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Submitted by Chris Leyton on February 6 2005 - 15:25

Taking obvious influences from the likes of "24" and "Die Hard", Without Warning looks to instil some innovation in the action genre...

At a recent Las Vegas press event, Capcom lifted the wraps on its first European developed title, Without Warning, currently in development at Jeremy Heath-Smithâ??s Circle Studio.

Heath-Smith formed Circle Studio with a number of ex Core Design members, after Eidos â??liftedâ? the Tomb Raider franchise from Core and left the once-mighty development studio in tatters to focus on titles for the Sony PSP.

Without Warning is billed as a third-person action title and is scheduled for release on the Playstation2 and Xbox in Q4 2005. Set against the backdrop of a brutal terrorist siege on a U.S based chemical plant, the story takes place over a 12-hour period (â??24â? inspired videogames are coming thick and fast now), players experience the events from the viewpoint of six characters that are caught up in the crisis situation.

This dynamic allows the six central characters to experience events from across the same timeline but from their own distinctive viewpoint. Taking control of the characters individually, the focus automatically changes to a new character at key moments that are then unfolded through cut-scenes. As players switch through the characters, their individual stories are brought together to create an overall picture of what happened during the crisis.

Actions that you carryout throughout the game affect the progress of others, and so you must successfully utilise the strengths of each character in order to advance through the game and continue the story. In addition you can also view events retrospectively through the eyes of another character, allowing you to view your own actions as a participant within the scene.

The cast of six characters includes three members of the covert-ops team sent into address the situation and bring it under control, whilst the additional three characters are civilians caught up in the situation.

Kyle Rivers heads up the Covert-Opâ??s team and comes from an experienced military background; Jack Hooper is the new-guy on the squad for whom this is the first mission; whilst Ed Reagan is the bomb-disposal specialist and extremely formidable in close-quarter combat.

Each of the three civilians have individual agendas; Tanya Shaw is a secretary within the building, terrified players must guide her to escape; Dave Wilson is the security guard who was overlooked by the terrorists and is now helping to fight them; and finally Ben Harrison brings up the rear as the token news cameraman who is grounded when the terrorists down his helicopter and must obtain breaking coverage from within.

Itâ??s immediately evident that inspiration draws from the likes of â??24â? although aspects of the â??Die Hardâ? series have also been melded into the equation. Certainly itâ??s great to see some developersâ?? approach the action genre with a little thought, hopefully ensuring that the game will offer diverse gameplay and an absorbing storytelling method; weâ??ll have more on Without Warning soon.

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