STAFF REVIEW of The Thing (Xbox)

Tuesday, September 17, 2002.
by Tony Ingrassia

The Thing Box art If your a fan of hunting monsters on a rescue using flame throwers, grenades and guns, be prepared for so much more. A continuation of John Carpenters "The Thing" this picks up were the movie left off, you get dropped in the arctic to find out what happened to the scientists before you, but you also have to survive not only the inevitable apperance of the baddies, who come in varied sizes, but you need to survive the elements and each other. Great game scheme for an old style.

This game incorporates a few new elements to the gameplay. The elements, you can search around in the driving snow but don't stay out too long cause the temperature will effect you. The core of this game is in the Trust and Fear system in place. You need to earn your fellow members trust to have them listen, and act on your commands. Keep your men well stocked with ammo and pitch in on the battles to let your crew know your there for them. Fear, on the other hand effects everyone differntlly, so keep an eye on each other to avoid craking up, you never know when a memeber of your party flips and starts shooting everthing and everyone in site, including you or themselves. Throughout the game it's your job to keep your team stocked, healthy, and sane. If all that isn't enough, one of your crew could be a "Thing" in disguise, you can find blood test hypos to check your crew and yourself to ease the suspitions of your men. Your team consists of yourself (Soldier), a medic, and an engineer. Use there specialties to further your mission. This is trully a nice departure from the usuall monster hunt game. With all of these differnt features you would think the contol scheme would be a nightmare, wrong.........the controls are very easy to adapt to, and the designers did well to incorprate a "Training" scenario which covers the first 2 levels of play. For those of you who are too good to use tutorials you can switch it off in the options menu.

Visually the game delivers on all counts, great environmental effects, shadows, particle and fire effects abound. Alot of detail in the environments your in. The creatures are ok, they do the job. Charecter motion is well rendered,although i have noticed the occasional frame drop in cut sceens and game play. Not enough to relly detract form this game, but there none the less.

5.1 Dolby Digital in all it's glory. Decent voice acting, with a smattering of profanity to give it that "real" edge. Well done.

Multi-player in this game would have launched it to the top.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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