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February 14, 2005
Constantine - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
25/2/2005SciBits Studios1$99.95

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What the hell...
I have to say I'm not a huge fan of Keanu Reeves. I don't think he's a great actor, hell, probably not even a good one. Having said that his role of Neo in The Matrix movies was perfectly suited to him and now comes Constantine, a movie which - to be honest - I knew nothing about before doing the preview for this game. When I saw the trailer first impressions were of a matrix styled movie to keep him employed. A bit of research, however, and I discovered that Constantine is actually based on a Vertigo/DC Comics character, John Constantine. Constantine first appeared in the comic book Swamp Thing in 1985 but by 1988 had become such a popular character that he appeared in his own books called Hellblazer which were written by Jamie Delano and drawn by John Ridgeway. So this game is based around the movie, which is based around the comics, which is based around the character. Comprende?

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Some nice fire effects.
Constantine tells the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.

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Using the "True Sight" ability.
Set across 14 massive levels Constantine is a third person action/adventure game and by all accounts it's looking pretty solid. During the game John can travel between the normal world and the demon world. The hellish world looks just that - hellish. The sky is a blood red, the worlds are destroyed, objects are being thrown around. As Constantine you have an array of powerful incantations and an arsenal of spectacular holy artifacts including the Crucifier, Holy Shotgun and Dragon’s Breath Flamethrower. Use the unique “True Sight” ability to identify deadly half-breeds and other unearthly demonic secrets. It is even possible to perform exorcisms on humans who have been possessed!

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Somebody's coping it!
Graphically this game looks decent, but certainly isn't the best yet seen on the Playstation 2. The game levels look a little simplistic and sparse, but the game looks quite fluid in action which is probably more important and the visual effects looks pretty special. The hell world looks particularly impressive.

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Time to start blasting.
Much like the movie upon which this game is based Constantine is still a bit of an unknown. The developers Bits Studios have had a patchy record on PS2 with their two games, Die Hard: Vendetta and Rogue Ops, being solid, but somewhat underdeveloped titles. Having said that, Constantine looks a step up from those titles and with such a big license publishers Sci, movie makers Warner Brothers and property owners DC Comics will be keeping a close eye on this game to ensure quality. Expect an Australian, and worldwide, release in late February 2005 to coincide with the movie.