Take to the high seas and blow the competition out of the water.
Stormfront Studios, known for its collection of racing games (such as Hot Wheels Turbo Racing for the N64), takes a crack at Microsofts' Box this fall. Instead of the usual first wave derby race or Nascar championship games, Stormfront brings us Blood Wake, a fast paced action game with gunboats and huge explosions.
The game takes place completely over water, and has an arcade feel as you race across the sea passing islands, fortresses, enemy boats and powerups. Graphically, the game is amazing (of course, this is Xbox), with water that "glows" with realism. The water is incredibly detailed, the sun reflects across its' surface, and the explosion of colors dance across the water. Not only does the water look real but also sprays nicely as you glide across the water and dive under and above it. Not only the water, but also the land looks great as well. Palm trees and rolling hills can be seen on the beaches, and huge forts sparkling in the water.
Overall, there are over 25 missions, varying from escorts to recon and assault. You may sometimes find yourself simply escorting a cargo ship or perhaps invading a huge enemy fortress. The mission variety will certainly add to the complexity (and length) of the single player experience. Although some may find this type of gameplay to get boring after some period of time, Stormfront is doing it's best to keep you playing with Blood Wake's multiplayer aspects. Challenge your friends in modes such as Deathmatch, Free for All, and possibly a Capture the Flag mode all running at a steady 60 frames per second. Bot support will also be included, so if your skills are down, you can improve them against a number of AI controlled enemies.
Aside from the missions and multiplayer modes, you can select one of over 10 classes of gunboats, each ranging differently in handling. It's up to you to use a trial and error method to decipher which one is best for you. Some may be more powerful, while others may be lighter but quick, something to think about on those missions where speed is more desirable than sheer firepower.
With a steady amount of enemies, the gameplay should prove to be intense. Stormfront reassures us that the gameplay will be fast and furious as the levels have been designed specifically to keep the action flowing. There are coral reefs and other such ramps thrown into the game to boost you (or your enemy) off into the air.
So far the game looks to be heading off well, but will the missions and multiplayer modes be enough to keep you playing? This December that answer will be revealed, as the game hits stores this holiday season.
Scott "VeX" Kuss
So new in town, he forgot to include a tagline.