PC PREVIEW: Devastation

Unless you’ve got a name with clout (Medal of Honor), or a bunch of bit-superstreaming hypertechnology suites that will alter the infrastructure of the universe on a molecular level (Doom III), it takes a hell of a lot to get people to pay attention to your new PC first-person shooter these days. So what’s Devastation got going for it? Well, aside from the exploding remote-control rats?

Devastation’s story involves the usual ‘bad future, evil corporation’ fare, as you and your Resistance friends try to restore freedom and happiness to the gloomy dismal reality of life, using giant chain guns, rat drones (navigable rodents with bombs strapped to their backs), and countless piles of ammunition.

A recent four-level demo of the game showed off most of its strong points. The levels were just plain gorgeous (if dirty and gritty can really be called ‘gorgeous’), sporting some of the most detailed and convincing ruined cityscapes to date (the game uses a hyper-modified Unreal engine to handle all the artwork). The attention to particulars didn’t end at the textures; nearly every tiny little object could be shot up, knocked around, or otherwise folded, spindled, and mutilated.

Devastation’s level structure falls somewhere between the traditional mission-based FPS (Unreal 2, for example) and tactical squad-based games like Counter-Strike. Nearly a dozen Devastation team mates fight at your side in some levels, and guiding them in battle was simple… just press the ‘V’ key, click on a name, give a simple attack/defend ‘stance’ to take, and let them think out the rest. A couple single-player missions were structured similarly to online Team Fortress-style multiplayer games, and the game is definitely made with a multiplayer slant in mind.

Devastation should appeal to those who like the middle ground in their shooters — anyone who thought Unreal 2 was too linear, or finds Counter-Strike too socio-strategic. Whether or not it joins the elite rank of FPS games that history actually remembers, only time will tell.

Publisher: Arush Entertainment
Developer: Digitalo
URL: www.devastationgame.com

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