GDC: Fury of a thousand suns

Upon dropping into the world, the first impression is: Holy Pixelshaded Lightmapped Christ this is shiny. No expense has been spared in building Fury's artwork, and they really show off the Unreal 3 engine's capabilities. In fact, it's so pretty it's distracting - I ran around for a good minute watching my ass glisten and glint with shadery shinosity, and, in the heat of battle, there's so many pretty effects flying around it can get a little difficult to tell what's happening. At least, for a newbie with tired feet.

The controls took some getting used to. In order to keep one hand free to shoot fire at your opponent, movement, targeting and camera are primarily controlled with the mouse. WASD also works, and I found myself falling back into that mode on occasion, but the speed of the game strongly encourages you to keep your fingers mashing the number bar. It's pretty standard MMO third-person control fare beyond that; click on a target, smack a number button to use an ability, rightclick to control camera, both-click-and-hold to move forward.

The devs started us up in a sort of 4-on-4 capture-the-flag variant called Vortex - meant for 16 on 16, to be honest. In this game-type, two groups compete to collect these alien crystal egg things that get dropped by a flying thing, murdering each other in an attempt to collect 'em all - or steal them from the other side. Grabbing one causes big green crystal hemorrhoids to erupt from your ass - oh, and you can't attack while hugging that egg, of course. That's up to your teammates. Green Crystal Preparation H doesn't help - you'll have to drop it at a collection point at your base if you want the neon burning to stop. Get enough eggs dropped off and ding, gratz, game, set, match. My team, with a Gamespot pubbie and a dev filling in the other two slots, won the day with our superior F13 strategy and tactics: "stick together, assholes".

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