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Published by:
Interplay

Game Genre:
Action

Game Cheats:
Are Available

Requirements:
Pentium II/K6-2 350, Windows 95/98/2000/Me, 8MB Direct3D video card, 64 MB RAM, 900 MB hard drive

Retail Price:
Not Available
Our Ratings:
Features

Graphics

Sound FX

Gameplay

Overall

Screenshots:
Giants: Citizen Kabuto


Game Review - by James Allen
The end of the year 2000 has produced some of the most graphically intense games released at one time in quite a while. American McGee's Alice and Sacrifice both have groundbreaking graphics that cause your jaw to unhinge in disbelief. Another entrant into the fray is Giants: Citizen Kabuto, an action game that centers around three distinct species on one island world. Sure, the graphics can be astounding, but pretty pictures alone cannot make a game. Can Giants: Citizen Kabuto live up to its screenshots?

Features:
Giants: Citizen Kabuto is primarily a linear, single player game, in which you control (in a specific order) three distinct creatures: the Meccaryns, the Sea Reapers, and Kabuto. These three warriors are so different, you have at your fingertips three diverse variations on a single world theme. This makes Giants: Citizen Kabuto seem like three linked mini-games, and strategy for controlling each species is completely different. Let's meet our friends, shall we?

The first are the Meccaryns (long for Meccs), space aliens marooned on this strange world. They have your typical Quake-like weapons, and play very much like classic first person shooters. In their arsenal, the Meccs come equipped to the gills with a pea shooter gun, a rpg, a machine gun, a proximity missile, a sniper gun, a missle lancher, a homing missle, and a millennium mortar. The Meccs can come equipped with one of many different backpacks, from their standard jetpack to a shield pack to a bush pack (for camouflage). They can even wreak havoc with deployable turrets, pop-up bombs, and mines. The Meccs are designed to play much like the gun-toting warriors we've all come to know and love, and will be the most familiar to most.

The Sea Reapers rely primarily on magic, and are similar to the wizards in Sacrifice, or a classic RPG character. Their standard weapons are various kinds of bows for any purpose, including sniping and homing in on targets. The spells include a cluster bomb, cloak, teleport, firewall, hail, slow time, shrink, follow, fire circle, and tornado. Striking parallels are made with the spells in Sacrifice, and if you have played that wonderful game, you'll be served with a good introduction to the Sea Reapers.

The final character to be controlled is Kabuto, which is a huge, scary looking giant. Kabuto doesn't come with any weapons other than his immense size and enormous power. He can punch, kick, toss, slam, flop, drop, cannonball, and grab anything in sight. Like a professional wrestler gone terribly, terribly wrong, Kabuto destroys anything and everything that opposes him. The only "weapon" he possesses is the ability to produce offspring, basically little Kabutos to do your bidding. The Achilles' heel of Kabuto is actually on his stomach, and it's the only way to bring the big monster down. Don't mess with Kabuto.

Other than the linear single player campaigns, multiplayer is available over the Internet. Multiplayer is a deathmatch, capture the flag, or base building match pitting Mecc vs. Mecc, Mecc vs. Reaper, Reaper vs. Reaper, or Mecc vs. Reaper vs. Kabuto. The multiplayer is a nice diversion from the single player missions, but is nothing to write home about, and is not the focus of the game. The only features not included are an in game save feature and difficulty setting. This is unfortunate, because many of the missions are long and/or difficult, and both of these added features would remedy this problem. Because of the range of the different character groups, Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a fresh game three times over.

Sound FX:
You notice bad sound. It's no surprise, then, that you never really notice the sound in Giants. It's so natural that you just accept it. That's the way he/she/it should sound, and, by golly, that's what comes through my speakers while playing Giants. All of the characters have their distinctive voice, and the voice acting is pretty hilarious and right on. If only all games could sound this seamless.

Gameplay:
Giants is a classic first person shooter, role-playing game, and squish-em-up all rolled into one. Each of the experiences with every species is so different, you'll ask yourself whether this is still the same game. Most of the single player missions involve finding someone or something, and blowing stuff up along the way. This is mixed in with base-building missions, a nod to real time strategy, hunting food, and racing on jet skis. Yes, I am still talking about Giants. There are so many different things to do, as soon as it appears to get repetitive, a new loop is thrown into the mix. You'll encounter Smarties, who can help you build a base, assist you with missions, or hitch a ride from you. Vimps are the cattle of the islands, and are the staple of the Smarties. Sonaks can transport Reaper Guards, and are capable of being equipped with a gun turret for extra death. Rippers are annoying, burrowing insects that can wreck your day. Different types of structures populate the island, including guard towers, turrets, and SAMs (surface-to-air missles). You can also visit designated buildings to take more weapons and spells to fit your needs.

When you kill certain enemies, they release some of their health for Meccs to take. Sea Reapers can regain health by immersing in water, and Kabuto can dine on tasty Vimps. You can play the game from a third or first person view, depending on your preference. This draws another connection between first person shooters and role-playing games, which are normally first and third person, respectively. Whichever genre you are familiar with, Giants has you covered. Overall, the gameplay is challenging, and you usually need to use several different tactics to complete your mission effectively. The AI is not the smartest kid in school, especially if you fire from long distance. More than once I've killed a computer opponent from long distance, constantly shooting at them while they just stood there and took it. Every once in a while, they would run away and hide, but these occurrences were few and far between. Sometimes, only the sheer number of opponents is what made the level particularly challenging. This is possibly the only missing feather in the cap of Giants.

Graphics:
PlayStation what? This is where the action is! Giants: Citizen Kabuto has some of the most beautiful graphics of any game, and I'm depressed that, because of games like this, Alice, and Sacrifice, we're starting to take it for granted. There are so many high points with the graphics; it is impossible to name them all. The resolution doesn't ease up when you're in close. The water looks great. Trees wave in the cool breeze. The skies are mesmerizing. I still haven't found a clipped edge, a muddy tree, a graphical error. I still haven't disappeared into a building/hill/enemy. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe the awe-inspiring graphical goodness found in Giants.

Overall:
Giants: Citizen Kabuto is an intriguing and magnificent game. Its differences in game style and in the cast of characters are Giants's biggest draw; no wonder it took so long to finish. For beautiful graphics, grand sound, and assorted gameplay, look no further than Giants: Citizen Kabuto.


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