October 15, 2000
X Squad is an original title from Electronic Arts, and one of a few non-sports titles announced for the system from the company. The game is set in 2037 when the government has lost contact with one of its secret military bases and had reports of the personnel acting suspiciously. The task of the X Squad is to eliminate the terrorist threat, save any hostages and recover top-secret materials.
Fortunately, the X Squad has a large range of weapons at its disposal including handguns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, sniper rifles and new hi-tech weapons among others. The squad consists of 4 members who will listen to commands such as support, cover, defend or attack. With gameplay reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation, and a similar amount of realism and atmosphere, it's hard to see this game not making a noise upon release.
Graphically, X Squad looks impressive, if not stunning. With several months before release there is still some time to improve this further, although the game already uses a variety of special effects including fog, smoke, rain, mist, lasers, water and fire. Each is enhanced significantly by the power of the Playstation 2. The characters are made up of 5,000 polygons with over 2,500 motion-captured animations. The game also includes over 30 minutes of cinematic sequences.
X Squad is looking hot to say the least. Electronic Arts look like they may have made the right move to develop titles exclusively for the Playstation 2. This game should keep gamers fairly happy until the release of Metal Gear Solid 2 late next year.