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Steamships Ahoy: SiN Episodes: Emergence

The SiN Episodes Website has word that Emergence, the first installment in Ritual's episodic shooter sequel series, is now available via Steam:

Emergence, the first in a series of episodic games, casts players as HardCorps commander John Blade, stepping into the living world of Freeport City to defend humankind against Elexis Sinclaire, a beautiful and ruthless scientist out to remake humanity according to her own twisted vision. The law has failed to bring Elexis and her SiNTEK empire to justice, so you and your allies, the secretive hacker JC and fiery rookie Jessica Cannon, must bring down Sinclaire and her mutants before she can set her deadly plan in motion and forever alter the shape of humanity.

The Sin Episodes series is built on Source, the same engine Valve created for Half-LifeŽ 2. Source offers state of the art graphics, physics simulation technology, an advanced character animation system and more. In the creation of Emergence, Ritual has taken the award-winning Source engine into new realms. As an example, the game adapts and tunes itself to each player's skill level and play style through the Personal Challenge System, which measures player's abilities, behavior, and reactions to the game world and then adjusts the gameplay and enemy prowess to match. Ruthless foes such as jetpack soldiers and mutants will thus evolve as you fight them, adapting to challenge the strengths of skilled players while seeking not to overwhelm inexperienced gamers. In addition, Emergence features advanced AI where enemies cooperate with each other, highly interactive environments that allow players to set traps, location-based damage, and fast-paced vehicle combat.

Providing a complete game with 4-6 hours of gameplay for players of all skill levels, Emergence's self-contained story fits into an overarching story arc populated with strong characters driven by believable motivations that will be further revealed in future episodes. Featuring the new Context Look System, thoughtful players can choose to dig into the deeper aspects of the story while players who want to enjoy the destruction can charge ahead with only the 'mission critical' story points, advanced through choreographed sequences.

"SiN Episodes: Emergence provides a high quality, immersive experience in a compact and affordable package that is accessible to players of all skill levels," said Steve Nix, Ritual CEO. "Emergence is a true step forward built on our ten years of growth and learning at Ritual, and the structure of SiN Episodes allows our team to continue to create gameplay innovation and evolve the storyline as the episodes continue."

SiN Episodes: Emergence for the PC is available now for $19.95, and carries an ESRB rating of "M" (Mature). For more information, please visit the game's official site at www.SinEpisodes.com.

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93. Actually, I quite enjoyed it... May 11, 2006, 20:08 banksie
 
...yes it is an older game design with flaws. But the levels and interactive items within it is quite slick. Play with the phone for instance, there are at least ten or twelve numbers to call which are often quite amusing. Posters and graffiti around the world list them. Various secrets to find and satisfying deaths for the enemies. Well bar the overly repetitive minigunner death. A lot of newspaper headlines on the consoles throughout the game to let you fill in the time gap between Sin and Sin Episodes 1,

Also for those who are burning through the game in three hours, what are your difficulty settings? I got about seven hours of gameplay out of it for the first pass through with the end Skill rating being 75.1 Challenge 45.1. That was just default settings and the game scaled the difficulty up nicely for the most part. The worst bit was the giant mutant boss fights where the collision box on the mutant preceeded the animation a little so I was getting thwacked before the animation started for the thwack move.

I loved the fight up the skyscraper - especially the hijinks with the rocket pack guys. Watching them flop around as their tanks vent and then explode is just such fun. Especially with the lovely skybox of Freeport behind it.

All in all given that I got the game which I will replay at least once on a secret hunt, the SiN original game working on newer hardware (I own the original and even patched it doesn't run well on my machine, the sound keeps getting screwed up.) as well as a properly patched SiN multiplayer then I can't complain about the pricing. Especially given that we should get the Arena challenge mode shortly as well.

Does it advance the genre and do something new? No. But it is a solid and fun game that I'll certainly be buying the next episode of.
This comment was edited on May 11, 20:11.
 
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