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Blue Dragon, Fable 2, Shadowrun

As for Blue Dragon this is the first Japanese-developed Xbox 360 title, also developed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, with characters created by design legend Akira Toriyama. No game play footage was on show but the heavily hyped title centres on a world where people’s shadow can be controlled and each has its own magical strengths and powers.

Over 200 shadows can be harnessed during the course of the game and these are divided into five groups: bat, dragon, minotaur, phoenix and tiger. Shadows can also be customised and mixed to create new effects.

Mysterious by its absence at X06 was Fable 2. Sure enough Peter Molyneux was there promising all kinds of wonderful ground breaking innovations as usual but not a single screenshot or even clip of pre-rendered footage was on show. Molyneux talked at length about ‘dynamic locations’ - where places would respond over time to your previous actions (kill, nurture, betray, etc) - and the idea of ‘unconditional love’ where the unwavering loyalty of a partner or offspring gave you allies no matter whether you were good or evil (if only life were so simple!)

No cut scenes will be in Fable 2 after being branded “last generation” by Molyneux, while combat will be based on “buttons and rhythm” – whatever that may mean?! Furthermore, we were told the “most impressive feature” was something he couldn’t tell us about!

Fable 2 is coming, but heaven knows when?!

Far more open was Shadowrun, an fps which has been met with some scepticism over its decision to introduce flying, short range teleportation and even the ability to see through walls. Hardcore fps-ers argue these measures de-stable a long established genre but my experience – despite it not being the prettiest game on display – was extremely positive.

Shadowrun forces you to create new tactics. Being shot from in front? Teleport 20 feet behind your opponent and attack him from the rear. Caught in a tight corridor? Hover up to the ceiling and ambush your attacker as he/she comes through the door. In a way, these features have been done before using vehicles and powers, but putting them inside your character makes the action more seamless. Shadowrun will also be the first title to put PC and Xbox 360 owners in direct online competition something that is long overdue.

 
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