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Due October 2002 for PlayStation 2.

scr039-01.jpg (3788 bytes)In our present day, a construction crew unwittingly unleashes a dragon and by the year 2024, dragons have become the dominant species on earth. In Britain, Quinn Abercromby has become a resistance fighter based out of a burnt-out English castle. The film is definitely a must see, but after playing the video game at E3, I’d say it fits nicely into that category as well. Reign of Fire is a single player action game, but it’s almost as if you get two games in one because half of your missions are played as the hero Quinn and half are played from the perspective of a dragon hatchling you play to adulthood.

scr107-01.jpg (4194 bytes)According to the executive producer, there are roughly 20 levels to this game, half played in vehicles (as Quinn) and half flying (as the dragon). Quinn levels have a variety of vehicles (think HALOesque gameplay here), from jeeps to fire trucks (all of which take visual damage), and radar is available. Although missions vary from rescuing survivors, to putting out fires and general reconnaissance, the main plot goal is to make your way to the ruins of London—the site of the sole surviving male dragon. Voice-overs and cool weapons from the film help add atmosphere to the human segment

scr010.jpg (4156 bytes)As a dragon, your goal from infancy is to eradicate the human race. The executive producer said they were still working on non-human language based ways for the dragons to communicate when they team up, which really piqued my curiosity. The dragons get to fight crop dusters, do fly-bys of Big Ben, get damage and mayhem bonuses, and basically get to participate in "the desecration of central London." There are day and night levels for both humans and dragons, and this is amazingly effective with the fire effects. And speaking of fire effects, the game features realistic, reactive fire which is impacted by environmental elements, spreads quickly, and leads to great explosions (fireballs and napalm, baby!).

scr070-01.jpg (4482 bytes)The game follows the plot of the movie and also features real-time cut scenes which merge into the gameplay sections and separate missions. Another tie to the movie is the use of music from the film soundtrack. Reign of Fire is not yet rated, but they are expecting a Teen rating. I’m excited to play this game in full not only because of its premise and cool movie tie-in, but because the levels looked incredibly large, detailed, and just a heck of a lot of fun. The idea of playing a dragon from infancy and teaming up to plot the destruction of mankind is just too cool to resist. And on a final dragon note, there are several games recently (some already released and some I played at E3) that feature dragon flight and aerial fighting, and this title was one of the very few which actually met my expectations of what dragon flight could be. Kudos to BAM! on this one--I’ll be waiting for a full test flight in October…

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Monica Hafer (06/23/2002)