E3 Coverage: Sammy Studios

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posted 5/17/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
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The Shield

Ever heard of FX’s award-winning police drama? Well apparently so have the folks at Sammy because they’ve green lighted a video game based on one of their favorite programs. At first we were expecting to see a mediocre game that was hoping to succeed on the basis of the license, but as we watched the demo we realized that it was a game destined to stand on its own merits.

From what we’ve seen, The Shield would be a fun game even if it were to lack the blockbuster license. It has a number of very interesting gameplay mechanics that we’ve yet to see in this type of game such as the interrogation system. So let’s say some punk is giving you a hard time. You look down and realize that you’re wearing a pair of steel toed boots so you “negotiate” the information out of him by giving him a swift kick to the midsection. You’ll have two bars to watch out for, the interrogation and the health meter. The key to success is to break the NPC’s will without killing him. Go too far and you risk compromising the mission. Since you’re a cop killing an innocent will result in failure so finding a good blend is the key to success here.

You’ll play as a number of the game’s different characters but the main focus will be on Mackey (whose voice and likeness is also featured in the game). Our demoer showed us an extremely impressive build of an adult toy store that featured some excellent texture work and architecture. We were told the build was pre-alpha but the quality of the level was that of a near final build. All of the textures, design elements and animations were practically in place; including the gunplay and hand-to-hand elements. Even at this early stage the combat was fun and engaging, the developers are currently planning on adding in a ground grappling system before the game ships.

Other elements planned for the game also correspond with the themes of the show. So while you may participate in a traditional 3rd person assault to nab your perp the next scene may shift to an interrogation setting with the department’s other officers. It looks to have plenty of depth and the project is shaping up quite nicely.
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