PC Preview

First Glimpse: Galleon

Swashbuckling action from the original creator of Lara Croft...
Developed by Confounding Factor and Published by Interplay comes the long promised and awaited Galleon. This game is the first offspring of Confounding Factor whose company founder, Toby Gard, created Lara Croft. This third-person action adventure that will involve solving puzzles, combat and exploration of beautiful 3D environments, and is set to be released in Spring 2002. It will be released to coincide with the launch of the Xbox and Gamecube in Europe and followed, hopefully quite quickly, by the PC version. Whilst Miss Croft can sit back and relax with no worries about retaining her place as an icon, Toby Gard has been spending the last four years creating Galleon whose hero, whilst not having the physical attributes of Lara, will hopefully be making similar groundbreaking steps in the gaming world. Young boys may not obsess over the new hero, and I may not have to sit and watch for ten minutes as my boyfriend tries to swing the camera angle around to better view Lara’s assets, but this game looks to provide just as much, if not more, of the ever important gameplay requirements needed to be a hit. Galleon, taking after Tomb Raider, mixes exploration, puzzle solving, combat and narrative to create a 3D third-person action/adventure. Toby Gard has been quoted saying “Galleon is what he would have liked Tomb Raider to have been if he had not been constrained by Hardware limitations”. Due to the repeated delay of the release of Galleon and the constant growth of processing power has he, at last, been able to create his dream game? From what I have seen of this game, it looks to like the sort of game Lara would be sitting in her mansion playing and marvelling at. First Glimpse: Galleon The role that you play will be that of Captain Rhama Sabrier a sword wielding, seafaring man. You are summoned to the to the town of Akbah where a wise old man asks you to investigate a mysterious ship that has drifted into port. You discover that the ship isn’t all that it seems, and the old man employs you to discover the ship’s origins and source of its cargo, which promises to bestow magical powers that you must ensure don’t reach the wrong hands. Before you can begin the journey treachery is afoot and the old man is killed and the ship stolen. So off you go across the wide ocean where you will be called upon to solve puzzles and become part of an adventure that leads you to overcome invincible warriors and investigate eerie shipwrecks. Kung fu action and swordplay combat will feature to show off the agility, responsiveness and fluidity of the hero, Rhama. Keeping you company on your adventure are Faith, out for revenge for the murder of her father (the wise old man), Mihoko an assassin who, after you rescue her from slavery, joins you on your journey, and Calverley who mysteriously transforms into a monkey. The secondary characters have their own intelligence, which enables them to do their own thing, Faith has magical powers such as healing and casting light, and Mihoko, being a fighter, has extra strength and agility. Although these characters are able progress independently, you are able to issue orders to them in order to help you. Hours of action packed exploration will feature, apparently, and the gameplay will span six massive island locations, each involving Rhama traversing a beautiful and original world. This game will be rich in storyline and beautiful 3D animation that will have you swinging across rooftops, scaling walls and journeying through the Galleon world, you will be impressed by Rhama’s movements and intelligence as he automatically jumps up those ledges that, in most games, would normally require the players help; keeping the control interface intuitive and minimal, retaining focus on increasing the games accessibility. The graphics are as colourful and amazing as you would expect considering the time taken to create this game, with breathtaking battles that will immerse you deeper into the world of Galleon. First Glimpse: Galleon Being a fan of Lara and her adventures I look forward to the release of this game on the PC, even though Galleon seems to have been designed for console users, and tasting what the creator of Lara has been concocting for us all this time. I hope that it’s gameplay is as atmospheric and playable as the Tomb Raider series (although I thought that the atmosphere faded after the first game and reappeared in the latest), and its story as watchable, keeping the player as keen on reaching the next chapter as a good plot and immersive progression does. Let’s hope that the lengthy development period haven’t taken their toll, mind. In its own right, this game looks like it could be fantastic, regardless of the developers’ pedigree. It’s just a case of how long can we wait…