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March 5 2009
Stormrise - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
26/3/2009SegaSegaCreative Assembly
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-22-8$99.95
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Enemies in Stormrise look fantastic.
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Combat takes place on land, and in the skies.

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Firing on enemies from behind cover.
While The Creative Assembly hasn't had a massive output on consoles their PC games are stuff of legend. Their Total War franchise is massively popular and includes some wonderful battles. Now owned by Sega the development team is working on another battle game, Stormrise, which is heading to the PS3.

Earth's protective atmosphere has been stripped away by a catastrophic event centuries ago. In a bleak and barren landscape, the planetís inhabitants have had to adapt radically in order to survive, resulting in the creation of two distinctly different races; the Echelon and the Sai. With both factions constantly battling for supremacy, the rebuilt civilisation is on the brink of another catastrophe.

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What the hell is that??!!
Stormrise breaks tradition with the genre's typical top-down viewpoint, allowing players to explore and track enemies in multi-dimensional areas, including everything from high-rise rooftops to underground caverns. This could result in a major change for gamers used to the genre. No longer can you simply throw a few units at a building to fortify it, but rather can place them on the ground level to cover advancing troops, or take position on the roof to take them out from above. To counter this the attacker can use air-based units to take out the rooftop soldiers. It certainly looks like adding a new element to the RTS genre.

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A nice explosion in the dark.
Not only does this game bring something new to the table in terms of verticality, but also the ability to zoom right in to your units for a close third person perspective viewpoint of your units. You will be able to order them around to flank the enemies, or take cover behind objects. The good news for console gamers is that despite the game coming to PC's with Windows Vista (it requires DirectX 10 so no love for Windows XP users), the game has been designed with consoles, and console controllers in mind. By using the right analogue stick you can "whip" around between the various units.

Multi-player will be a major component of this game, and it should be perfectly suited to it with support for up to 8-players online. A "Join Anytime" feature enables quick setup, map rotation and easy matchmaking for multiplayer skirmishes.

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The PS3 version of Stormrise looks impressive.
Graphically Stormrise is quite impressive. As you can see from the surrounding screenshots the warring units look impressive with some great effects such as explosions and weapons. We will have to wait and see if the frame rate holds up - whenever you see plenty of characters running around on screen at once this always becomes a questionable area, but the results from The Creative Assembly in previous games have been impressive.

With a release now set for late March 2009 we only have a couple of weeks before we get our hands on this game. It looks good, and if the developers can bring us some large-scale futuristic battles with plenty of gameplay then this should be a winner.