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E3 Impression

Rifts: Promise of Power

05.19.2005

HEATH HINDMAN
STAFF COLUMNIST
PHILIP BLOOM
E3 CORRESPONDANT

SCREENSHOT
RAGE

Since I was at E3 and seeing that the N-Gage did in fact exist, I decided to hound the poor friendly N-Gage representatives to point me to RPGs. And lead they did as they tried to tell this ol' dog about Rifts and their new game Rifts: Promise of Power which they were showing off on the floor which was to be a familiar foray into the old Rifts universe. Now, admittingly, I'm not a big Rifts fan. I know my stuff like any true blue RPGer should but I tend to use my Rifts books as prop to balance my bookshelves more than I use them to run a game. Starting off, I promptly saw that I was watching a brightly colored armored figure who I could lead around their isometric angled town. I responded to this by promptly accidentally exiting the game and dialing 90210. They did forgive me. A representative then came up and helped get me into the game proper explaining to myself and Klaxor who had the misfortune of playing this beside me a bit about the game while I was waiting for it to reboot. They were striving in it to capture the feel of actual rifts while at the same time bringing some of the familiar character classes Rifts fans know and love.

SCREENSHOT
With exciting characters such as Modly Old Man and Cliche Robot

In a way, they succeeded. The game is pretty faithful in battle to Rifts, complete with crazy Juicers and glitzboys and all kinds of cybernetic weirdos standing next to mages while each character swatted away at armor to try and get at the poor fleshy within, who died pretty quickly the second his armor ran out. It was delivered as a tactical strategy game where characters had some action limit, I couldn't really figure out exactly what but it seemed to be two attacks and some long range of movement, and switched off based on speed. All in all, it did come off as a reasonably faithful take on the Rifts universe.

The problem with this is that it isn't very fun. The combat is slow paced, the controls semi awkward and the general feel of it boring. It took a good twenty minutes before I got sick of the one combat I'd gotten into which mainly consisted of blasting away armor while a random new person showed up each minute to shoot at me. The second I did get through the armor, the character died in a blink of the eye. Yes, realistic, but not particularly fun. The whole slow pace of battle is a pretty darn bad sign as it doesn't make for a good portable game. Basically, I'd suggest if you're unfortunate enough to both be a Rifts fan and an N-Gage owner this game might be for you. Other than that, don't give it a look.


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Console:
· N-Gage

Release:
· 08.16.2005

Publisher:
· Nokia

Developer:
· Backbone Entertainment


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