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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
3DO Company, The
3DO Company, The
GENRE: Action
Not Rated
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 Written by John Scalzo  on November 15, 2002

First Impressions: Woooooooooooooooo! Wait, you mean Ric Flair isn't one of the Horsemen?

3DO is not exactly the first company you think of when you think of high quality games. Nothing against the creators of the Army Men series, but when you're best known for churning out high amounts of crappy games very quickly, what do you expect? Now 3DO is making steps to turn that around with their biggest game to date: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a dark game, the first Mature rated game 3DO has ever produced. Players will take the role of the fallen angel Abaddon, who has chosen to live on Earth to defend it from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. Dressed in a leather trenchcoat, with long dark hair, and twin guns blazing, he certainly plays the part of the badass hero. The game opens with Senator Anderson Scott making a Faustian deal with Satan to bring the Four Horsemen to Earth in an attempt to further his political career. To even the odds, Abaddon must find the three "Chosen." The Chosen are three average people that have special powers that will help Abaddon in his quest. They are Jesse Horner, an 18 year old prostitute that can heal with her touch (I'll leave the jokes to you). Second is Jimmy Ray Flint, a tattooed biker type that can see demons when they are in human form and has destroyed more than a few of them. The police, believing he is a vicious serial killer, have imprisoned him (Flint's story actually bears a lot of similarity to the plot of Frailty, the most underrated horror flick released this year, check it out). Finally, in an ironic twist of fate, the third Chosen is Senator Scott himself, with his power he can convince people and demons to do his bidding.

Four Horsemen is still very early in development, but some of the key pieces of the game seem to be coming together. The game will be a third person action/adventure type with a combo-powered fight system. Wielding his sword and guns, Abaddon has to slice through the demons infesting the Earth and can unleash the Wrath of God when he needs to. The Wrath of God is a special move that slow the action down in a bullet time way and makes Abaddon's attacks stronger. Sounds like fun.

Much of the game is still being kept under wraps at this point though. Right now there are only a couple of screens of Abaddon walking around in a church. Right now the big details on Four Horsemen is the character designs created by French comic book artist Simon Beasley (best known for working on Heavy Metal 2000). The character sketches of Abaddon and the three Chosen are truly spectacular. Jimmy ray Flint especially looks very menacing with his tattoos and stone cold stare. There have also been two sets of character renders released: War and Satan himself. War is a living machine, jagged pieces of metal sticking out, a biblical Terminator. Old Scratch is more subdued, more along the lines of the traditional devil except with wings to give him a dragon look. In fact, in one of the sketches I think I even caught a glimpse of a goatee, because Satan needs his goatee. The rest of the Horsemen, and the rest of the game, is being kept strictly under wraps. 3DO has promised more sketches and renders soon, so be on the lookout for those.

Finally, the effort and time 3DO is taking with Four Horsemen should really be noted. The development cycle of a typical 3DO game is around six months, give or take. Four Horsemen is being given a little over a year of development time to get everything right. This includes lining up some top shelf voice talent in Lance (countless great sci-fi/horror movies, Run Like Hell) Henriksen as Abaddon, Traci (underage porn and Blade) Lords as Pestilence, and Tim (It and The Rocky Horror Picture Show) Curry (yes Tim Curry) as the devil himself. 3DO has also lined up the motion capture team behind The Matrix to provide motion capture work for Four Horsemen.

Final Thoughts
Every once in a while 3DO puts something out there that makes you stop and go "wait, the Army Men guys made this?" Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse looks to be following in that tradition. I know it's still very early, but I have high hopes that Four Horsemen will turn out to be a truly frightening and original experience. Just please, 3DO, don't pull another Portal Runner on me, I so wanted to like that game and I really want to like Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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