|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Offset Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: TBA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: TBA 2007/08||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Online Multiplayer||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Greig McAllister
Set in an epic fantasy world, Project Offset (working title) holds tremendous promise for RPG and FPS fans alike, although not much is yet known about this epic game, including who the games publisher will be. Whether that is because there is not yet a publisher that has committed to the project or because they have simply decided not to release that information is unknown. Due for release sometime in late 2007, possibly early 2008, Project Offset (working title) begins the game with the players hero selection.
Your selection will be from among multiple races/classes, although how many will be available has yet to be announced. After the player has made a selection, they will customize their heros appearance and basic abilities. Now its time to begin the adventure of a lifetime.
As you advance in your quest, your hero will become stronger and will acquire new abilities. Although not much is known about what types of abilities will become available, Offset Software has stated that while you will be able to upgrade your hero, "the core of combat still relies on the skills of the player and not their gear. The battles of this conflict are not won with weapons but with the skills of those that wield them." That being said, it is still important to upgrade your character as much as possible to gain an advantage over the enemy. Also, adding to the depth and excitement of the story is the detailed scripting that allows the player to take conversation into a direction of their choosing.
At this point, not much is known about how the multiplayer will be set up, although what is known has great promise. Players will join together online to complete mutual objectives on massive battlefields in a struggle against the enemy in Team Objective Mode, or team up for a fight to the death in Team Deathmatch. The player limit is still unknown at this time.
Throughout the gameplay and demonstration videos, the visuals look absolutely stunning. The rendering of both the characters and the environment around you is smooth and very detailed. I especially enjoyed the motion-blur effects, which to this point have generally only been seen in certain cinematic sequences, but now take effect throughout all of the gameplay. Using the Offset Engine, Offset Software has also added in soft-cell shading, which results in each individual object casting its own unique shadow in beautiful detail based on where the lighting is coming from and how strong it is.
Also quite impressive was the musical score and sound effects. The music from all of the test videos and brief gameplay videos was fantastic and truly immerses you into this epic game. Included in the musical score were two songs from the Lord of the Rings trilogy which, I think, is completely appropriate for the tone of the game. Adding to the great musical score was the beautiful sound effects. Each sound that I heard was very fitting, including the swift drawing of a steel blade (including the high ringing tone that emits from the vibrations of the blade) and the sound of a large steel mace smashing into the stone floor.
Although we still do not know a great deal about Project Offset (working title), it seems to me that it will be a greatly enjoyable game even if Offset Software delivers only half of what it promises, which does not seem likely. I am truly very excited for the release of this game and I think that it is going to be quite groundbreaking in its capabilities and features. I assure you that we will keep you posted as new information becomes available to us, but for now we will just have to wait and hope that things continue to progress smoothly.
CCC Freelance Writer