It takes three to tango. Preview

It takes three to tango.

There’s a good reason why it’s called “Rock, Paper, Scissors” instead of just

“Rock, Paper.” When it comes to strategy, three is indeed the magic number.

Two opposing forces are rarely perfect matches for one another, but add a third

and suddenly the entire face of the game has changed. One side is strong but

slow, another fast but weak, and another a balance of the two. Otherwise, Paper

beats Rock, time and time again.

In Interplay’s upcoming Giants: Citizen Kabuto, three sides vie for

control of a fantastical island…and it’s a little more fun than Roshambo.

With jaw-dropping graphics, a hefty dose of humor and some incredibly fun gameplay,

this highly anticipated game proves once and for all that size doesn’t matter

– usually.

Giants has been in development for a really long time. In fact, it

was a runner-up in several categories in the Best

of E3 Awards – 1999
. Well, times have indeed changed. GR was lucky enough

to get our hands on a press beta, and our interest level shot through the roof

after playing around with this gem for a bit. In addition to the gorgeous graphics,

there’s more game here than meets the eye.

The single player game revolves around the Island, a floating paradise populated

by a variety of bizarre alien life forms. Two species dominate the planet: Kabuto,

the enormous, lumbering Giant, and the Sea Reapers, beautiful seagoing magicians.

The two live in fear of one another (well, at least the Sea Reapers do), until

one day a spaceship crashes down from the heavens. Inside is another species,

the Meccaryns, a high-tech military crew. The Island isn’t very big, and soon

enough the three forces collide.

Smallest in stature are the Meccs, the token earthling representatives and

the most familiar of the three. Meccs rely on technology and air supremacy (they’ve

got nifty little jetpacks) rather than magic or brawn. With a variety of cool

guns and items, these techno-junkies have the firepower to easily hold their

own against their alien counterparts.

From the oceans emerge the Sea Reapers. The lovely ladies embrace magic over

technology, though they’re deadly with bows and swords as well. Equipped with

a kick-ass turbo boost (the graphical blur effect is REALLY cool), these sirens

are quite versatile. Plus they’ve got some impressive spells…tornado, anyone?

But the spotlight truly shines on Kabuto, the giant, er, thing who literally

towers above the competition. In addition to stomping, eating and bodyslamming,

the not-so-gentle giant can lay eggs. After they hatch, Kabuto can order his

offspring to hunt other creatures or have them fetch him some food. What a good


When it comes to eye candy, Giants delivers enough sugar coated joy

to give you cavities for weeks. From the amazing textures to the fantastic vistas

to the plethora of particle and lighting effects, this is sure to please. Kabuto

in particular is quite impressive, and it’s obvioius that the developers have

put a great deal of time into him. I should also mention that the Sea Reapers

prefer to go topless. Their breasts are sure to stir things up a bit, though

personally I admire developer Planet Moon for sticking to their guns. Why should

they wear shirts? They live underwater!

While primarily an action game, Giants adds depth by including real-time

strategy features. Each side can have a base constructed for them by collecting

“Smarties,” the other intelligent life on the island. Smarties can also be ordered

to construct hi-tech weapons and vehicles for the Meccs, and will be more than

happy to supply the beautiful Reapers with various spells as well as energy-based

bows for swift ballistic attacks. The Smarties simply require a steady supply

of food as payment for their generosity, and by hunting the indigenous cow-like

Vimps, this can easily be achieved.

The beta build we received contained a few single player missions, which hint

at the truly hysterical story. The top-notch voice acting and a bizarre plot

add humor to a game that would have been just fine without it.

However, the game really shines as a multiplayer affair. The three forces

have varying strengths and weaknesses, and the checks and balances work out

well. Of course, play balancing is the sort of thing that developers tweak right

up until the day the game goes gold, so keep your fingers crossed.

The game community has been waiting a really long time for Giants,

and thankfully the wait is soon to end. It’s currently planned to ship sometime

this Winter. In the meantime, a word of advice: go with “Paper” – everyone always

chooses “Rock.”

Kabuto screens! Click to enlarge!

Kabuto like pretty island. Kabuto throw Vimp! Kabuto hungry.
Kabuto need toothpick. Kabuto collect things. Kabuto has little friend.

Mecc screens! Click to enlarge!

What a lovely sunset. Die, Ripper scum.
What's that I see? Enemy in my sghts? Nope, not any more.

Sea Reaper screens!

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