E3 2010 games to watch: True Crime preview

WithE3 getting ever closer, we're cuffing more games and throwing them against the wall in order to give them a violent frisking and to shake them down for all their illicit details. As part two of our twice-weekly previews spotlighting the most aniticipated titles, we're kicking down doors for True Crime, the latest in the series that began as a shameless GTA-alike, but we're hoping is something more this time around.

Above: The martial arts move known as "Jean-Claude Van Damme's Job Application"

WhyTrue Crimeis one to watch:

  • The setting is Hong Kong. While that might not seem so special, consider how often sandbox games regurgitate New York City, LA, and similar grungy American cities. The shimmering Chinese city could be a nice change of pace.
  • Due to the developer's Need for Speed pedigree, the city is laid out in a racing-friendly design, asking you to blow through it at 200mph.
  • Driving is heavily focused on motorcycles, with tons of models to ride and snazzy stunts to pull off, like time-slowed precision aiming and dramatic leaps onto moving vehicles. Sounds very Just Cause 2, something every fun-oriented action game could use a bit more of.

Above: AKA the "Steven Seagal Job Application"

  • Unlike typical sandbox games with rough-and-tumble brawler-style fighting, True Crime sees Detective Wei Shen gracefully kung-fu kicking his way through the seedy Honk Kong underground.
  • A big part of combat will involve using the environment improvisationally, like the moves of Jason Bourne. Snatching knives, smashing heads into various objects, and electrocuting foes are all part of your arsenal.
  • Character customization is central to the gameplay. In the Face system, what you wear affects where you can go and who you can meet. Entire missions and areas of the game will unlock when you get a flashy suit, but if you revert to grunginess or flagrant violence, the upper crust of crime society will snub you until you can regain Face.

So does True Crimelook like it can stand out amongst all the other sandbox games? Can it overcome its B-grade status and become a true GTA contender?Let us know in the comments or through our portals onFacebook (opens in new tab)andTwitter (opens in new tab).

May15, 2010

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.