We update our preview with a wonderful batch of new screens and a packshot! Mmmm - taste the goodness.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the toughest women ever to grace a television screen. Soon, gamers will be able to bring her home and play with her [Not in that way you dirty gamer. - Ed.]. Bringing her charm and style the game uses a third-person perspective and puts a heavy focus on martial arts-style fighting. Buffy enters, sees some vampires, and basically kicks their ass Bruce-Lee style. She is one tough chick known as "The Chosen One".
As for the story, the game appears to take its cues from an episode early in the second season, while the gang is still in high school. If you aren't a fan of the series [Shame on you. - Ed.] a general outline of the games plot may be confusing at first. These old demons have lost their place in society due to changing times and they are trying to take over the earth by creating a bridge between Hell and Earth, leading an army of demons into the living world.
For this terrible plan to succeed, the vampires require the dark powers of the Master, a 600-year-old vampire with expertise in opening dimensional portals. Unfortunately, Buffy killed the Master at the end of the first season. Looks like somebody will be messing with the laws of nature - ok, more so than they already are. It's up to Buffy to save the world from vampires and demons and to save the human race from being "drained" from this devilish plan.
While Buffy will be the only playable character in the game, all of the other major characters will make cameos on a need to know basis. Voices of favorite characters from the TV series including Angel, Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Spike, the Master and Giles are featured in the game to help Buffy rid the world of evil.
While some details are still sketchy, we have learned that Buffy's animations were actually motion-captured from Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double. This should help in recreating the feel of the television show. Unfortunately, we have learned that Sarah Michelle Gellar will be the only person not reprising their role in the game. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, but could play out to be a distraction.
Visually, the game is beginning to look like a second generation title. Buffy's (in game) face is starting to look like the real deal and the environments are extremely detailed as well. From what we've seen, many atmospheric effects are being included that make the game much more graphically sound. The animation in the game is very detailed and looks very realistic in correspondence to the actual show.
All of Buffy's favorite haunts are included in the game such as: Sunnydale High School (and it's library), the cemetery, and The Bronze nightclub. While the school's library is primarily used for the planning of the gang's exploits, it also happens to be the portal that sits on top of the Hellmouth.
An intelligent combat system allows enemies to perform counter attacks and learn from character's fighting techniques. Buffy has special abilities and powers called Slayer Powers that can be used to destroy the enemy, depending on her current level of experience and power (kind of like an RPG, but not) such as: martial arts, gymnastics, super jump, quick healing, and slayer sense.
Fox says that "the game combines action, fighting, drama, humor, exploration and puzzle solving in rich interactive 3D environments," which may seem like quite a handful, but if you've played Xena and Tomb Raider (or watch the television show), you may have a decent idea of what this game is going to be like. Expect a little more action than that Lara character, but pretty much the same concept will be applied to this game.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is set to hit the Xbox sometime in the first half 2002 and this is setting up to be one visual spectacular. Audio will be Dolby Digital 5.1 and the Xbox power will surely be on display when you pop this one in. Be on the lookout for Buffy as she Xbox consoles save from a vampire-y doom. Does Buffy have what it takes? Oh yeah.
A tough chick fighting vampires? I like it a lot.