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January 3, 2007
Arthur and the Invisibles - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
25/1/2007AtariEtranges Libellules1$49.95

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Graphics are quite stunning.
One of the hardest things to do in the games industry is to hype up a game which the developers and publishers can't really talk about. That has been the case with Arthur and the Invisibles (which is the American/Australian name for the much cooler sounding Arthur and the Minimoys). The movie, which is part real life and part CG, is actually written and directed by legendary French director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon and Transporter). In fact Luc Besson has written four books in the series which has formed the basis of the movie. With a budget of $US80 million this will be the biggest European CG movie of all time - and with Luc Besson behind the movie it's almost certain to generate a lot of interest, and probably a very interesting story as well.

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Everything looks massive.
In the books, movie and game players re-live the fantastic adventures of young Arthur and his two pals, Selenia and Bétamèche, in their mission to save the Minimoys world from destruction. Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, a tiny people living in harmony with nature.

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Open the gate...
Essentially this game is a 3D platform/adventure. As the Minimoys are tiny inhabitants of the world, only millimeters in height, everything looks massive in comparison to the main characters. As you're travelling through the game world, even the smallest insect looks like a giant in the game. Animation is already smooth and the trailer released at E3 showed elements of puzzle solving, and possible on rails shooting sections. Primarily though the game is a third person combat title. Switching between the three characters is simple and each has their own powers to battle the enemies.

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Characters are stunningly detailed.
The movie uses a blend of 2D, 3D, and rotoscoped animation, and this style is also being transferred to the Playstation 2 game. It's fair to say that Arthur and the Invisibles is quite a striking game visually, and certainly looks like pushing the PS2 a fair way. That's even more impressive when you consider that the movie, as well as the game is going to be aimed at the younger market and developers Etranges Libellules don't look like taking any shortcuts with this title. Hopefully the gameplay can match the impressive visuals.

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Effects are pretty neat.
The movie has a pretty impressive voice cast and while we've heard rumours there hasn't yet been a definitive response that all the cast will be lending their voice, or indeed likenesses where applicable, to the game. Stars in the movie include Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Arthur, Penny Balfour as Arthur's mum, Mia Farrow as Arthur's Grandmother, Madonna as Princess Selenia, David Bowie as Maltazard, and Snoop Dogg as Max.

At the moment Atari Australia have Arthur and the Invisibles scheduled for a release on January 12, 2007 - the day after the movie is scheduled to hit our cinemas. With a release price of only $AU49.95 this could be a game worth checking out.