbox built-in Ethernet port, the possibilities of an online mode are very probable. Armada 2 going online has not yet been completely confirmed by Metro 3D, but rumors persist. Looking at the game's release date, it is pretty much a given that players will be able to take each other on over Microsoft's Xbox online service. So far, speculation also has it that player account data will be stored on a server when playing online. This feature could also allow players to download special item lists or gameplay modes even after the initial release of the game.

So far, it is reported that Armada 2 will sport many new graphical formulas, such as real-time curve and terrain generation and spatial warping. On top of those, plasma clouds and asteroid belts are expected to find their way to the game. Looking at how Armada shaped up nicely on Sega's Dreamcast, the chance that the sequel will look even better on the more powerful Xbox is expected.

Expect to see the Xbox version of this space shooter fly by a local entertainment retailer near you during the 3rd quarter of 2002.

Matt Thomas
Don't call it a comeback... no wait, that's not right...





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