Hellgate London E3 2005 Hands-On Preview
By: Kenneth Shelton

Namco has an exciting new RPG coming out for the PC dubbed "Hellgate London" This has the gameplay feel of a first person shooter, but the character development is straight out of an RPG. I was speaking with one of the exhibitors and he explained the development system. As you level up, you get points that you can spend in different areas: concentration, stamina, etc. You also get to acquire skills that cost a certain amount of said points.

You can dual wield weapons and when both are equiped, each mouse button controls one of the deadly weapons. Some skills are on automatically activated once you select them. For example: you have the ability to chose an aura which, when enemies get within range, a purple ring shows up and depending on your skill with the aura or the distance of your foes, they may be damaged, possibly exploding or being consumed in flames.

I think the most appealing aspect of this game is the fact that all the levels are randomly generated, meaning if you want a game with high replayability, this is one of them. No more memorising the locations of everything, you'll have to refind them each time you play.

Another aspect of the game that executes itself well in this title is the way your equipment is dependent on your skill levels. If you dont meet the equipment's requirements, you can't use it.

The graphics engine is amazing, the details it pumps out are smooth and detailed. You have shields in addition to your health, as do your foes and when you hit an enemie's shield, you get a very pleasent graphical effect.

This game is going to be unbelievable; with 40 hours of gameplay and a deep and intruiging character development system, I just know I am going to end up locking myself in a room for a week thanks to the incredible immersion this title has to offer!