Los Angeles (CA) - Nintendo fans seeking the confirmation of new hard core titles left E3 with a distinct feeling of relief. Their voracious appetites for destruction had been utterly sated by the gritty Grinder and bloody Gladiator AD.
The Grinder FPS (first-person shooter) is set in a B-movie world that would make even Quentin Tarrantino proud. Indeed, the American southwest has been overrun by infected beings who propogate by forcibly converting humans into creatures like themselves. A panicked military is ordered to level entire cities and towns in an effort to contain the insidious outbreak.
A number of relatively "clean" districts hire professional "Monster Hunters" to secure the area. The lucky hunters, who are somehow immune to the nefarious infection, deploy a formidable arsenal of weapons and extensive manpower to eliminate hostile elements identified during patrol sweeps. However, smaller communities are forced to rely on freelance specialists who simply enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
According to High Voltage, the game "is built around an (online) cooperative play experience." Players can assume the role of four characters:
Just another FPS? Maybe - but if you liked Grindhouse, you'll love this new twist on an old theme. Hunting vampires, zombies, werewolves and evil slashers never gets old. The Grinder is what Doom could have been, once, long ago.
Gladiator AD offers players the opportunity to battle adversaries in highly detailed 3D arenas that reflect a mixture of historical accuracy and fictional embellishment. The game, which is set in ancient Rome, allows combatants to use their winnings to customize equipment and hone critical combat skills.
Gladiator AD features an adapative AI and can be played in split-screen with different versus modes.
Gladiator's graphics were particularly impressive (for a Wii game), and included dynamic environment mapping, interactive water with real time reflection as well as four stage texture composition. Gameplay was fun, easy to control and surprisingly immersive - thanks to a unique storyline built around individual characters.
Gladiator AD is certainly an appropriate addition to the Wii's library, which has often been criticized for lacking an extensive selection of hard-core titles. Unfortunately, a release date has yet to be announced.