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Pariah

It's no longer a secret that Digital Extreme's groundbreaking first-person shooter plans to do nothing less than grab you hard by the not-so-proverbial knackers and drag you into a simply unmatched world of stealth, intrigue and high-octane action that will leave you positively reeling.

The legendary Unreal developers are backing up these words with actions; a couple of Hollywood's finest writers have been drafted in to make sure the plot is in the same league as the blistering FPS action, and top dog Mojo Inc have been signed to create a series of four trailers for the game. Looks like the effects of Halo 2's epic cinema trailer are already rippling through the industry.

If that was the news on BBC, then this is what you get for flicking over to Channel 4 - Pariah's multiplayer looks ready to have a fair crack at blowing Halo 2's clean out of the water.

The shock revelation of the year is that Pariah will feature what we've waited yonks for in many of our Xbox games - a multiplayer level editor. Yep, it's true. At last, we'll be able to experience the joy of creating a deathmatch playground full of our favourite weapons and vehicles and give players the ability to use them as we see damn well fit.

The MAP editor (stands for Make And Play) is not the full version of the painstaking and powerful Unreal Editor, but rather a streamlined creation tool (a la Tony Hawk). Don't worry about its limitations though; we're promised all the options we'll need to change textures, alter the terrain and environment, place objects and player start points and even determine the lighting effects. It all sounds nothing short of astonishing, and we're hoping it will set a precedent for the world of online console gaming. Your desire to play online is going to increase massively if your map is so popular that it becomes a world favourite - this is how Counter Strike, the world's most played game online, started out! We only hope the control system is up to scratch - many console shooters have fallen short of the precedent set by Halo by failing to invest the effort in creating a perfect joystick acceleration model or subtly large enough crosshair sizing and aiming aids. Get this right and we reckon they've nailed it.

Pariah will released for Xbox and PC in spring 2005

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