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April 1, 2004
Death By Degrees - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
14/4/2005SonyNamco1$99.95

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Nina gets her guns off!
Nina Williams is the gorgeous, lightning-fast assassin who made her debut in the Tekken series. In Death By Degrees Nina is commissioned to investigate the whereabouts of a stolen high-tech weapon, and steps out of the ring on an intense action–adventure all her own. With an innovative 360 degree fighting system and a fluid, acrobatic hand-to-hand combat engine at her disposal, Nina must infiltrate a shadowy underworld and reveal conspiracy on a global scale. Use any means necessary—including stealth, espionage, ferocious gunplay and brutal weapon attacks—to recover the stolen goods and uncover the truth.

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Using the sword.
With a character taken straight out of Namco's own Tekken series it's not surprising to see that many of her moves are taken straight from their brawler including throws, submission holds and the lethal Evil Mist. Naturally to suit the 360° environments the controls have been altered slight to allow Nina to counter enemy threats on all sides at any time by utilizing both analog sticks to unleash a deadly flurry of attacks in any direction. Nina can also use an on-screen “X-ray vision” to target enemies’ vital areas. Exactly how Nina will be able to target these vital areas during combat remains to be seen.

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Just hanging around.
Death By Degrees will be peppered with stealth sequences which allow you to silence enemies with chokeholds or swipe fingerprints from downed sentries to gain high–security clearance and access protected areas. As you can see from the screenshot to the right Nina will have to perform dangerous stunts to remain in stealth mode. Master a vast array of firearms, blade weapons—including tonfa and katana—and acrobatic, and hand–to–hand combat moves.

In order to tell the story the developers have created more then an hour of pre-rendered and in-game movies. In typical Namco fashion these are of the highest quality.Gripping, cinematic storyline unfolds across more than an hour of pre–rendered and in–game movies.

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Getting a 6 combo.
The idea of a spin-off game isn't a new one, but it must be said that Namco are making a fairly strong attempt with this game. There is little doubting the quality of their fighting games, especially the Tekken series so there is likely to be ample support for this game. My hesitation comes in the knowledge that Namco aren't known for their strong action/adventure titles. Recent games such as Dead to Rights, Spawn: Armageddon, and Kill.Switch were all good, but never great. Let's hope that Death By Degrees marks a new era for the company. Mark your calendars for mid-April 2005.