Without Warning revealed

After World War II, mouthy but endearingly furry sidekicks and cel-shading, the latest trend in gaming seems to be for multiple playable characters. Or games where groups of heroes share the lead role, giving the gamer their own unique view of the story.

Core Design's Project Eden first attempted it a few years ago but, since then, we've seen Metal Gear Solid 2 divide the battles between Raiden and Snake and soon Killer 7 will be here to do the same - but with multiple personalities.

Which in a roundabout way sums up Circle Studio's Without Warning. This brand new action-shooter combines the high-tech setting and eco-warfare plot of Sons of Liberty, comes from the former Core team that worked on Project Eden and will be published by Capcom, as is Killer 7.

But it promises to be far more than just a software salad of other influences because of the names behind the game. Even if you've never heard of Core Design and the names Adrian Smith or Jeremy Heath-Smith don't mean anything to you, you will know a certain Lara Croft.

The Smiths and Core were the team behind all of the Tomb Raider games, until the ill-fated saw publishers Eidos give the girl over to Crystal Dynamics.

But Without Warning promises to take the chaps in a very different direction from their buxom cover star.

Set over 12 hours, this third-person shooter tells the split stories of six characters trapped in a chemical plant after a terrorist invasion. Split between three innocent civilians and three special-forces soldiers, the action flips from hero to heroine while the plot unfolds and is retold from each character's unique perspective.

So while River, Reagan and Hooper might be competent covert ops troopers, Tanya Shaw is a fearful secretary, Dave Wilson is a brave security guard and Ben Harrison is an intrepid news cameraman.

Cleverly, the game exploits these vastly different people by weaving each character's tale in and out of the others, allowing you to shift sides in the middle of the action and even retrospectively enter another person's view.

Using a clever camera system that focuses on the target, not the back of your head, and a neatly laid-out control system, you can harness a huge armoury of weaponry and skills to free hostages, defuse bombs and put a cap in every terrorist you see.

We will have an exclusive interview with Jeremy Heath-Smith, more fresh screens and the first movie of Without Warning next week so keep pointing your browser at gamesradar.com.

Without Warning will be released in September for PS2 and Xbox