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Oct 31, 2000

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


New Legends

Infinite Machine



Q4 2001

Somewhat High

Infinite Machine's ex-PC title gets the exclusive Xbox treatment. Will this be Justin Chin's next masterpiece?

THQ has recently become one of the most outspoken Xbox developers on the block, revealing plans to release a plethora of titles on Microsoft's console. Among these is New Legends. Originally planned for release on the PC, THQ revealed at its Gamer's Day event in Las Vegas that New Legends is now an exclusive Xbox launch title.

Being developed by Infinite Machine--a company founded by Justin Chin, who is famous for his efforts on Jedi Knight--New Legends will cast players into near-futuristic China, distraught with chaos and evil. The country has been split into a number of different provinces, each ruled by a different warlord. The game's main character, Sun Soo, is the son of one such warlord.

After being imprisioned at the hands of XaoGon, a power-hungry warlord who launches an attack upon all of the other provinces and their respective warlords, it's up to Sun Soo to defeat this evil tyrant and free his home province.

During Sun Soo's journey, he comes across a handful of non-playable characters who aid in his quest to reclaim his homeland. Each of these NPCs have special skills and attributes that can be put to use to achieve tasks that would otherwise be much more difficult. For instance, one NPC carries a sniper rifle, making the disposal of foes in secret a far simpler task.

These acquaintances are sure to be of great worth when Sun Soo is pitted against one of the game's five boss characters, each of whom draw his or her power from the five classic Chinese elements, earth, wind, fire, metal and water. Because of their affixation with these elements, the bosses are able to utilize powers derived from their respective elemental association. The earth boss, for example, has unusually great strength.

Spanning 37 levels, New Legends will see players thrown into huge environments based on real-world and fantastic Chinese locales. The game takes place in a third person perspective and features an intuitive battle system that consists of both close range melee weapons as well as long range weapons such as swords and even bazookas.

The game will allow players to utilize two weapons simultaneously, assuming, of course, that they can each be controlled with one hand. Characters will only be able to carry four weapons at any given time, and the weight of the weapons will affect the characters ability to move with quickness and agility. Aside from weapons, characters can employ shields, allowing for a more defensive approach.

Although taking place in the third person perspective, the game plays very similar to a first person shooter. Because of the game's weapon based combat, the designers have gone to great lengths to ensure that the player has complete control over their character's weapons. The game's transparent aiming display stays centered on the screen throughout the game, allowing players to focus on the movement and position of their character rather than that of the aiming display.

Previously putting to use the Unreal engine, the team at Infinite Machines has opted to instead utilize an in-house engine. As can be seen in the accompanying screens of the game, the characters are very nicely detailed, thanks largely in part to their 2000-5000 polygon-count models. The environments are perhaps even more impressive, sporting an insane level of detail despite the game's super steady framerate.

Adding to the game's visual flare is its virtually flawless animation. The characters head, torso and lower body all move independently of one another, allowing for a very realistic effect as well as much more effective movement. What's more, the game manages to achieve such realistic animations without the use of motion capture. The game's entire repertoire of animations is completely digitally animated. Quite an impressive feat.

Although few other details have been revealed, New Legends was described as a type of interactive "Hong Kong action film." We'll have to wait until we see more of New Legends to form a concrete opinion of the game, but if these early details and screens are anything to go by, THQ has a potential blockbuster on its hands.

Josh White
Is often considered a legend in his own right. Or not.

New Legends Screenshots

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