A story-driven snowboarder that plays like Tony Hawk! Heaven? Perhaps. Full preview inside.
Update: Oct 22, 2001
New screens have arrived, so naturally we update our preview. There are so many of them we have to create a second page for them.
If I had a nickel for every genuinely innovative game I've seen in this "next generation" of videogames, I'd have a dime. This is because most companies these days favor constant output of what works as opposed to attempting something new and original.
THQ and Radical Entertainment, on the other hand, have taken a bold step into foreign territory. No, they didn't pack ship for Cuba - they've taken a "get down the mountain first" or "score the most points" sport known as snowboarding, and tossed in some mission-based gameplay with a compelling storyline - the first of its kind. Name? Summit. Dark Summit.
Guess which one is the protagonist.
As the super sexy Naya, you will take the role of a woman with aspirations and curiosity. Her favorite spot, Mt. Garrick, has been locked down by resident ranger Chief O' Leary for no apparent reason other than to rid the mountain of its visitors. Naya obviously doesn't stand for this lockdown, and sets out in search of truth. What's O'Leary hiding, and why? Such is the story of Dark Summit.
Utilizing a control scheme similar to Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Dark Summit looks to feature some incredible gameplay across its forty-five mission-based objectives. These objectives will range from starting an avalanche to destroying surveillance outposts, and take place in both day and night situations.
There will be plenty of tricks and specials to keep you happy, but they will not be the point of the game. The point is to get to the summit. Not racing others, not racking up as many points as possible - just get to the summit. This, however, will be easier said than done as you must avoid various obstacles such as construction equipment in addition to outrunning the ski patrol on occasion. Yep, it's gonna be absolute mayhem from top to bottom... err... bottom to top.
You will, however, need to execute some tricks to garner "equipment points". These points will get you new gear such as bindings and boards, stat increases, and new outfits for Naya. While traversing the huge, expansive runs, you'll also need to earn some "lift points" via completion of the games various objectives. These points open up new sections of the mountain, and thus, help further your progress.
In addition to the mission-based story mode, Dark Summit will include multiplayer options for 2-4 people. Using one of six boarders with varying personalities and abilities, you'll be able to take on mountain challenges, half pipes, and more. Perhaps we'll even see a cool "smear the queer" mode where the winner is the one who mows Chief O' Leary down first? Er... maybe not.
Visually, Dark Summit's apocalyptic world looks amazing. Although not "photo-realistic" like Amped, it's much more colorful and lively, and full of trackside details such as radioactive spills, electric towers, bridges, and so forth. Naya looks rather sexy, complete with hair that flows in the wind like it should, and Dark Summits falling snow... oh lordy... best I've seen yet.
All in all, Dark Summit is a prime example of something to get excited about - it's innovation at its finest. Let us hold hands and commence in prayer that THQ brings the bacon home on this one - it could very well revolutionize the way we look at extreme sports forever.
Bets O' Leary's secret involves bacon grease and fried chicken.