Preview: Genesis Rising (PC)

Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Developer: Metamorf Studios
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Release Date: March 2007

I have to admit some games, and some entire genres, have become largely color by numbers in this era. Countless games are produced that never give the gamer of today the innovations we often crave in our gaming. That is why when I do see a game coming out that takes a standard way of producing a certain kind of game and completely changes it to add not only innovation but entire new dimensions of game play I canâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t help but be a bit excited. Genesis Rising is defined as a RTS game, but it really does much, much more as the promised feature are enough to interest even the casual fan, and to truly entice the diehards as well.

The story sets the human race as the evil doers in the universe, conquering almost all known points of space and taking the other species and races under their rule. Now they have turned their attention to the final holdout of freedom left. The catch is that this last part of the universe is like a nexus of sorts, where the heart of the universe is and somewhere within there is the creator/divine entity/sacred cow/whatever you will call it. You will control the character of Captain Iconah, and according to what we know of the story you will be cast in a decidedly negative light as the humans in Genesis Rising are the invaders and slave masters as the universe instead of the race in peril. The way the human race was able to accomplish this comes down to one word: organids. In Genesis Rising organids are something that when used will be able to adapt and counter attack any kind of offensive your foes come up with. As a result humans have gotten cocky. Proscribing to what can only be called a modern divine right of kingâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s theory, humans have come to believe they are the ones meant to rule, and that they will rule by any means necessary. Honestly, the mere premise of this story truly intrigues me as a gamer. There are a lot of deeper philosophical topics touched upon in this storyline and I really believe this game will make you think and examine its plot a lot more then the standard fare we are usually treated to these days. One other interesting bit of info is that the story can be altered by interacting with various NPCâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s throughout the game and this can lead to three possible endings for the single player mode.

Graphically Genesis Rising will look stunning and seamless. With any science fiction game expect to see a plethora of starships that are all finely detailed with the complete â┚¬Å”sci-fiâ┚¬Â package. The truest testament to how much this game is capable of graphically, also ties into one of its more unique game play aspects. The human race gained their newfound dominance largely through genetic science, and as a result their ships are all genetically enhanced and engineered. Weâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll get into more detail on this in a minute, but graphically since your ships are genetic you can constantly change them through adding DNA. The changes, from early reports on Genesis Rising, is that the ships change and mutate in real time. Developers boast that Genesis Rising will have an arcade feel to it in terms of some of itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s game play and with that level of graphical power certainly the game should have that frantic yet gorgeous arcade look to it. Musically you had also better not expect to be treated to a tame soundtrack. Expect the usual assortment of sound effects and some very intense battle themes that should get the blood pumping as you engage in battles in the deepest recesses of the universe.

In terms of game play the experience looks to be pretty deep in terms of the nuances and details. First off you can toss out the idea of leveling up. The game play will play off the focus on genetic science here by incorporating DNA or genes into your ships that will add new abilities and features for your fleet to unleash upon your hapless foes. Genesis Rising will feature three different classes of ships and each will be able to hold varying amounts of genes in their gene slots. Having 30 missions to play through, promises to give you many opportunities to experiment with this genetic system of enhancements. However the actual game play should not confuse you because when it comes to battling itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s as simple as selecting your ship and an enemies and then watching the carnage ensue. All missions will also have the option of playing it cooperatively so your friends can join in if you want to mix it up from the standard solo fare.

Speaking of multi-player, Genesis Rising brings a 16 player set-up to the table. The players will be able to choose one of three different factions to play as each, each with their own unique brand of ships and gene enhancements at their disposal. There will also be several multi-player maps included, as well as a create-a-map option so you can personally sculpt your own battlefields.

In closing, Genesis Rising looks to be as fully loaded as they come. The storyline seems to be one of intrigue with serious religious and philosophical questions. The graphics promise to provide fluid visuals and epic battles. The game play will have a very unique system that will feature customizable ships that will genetically transform in real time. Basically Genesis Rising: The Universal Crusade is high on innovation and low on clichÃÆ’©s. With a release date of February 4th, 2007 gamers will not have to wait long to get their hands on Genesis Rising.