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January 7 2007
Golden Axe: Beast Rider - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
23/10/2008SegaSegaSecret Level
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$99.95

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Tyris Flare is looking pretty hot.
Old school gamers rejoyce. Golden Axe is coming back, but has undergone significant changes and really is linked to the original 1989 arcade and MegaDrive game by name only. To be honest Sega haven't revealed a whole lot about this game since it was first announced at E3 2006 - almost two years ago now - but there have been a couple of screenshots release which you can see around this preview, as well as a few preliminary details. Rather then sit around waiting for more we thought we'd give you what we could.

In terms of storyline the details for Golden Axe: Beast Rider are pretty scarce. What we do know is that players will discover events that took place before the original Golden Axe storyline as Tyris Flare, the famous half-Gladiator/half-Barbarian heroine, begins the epic quest to avenge her tribe.

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Early graphics look impressive.
In case you didn't pick it up from our last paragraph this game sees you taking controls ot Tyris Flare, the female heroine from the original game. The two other heroes, the barbarian Ax Battler and dwarf Gilius Thunderhead do not appear to be in this game, at least not as playable characters. Rather then a hack and slash title as per the originals the developers are beefing this game up for the modern era and are calling this an action-RPG. Apparently you will be able to even recruit allies to assist you in your battles. The good news though is that as Tyris Flare you will be able to select from multiple weapons with Sega already confirming that swords and axes will be available. As expected players will also be able to use powerful unlockable elemental-based spells and magic will give players the advantage in battle. Not only will players engage in melee combat on foot, but also atop massive mythical beasts, savaging enemies with blades and magic on a quest for vengeance. This game will also have quite mature content with Sega confirming that dismemberments, decapitations and nudity will be present in the game - I can already sense trouble with the OFLC!

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Remember these guys with health and magic?
What has been confirmed is that the game will have a heavy focus on riding beasts which, given the screenshots and original games, would include plenty of dragons. Should they actually fly one can only hope that the developers take heed of the crap that was the control scheme in Lair and actually allow gamers to also use analogue controls - we are certain that Sega and Secret Level would have been paying close attention to the scathing response which Factor 5's title has received from critics around the world.

At this stage Golden Axe: Beast Rideris also only listed as a single player title at this stage. We would love to see some form of multi-player, if not online, then at least offline however with such a radical change in the game then we will have to wait and see.

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The dragons look impressive.
Previously Secret Level have developed the solid America's Army: Rise of a Soldier for XBox and ported Capcom's rather dire Final Fight Streetwise to the XBox as well. This is a totally new genre for Secret Level, and with such a big license we hope Sega are assisting as much as possible to ensure this reinvention of the series pays off. Until we see much more we'll reserve judgement, but we expect to hear much more about this exciting title - and hopefully get some proper PS3 screenshots - very soon.

Originally slated for relase in 2007 developers Secret Level obviously haven't met that target with Golden Axe: Beast Rider now slated for release on October 23rd 2008. Fortunately speculation that the PS3 version was going to be scrapped hasn't materialised, however we can only hope that the quality of the game doesn't tarnish the solid brand name.