Take-Two Interactive (Gathering, Gotham, Rockstar)|
Visiting the Take-Two booth is like stepping into heaven. Their booth takes up an entire "block" of the showroom floor and while half is dedicated to dozens of playable games on display, the press area is totally enveloped in white. White curtains, white carpet, white furniture - it's such a contrast from the darkness of the rest of the show that your eyes actually have to adjust.
With three companies now under the Take2 "umbrella" there was plenty to see this year. Rockstar had just released Vice City to the PC and Midnight Club 2 for the Xbox was just around the corner. Gathering of Developers had an impressive selection of titles, both new and some sequels. Newcomer, Gotham Games was going strong with three new titles and a sequel to last year's hit, Desert Storm.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
After taking the PS2 by storm Tommy Vercetti is about to take over your PC with an all-new enhanced version of Vice City that utilizes the power of your PC. With improved graphics running at higher resolutions with more detailed textures, Vice City has never looked better, and the custom MP3 radio station feature means that Vice City has never sounded better. Looking to personalize the gameplay - try scanning your picture into the computer and mapping it over Tommy's face. Now you are the Most Wanted man in Vice City. Good luck!
Midnight Club II (Xbox)
Another game that found its fame on the PS2 is now headed to the Xbox in June with improved graphics and framerates that will have you tearing around Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles at dangerous speeds. Avoid the cops as you progress through increasingly difficult street races and individual challenges. Exciting multiplayer games will have you playing this game long after the single player races are over.
Space Colony (PC)
This had to be one of the most inventive games I saw at the Take2 backroom screenings. Combining elements of the Sims and Sim City then taking this unique hybrid into outer space clever, but making each of the 20 colonists dysfunctional rejects is pure genius. You'll be responsible for everyone's personal happiness and productivity as they try to stay alive and perhaps turn their colony into a resort getaway. The fun really starts when robots start running amuck or aliens take over the disco. This game is going to revolutionize sim gaming when it releases this Summer.
Railroad Tycoon 3 (PC)
PopTop has gone back to the drawingboard for this third installment of the famed Railroad Tycoon series. This time the game is in glorious 3D allowing for zooms ranging from the entire country down to each individual boxcar. Everything including trains, buildings, and landscapes are all modeled in stunning 3D with day and night cycles and random inclement weather effects.
Play through 25 challenging missions using more than 40 locomotives and 35 types of cargo. The HUD has been enhanced to allow for much more intuitive controls over trains, cargo, and managing your business empire. A robust multiplayer component rounds out this excellent simulation that will pull into the station this Fall.
Hidden & Dangerous 2 (PC)
Join the Special Air Service in the next installment of the World War II squad-based action game that has sold more than a million copies since its release in 1999. Hidden and Dangerous 2 will have you engaging the enemy in Europe, Asia, and Africa, authentic SAS theaters of war. Combining intense first-person combat and tactical strategy, this game may just redefine the way we play wargames when it releases this Fall.
MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch (All Formats)
You've seen the show, you know the rules. Now you can control one of 15 famous celebrities, perfectly recreated in the classic visual style of the show along with over-the-top moves and gruesome fatalities. I played the PS2 version of this game and was laughing so hard it was difficult to even concentrate on the gameplay. Look for this hilarious game this Fall.
Starsky & Hutch (PS2/Xbox/PC)
Based on the 70's TV show of the same name, you'll get to slip behind the wheel of that famous red Ford Torino in a game that will test your driving and your shooting skills. The game is cleverly designed as a TV show where you have to maintain a certain level of excitement to keep the audience entertained and the show's ratings high enough so you don't get cancelled. Look for this unique driving game on the PS2, Xbox and PC this Fall.
Conflict Desert Storm 2: Back to Baghdad (PS2/Xbox/PC)
You are put back in charge of an elite squad of Special Forces operatives to infiltrate Iraq and overthrow his fascist regime. Armed with an authentic arsenal of high-tech weapons and vehicles, you will go up against impossible odds. Only your combat skills and ability to lead your men will get you through intense firefights, gripping stealth missions, and vehicular combat. This stunning sequel is scheduled to ship this Fall.