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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 00:12 GMT
Xbox games get lift-off

As the Xbox launches in Europe on Thursday BBC News Online asks if the games live up to the hype?

Halo
This game is, without doubt, the most talked-about title available for the Xbox.

It is Microsoft's secret weapon in convincing you to swap your PlayStation 2 for their new console.

Graphically, the game is far and away the most impressive title to ever appear on a games console.

At times, it looks more like the kind of games you can only play on a PC costing more than 1,000.

The game itself is deceptively simple. You are a skilled soldier who leads a band of marines as they fight to save the last members of the human race from extinction at the hands of an alien race.

The game is shown in classic first-person mode and all things subtle are cast aside as you are forced to fight your way to survival on foot, in jeeps and aircraft.

The level of realism is astonishing, as is the sound element which adds a new dimension to the game play.

Four players can play on one Xbox and up to four boxes can be hooked together for multi-player fun.

Astonishingly good.


Project Gotham Racing

Racing around the streets of London, New York, Tokyo and San Francisco at ridiculously high speeds is the name of the game.

While lacking the sense of realism and attention to detail offered in the PlayStation 2 game Gran Turismo 3 it is a lot more fun to play.

The Xbox even allows you to rip - or copy - your own songs from CDs onto its hard drive and then have them playing as you race around.

Whizzing past Big Ben over Westminister Bridge with the theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service blasting out has to be enjoyed to be believed.

Project Gotham Racing is easily the best racing title on the Xbox and will no doubt attract many gamers to the console.

Class.


Oddworld: Munch's Odyssey
Enter the madcap world of Munch and Abe.

Anyone who has ever seen Terry Gilliam's film Brazil and loved it will immediately feel at home in Oddworld.

A dark, sprawling and endlessly inventive platform game it has the necessary "just one more go" feel about it.

Graphically the game is a joy but it is the wit, intelligence and humour that shines through.

At times you will believe their is a malevolent entity lurking inside your Xbox playing with you.

Unlike other Xbox games Oddworld is not designed to stun you into submission by the power of its graphics or sound but this is a textured game with intricate details and a lot of fun to play.

It will last a lot longer than many of your other games.


Amped

Snowboarding games have become essentials on games consoles ever since SSX burst acrobatically onto the PlayStation 2.

Amped is a hardcore snowboarding game that comes packed with the on-piste attitude of real-life 'boarders.

Initially, it is difficult to get your boarder to do anything other than fall over but once the controller is mastered you will soon by turning 360 degree turns with the best of them.

The game gives you the freedom of a mountain to explore and your aim is to get as many trick points as possible.

It looks glorious and some of the mountain views are so breaktaking you will lose your concentration and topple over.

The game comes with hours of cool music as a soundtrack and you can always add your own tunes via the Xbox's hard drive.

Cool fun.


In DepthIN DEPTH
Video games
Console wars, broadband and interactivity
See also:

14 Mar 02 | Entertainment
18 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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