The Raven Project
Ahem. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Now pour yourself a stiff drink and sit back as I apologise (yes, apologise) to the French (yes, the French).
Here at PC we've given the French a pretty hard time recently. I feel partly responsible, to be honest, what with having designed a Klik 'n' Play breakout game called "Righteous Justice", which replaced the common or garden electronic ball with a bleeding, screaming Frenchman's head, and everything. But now the time has come for me to hang my head, stare at the floor shamefully, and mutter the word "sorry".
"Porquoi?" I hear you cry. Have I fallen for a Parisian strumpet and been talked out of my xenophobic rage? No. Perhaps I have suddenly developed a penchant for crusty baguettes and frontage frais? No. Well then, maybe I've been accosted by three Gallic, garlic-chewing heavies, who've threatened to cut off my lips with a pair of scissors and then force me to eat half a pound of salt unless I repent? But the answer, my friends, is an emphatic "non".
The simple answer is that the French are shit-hot at creating innovative, imaginative, and beautifully-designed pc games. They gave us the Alone in the Dark series, Littie B Adventure, Flashback, and soon Hearts of Da ness. And much as it pains me to do so. I simply have to give ther the credit they deserv Here's another Frer title which looks li it could be something rather special. It's from Cryo, it's called The Raven Project, and it's a three dimensional shooty-killy, FMV-eey sort of thing. Raa.
Oh no, not another...
...FMV shoot 'em up! Woah there! Hold yo cynical horses! Don't write it off just yet. For whilst most fmv shoot 'em ups (from Microcosm to Chaos Control) are as dull as a ten-hour-long Shane Ritchie retrospective on the telly, The Raven Project is going to feature no less than 50 different levels, split into three modes of play. You've got yer fmv bits, yer "virtual rendered landscape" bits, and last but not least, some "in-yer-face, real-time, 3D, spacey, shooty bits" as well.
The fmv missions are looking well tasty, as you can see from the screen shots, and what's more, in an attempt to avoid the pit-falls encountered by other fmv 'em up's (i.e. the mind-numbing tedium and repetition), these sections are going to feature a choice of routes. Basically, you will come to a junction every so often, and choose whether you want to go left and right. Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound so incredibly exciting, but hey, it's a start.
The rendered landscape missions look a tad Commonche-esque, but we're assured that they're as slick, smooth and fast as Wayne Sleep, covered in grease, going down a Helter-Skelter (now there's an idea for a game). In case you're wondering, you can point your ship in whichever direction you see fit during these segments, all the better to kill things with. And as for the real-time, 3D space missions, well, they're rather like, um... well, they're rather like real-time, 3D space missions really - fly where you like, and kill anything you don't like the look of. So then, hopefully this game shouldn't be another Novastorm-like excursion into Big Yawn City, we hope.
Tell me about cut scenes! Now!
Oh, alright then. The Raven Project is also going to be stuffed full of fmv cut scenes, all of which look suitably luxuriant, and should drive the fairly pedestrian "aliens have invaded the Earth" storyline along nicely. There's over an hour of footage waiting for your visual approval, fact fans, but first, let me give you a word of warning - Cryo has had plenty of experience when it comes to delightful cut scenes - look at Lost Eden or Commander Blood if you think I'm lying - but its games have often suffered from a distinct lack of gameplay. Take Commander Blood, for instance. This was a carnival of wonder as far as your eyeballs were concerned, but was about as much fun to play with as a barbed-wire yo-yo.
If all goes according to plan, however, The Raven Project should be as much fun to play as it is to view. And as always, as soon as we can get our manly paws on a finished copy, we'll hold it up to the searing light of criticism and tell you what we make of it. Till then, just keep 'em peeled and point 'em at these screen shots.
Download The Raven Project
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode