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Dec. 27, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page



previews

Duality

Developer
Trilobite Graphics

Publisher
Phantagram Interactive

Genre
Action/RPG

Anticipation
High

Get a bursting inside scoop on Trilobite Graphics' upcoming genre bender, Duality where virtual and reality meet.

Trilobite Graphics was founded by a group of developers formally known for their work with the Commados 2/Praetorians teams at Pyro Studios. The central cores of the company's talents are based around senior programmers, graphic artists, and designers who previously worked on Commandos. For personal reasons, the group left the Pyro Studios teams to begin their very own company, known today through the name of Trilobite Graphics. The development group is currently hard at work on their first title, Duality, an Action/RPG mix that sends the player to a virtual world of paranoia.

If you've seen, and enjoyed, The Matrix, then this Xbox title should catch your attention. Duality is based in two diverse worlds, cyberspace and real-space. Cyberspace is a totally unique reality as it features its own physics and laws of nature. It can also have countless representations, depending on the different computer factors, where as real-space is more stable, and along the lines of what we distinguish as being "life like".

Not much information has been released on the game's storyline, but we do know that you begin the game in the shoes of a mercenary named Travis. Your task, as the man in charge a large security branch for a major corporation, is to protect highly confidential blueprints for an upcoming product. But that won't be easy, due to the fact that a competing business is looking to discover those same blueprints. What seemed to be a regular day at work for Travis suddenly becomes one of his worst nightmares. He is put in a coma and awakened to find that the blueprints were stolen from right under him. Somehow, somebody was able to get through the large security system placed inside the building. Your mission is to find and regain the stolen blueprints, which your company desperately needs.

In order to accomplish your assignment, three characters will be made available. Each character has his, or her, own strengths and weaknesses, particular weapons and exceptional skills, giving it a reason to be included in your mission. Let's take a deeper look at them, one by one…

Mercenary: Named Travis, this assassin gains a reputation by taking out specific targets, for whoever can cough up the most coins. The money earned will be used to upgrade your character with weapon implants for infiltration and assault, sensors, optical camouflage, jammers, and new armor. Travis has the ability to automatically aim his weapon to designated targets, making him, without a doubt, the best choice for combat.

Hacker: When in the shoes of the hacker, your computer skills allow you to crack into complex computer systems and plant traps such as sensors and scanners for your opponents to lie upon. The hacker is given a "Program Bible", kind of like a spell book found in most RPG titles, to help advance his skills when it comes to matching up and combining programs, and achieve faster learning times when training for new materiel. Unlike the mercenary, the hacker must manually aim his weapon on enemies, which makes it very tricky for him to stand a chance against the better equipped enemies. But even so, the hacker should become a hefty part of everybody's game.

Virtual Being: The virtual being was originally a scientist, accidentally brought into cyber space. Now he is a program without a physical form, invincible in the cyberspace and capable of influencing the real world. His goal is to hunt for his own identity and to figure out who's persistently attacking him. Eventually, the player will uncover the god-like powers in which this virtual being possesses.

When it comes to enemies, Duality has a bunch of them, including humanoids, cyborgs, virtual entities, transformers and machines. Duality's game engine has the ability of displaying 4-5 large opponents on screen at the same time, with smaller sized ones around the initial combat zone. The game's very advanced form of AI script ensures that your enemies will act as a team in combat, and not just a group of "dumb" individuals that come up to you alone and unarmed.

Duality is mission based, but does not have that boundary feel that Goldeneye 007 had. What makes Duality neat is that players have the freedom of undertaking the task of their choice from a constantly changing list. That directory will be updated according to what the player's actions throughout the game. Some missions are related to the plot-line, which means they will be displayed in a certain order, and others are just there for the players to experiment their new techniques, and of course, enjoy the game. Trilobite Graphics' has also revealed that they are currently working on adding cooperative and competitive missions to Duality's multiplayer mode.

Visually, Duality looks nothing short of utterly stunning. The game takes full advantage of bump mapping, dynamic shadowing, real-time mash smooth, inverse kinematics and localized damage features. Each individual character uses somewhere around 2000 polygons, but can be fooled for a much larger number. To make the game even more realistic, the developers have worked out a way to display separate upper and lower lip movements, as well as facial expressions depending on the character's mood.

The game will be published by a well known development team, the Korean based Phantagram Interactive. Duality is currently slated to hit the PC and Xbox platforms late in 2002, with both versions being nearly identical, except the fact that the PC version should hit stores at an earlier date.

Matt Thomas
Hopes to come out of cyberspace some day.





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