Altered Beast Eyes-On, New Video

We take a look at the latest Sega Wow has to offer on the Altered Beast front.

The original Altered Beast burst onto the arcade scene back in 1988, featured 2-player side-scrolling beat 'em up action that put players in control of two warriors, risen from their graves by the mightiest of all gods, Zeus.

Charged with the unenviable task of rescuing his daughter who was being held captive deep within the underworld, our warriors were thrust into battle against legions of undead cretins, and without the aid of weapons, found themselves severely outnumbered.

The gameplay of that arcade classic, while nothing to really write home about, was solid enough to lead to a console conversion, and as a 16 BIT launch title, helped develop a cult following that spent years clamoring for a proper sequel. Fast-forward some 16 years later and the legendary beasts are back, looking bigger, badder, and more ferocious than before.

Shown in video form during last year's E3, we were hoping a playable version would be available at this year's show, but unfortunately the game was tucked away in a hard-to-spot area of Sega's booth in video form only. However, despite the disappointment, this year's video footage provided more details on how the game will look and play (and you can see it below).

Players assume the role of a special military operative who sets out on a mission to uncover the truth about his past after awakening in a small West Coast Town with no memory of who he is or what happened to him. Soon his investigation steers him towards a deadly genetic outbreak that has plagued the town and his mission becomes one of survival as he's hunted by wave after wave of unspeakable terrors in the form of failed genetic experiments.

Unarmed and heavily outnumbered you soon discover that to survive you'll need to tap into your darkest power and unleash the beasts that reside within you in order to eliminate the enemy onslaught and uncover the mysteries behind the Genome Project.

While the original Altered Beast was a side scrolling beat 'em up with a mythological setting, it appears as if Sega has steered away from that formula this time around by creating a more modern setting for the game and has succumbed to the 3rd person action genre by presenting the game in such a manner. Unfortunately, with this change in direction and Zeus out of the picture, it doesn't look as if fans will be hearing the classic original's "Rise from your grave" phrase reused unless it comes in the form of some hallucination.

In this next-generation Altered Beast, players can expect to explore expansive 3D environments while battling against bizarre monsters and incredibly menacing end level boss creatures. Like in the original, your character's metamorphosis from man to beast will be handled through some very cool morphing sequences - transforming him into a variety of powerful beasts, each with their own unique attributes and combat techniques.

More than eight different creatures will be accessible to players, some of which include the all-familiar Werewolf, whose speed and viciousness comes quite handy. The dragon, everyone's favorite beast from the original has the ability to fly and electrify his enemies with tremendous electrical discharges. Wendigo appears to be a mighty beast that can use his breath to freeze objects and enemies around him. Merman, one of the more interesting new beasts, is an underwater creature that allows players to explore and do battle in the game's underwater environments. There's also Minotaur, a mythological fire breathing beast, and Garuda, a large bird-like creature that can fly high above the levels and sweep down to attack his enemies.

Along with the ability to transform into these mighty beasts, you'll also be able to claim the powers of some of your fallen foes and use them to manipulate your genetic DNA system and strategically assign powerful attributes to each beast, utilizing their unique abilities to overcome a variety of puzzles and obstacles they'll encounter throughout the game. Although I'm still a bit apprehensive about the inclusion of puzzles in an Altered Beast game, this next-gen entry still shows tons of promise with fast action, solid graphics and some pretty cool morphing sequences. Let's just hope the developers don't short change us on a two-player mode.

Unfortunately Sega has yet to commit to a more concrete release date for Altered Beast and is sticking to "2004", which can also mean that the game slips into 2005. Hopefully it'll be worth the wait.

Joseph Jackson
Staff Writer, Kikizo Games

Video Coverage
(See Latest Videos & Video FAQ Here)
Altered Beast
Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
1.04m 8.05 MB WMV
Altered Beast
Direct feed trailer (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.51m 6.52 MB WMV

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