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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Ninja Theory
Genre: Third-Person Action
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: September 12, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

August 16, 2007 - The game to end all games has almost arrived and everyone just canít seem to take their eyes of the upcoming epic title from Sony Computer Entertainment and Ninja Theory. Heavenly Sword first went into production back in 2002, when Ninja Theory was known as Just Add Monsters and were riding the success of the critically acclaimed Xbox 360 title Kung Fu Chaos. During this time, the company wasnít sure what platform this title would end up on, but they did know that they wanted to take gamers to a place in videogames that has only bee thought of, but never createdÖuntil now.

When you fire up the demo, the first thing that you notice about the game is it rich and immersive soundtrack that draws you into the game before you even get a chance to start the game. Ninja Theory wanted to combine the world of videogames with the musical symphonies that accompany big Hollywood budget films. At times you hear a melding of instruments to sooth oneís ears; most of the time solo instruments set the mood of the pending battles.

With the voice acting, Ninja Theory felt it was best to record the voiceovers in the heat of the moment, so they combined their motion capturing sessions with voice recording, thus getting a genuine feeling and a better connection to each character. Within Narikoís voice in the opening scenes before the action begins, you can since her anger and determination at seeking revenge on King Bohan.

Within the first year of the PlayStationís existence, we already see a title that outshines anything currently on the market, including the Xbox 360ís Gears of Wars and the upcoming Halo 3, in terms of visuals. Some may say Iím jumping the gun with this one, but after looking at the immersive and vibrant landscapes within the demo and the shear realism placed within the character models, there is nothing in existence that can hold a candle to Heavenly Sword. Extra detail has been placed within every single item on the screen, even when they are being destroyed to pieces by flaring weapons.

For more the past two years, we have been seeing countless video clips of our newly beloved heroin Nariko and her acquired, yet energetic sidekick Kai. But this past July 26th, Sony and Ninja Theory gave gamers and the world a reason to buy a Playstation 3 and rethink the possibilities of videogames through the release of a Heavenly Sword demo. Though the demo is only roughly ten minutes long, itís a true testament to what we can expect on September 12th and why you canít help but fall in love with the new videogame goddess.

Now Iím sure many gamers out there who have watched all the video clips and seen the game in action at previous E3 events, would say this game has deep roots within the God of War and Dynasty Warriors series. While similarities are evident, this game is in no way the stepchild to those games. Ninja Theory takes pride in creating a since of individuality, which is evident within each enemy character you go up against. Once you dart down the ropes in the beginning of the game to the stone plateau full of enemies, you see just how well they structured the AI. Each enemy acts and responds in different matters and mannerism, while at the same time melding their attacks, creating different combos requiring you stay on your toes at all time and prepare to switch attack stances to counter.

I have to say the controls were very easy to grasp, including the utilization of the motion-sensoring within the sixaxis controller. First and foremost, this game is not your traditional button masher like you see I games like Untold Legends and Dark Alliance. The countless enemies you go up against are always switching up attacks and even blocking, requiring you to either switch attack styles (speed, ranged, or power) on the fly, or become a defensive fighter for the moment. Though the demo didnít gamers enough time to put all the different aspects of the control scheme to the test, we can easily see that we have practically a perfect scheme to fit a nearly perfect product.

After playing the ten minute long demo, I kind of feel short-changed, but it was done for a good reason. Ninja Theory and Sony only want gamers the ability to get a taste, leaving countless surprises and elements to be explored once the game is released next month. Looking at the controls, they are rather compliant with the gameplay, but I feel the motion-sensoring can be tweaked a bit more, allowing the various combos to be pulled off better. Also, the inclusion of an alternative way to perform aerial combos within the game would help ease the transition for gamers who arenít quite comfortable with the motion-sensoring.

One this definitely clear from this demo Sony has a true masterpiece on their hands and come September 12th, the game world will never be the same again. For those who wanted a next-generation war, Sony is equipped to put the competition in its place.

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