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Nov 14, 2000

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page



Crytek Studios





X-Isle appears set to become the most visually impressive squad based FPS ever released. Check out our full preview...

Tactical FPS squad-shooters are becoming more and more popular these days and Crytek Studio is set to throw their hat in the ring with its stunning X-Isle. Using the CryEngine, Crytek's in-house engine, X-Isle is able to pull off some amazing effects such as realistic skeletal animation and fog physics, reflection, bump, and environmental mapping, and dynamic levels of detail to name a few.

The story behind X-Isle is equally as detailed. A dinosaur-like alien race has been hiding itself from Earth for millions of years on five small islands in the Pacific. The islands are very well hidden and are being used as a base for experimental laboratories-nothing can be seen or detected on radar. Suddenly, though, the islands appear and the UN dispatches a team of marines to investigate. When communication with the marines is cut off, the UN sends in and elite force to find the missing team.

Players will assume one of the roles of this team as they traverse terrain straight out of the Jurassic era. From what we can see in these screen shots, lots of detail has gone into the environments. It also appears this alien race has learned a few tricks, as some dinosaurs seem to be able to make themselves invisible. Whether or not this is just a demonstration of the game engine's power or part of the game is not yet clear, but pitting yourself against invisible enemies would make for a great challenge.

At the core of X-Isle is a deep multiplayer experience in the vein of Tribes and Half-Life: Team Fortress. There is also a short single player campaign to help players get used to the controls and game mechanics. Players will search out the missing marines and once found, they'll then have to search out items to bring back to the marines. Some objectives span the entire five islands, while others won't require much travel.

This is one of the first Xbox titles that'll make use of its broadband capabilities. Hopefully Xbox players will be able to join PC players as they take on the evil reptiles. The multiplayer experience is said to be fast paced with plenty of action. This is the perfect game to showcase Xbox's graphic and broadband abilities. Other possibilities include real-time chat between squad members thanks to DirectX 8.0's DirectPlay IP voice communication. While not much more is known about the game, it's shaping up quite nicely and looks to give games like Tribes 2 a run for its money.

Crytek is set to make X-Isle more than just a good-looking multiplayer game. There's a whole cinematic feel about the game that Crytek hopes gamers will appreciate. Judging by what we've seen and heard of the game, X-Isle is well on its way to providing that high-action movie experience. There's a lot to be revealed about X-Isle before it ships, but what has already been revealed makes the title a highly anticipated one.

Robert Zuniga
Loves blowing away dinosaurs with big guns.

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