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Daikatana Preview

Publisher - TBA
Developer - Ion Storm
Platform - N64
Release Date - February 1999
Type - 3D Shooter

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Daikatana, developed at Ionstorm by John Romero and team, looks to be coming together fine with a strong storyline and compelling gameplay.

The story behind the game (Story? Behind a Romero game?) is as follows. In the year 2455, Dr. Toshiro Ebihara discovers the legendary Daikatana (a long samuari sword) during an archaeological dig. The sword acts as somewhat of a nexus through time and space -- allowing whoever holds it to travel back or forward in time.

Coincidentally enough, the dig is funded by Tetsuo Ebihara, Dr. Toshiro Ebihara’s wealthy grandfather, who discovered the cure for AIDS back in the year 2030 and became very rich as a result. After discovering the sword, Toshiro’s evil assistant takes it for himself and cuts off Toshiro’s head. He then plans to travel back in time and change history, crowning himself as the man who discovered the cure for AIDS and collect on the breakthrough.

You take on the role Hiro Miyamoto (Hmm?), Toshiro’s best student. Your mission is to retrieve the Daikatana and prevent history from being changed forever. To accompany you on you way is Mikiko Ebihara, Toshiro’s daughter, and a big guy named Superfly Johnson. The three of you will do battle across time and location to revenge Toshiro’s death and re-take the Daikatana.

You begin the game in the year 2455 AD. After you complete the level you try to travel back to 2030 AD to save the future but a glitch hurls you back to 2030 BC instead. The next time zone you visit will be somewhere around 560 AD, and then finally you’ll be on your way to set things straight in the year 2030 AD.

The game will be somewhat different from most 3D fighters, and certainly different than anything Romero has ever done. For example, you progress through the game with two companions at your side at all times -- giving the game an RPG feel. To add to the feel Romero has added an experience point system and "rpg elements". The game also utilizes the new enhanced Quake engine, which will likely boast faster frame rates with added effects like water transparencies.

Also, from what we’ve heard Romero has big plans for Daikatana in the gameplay field. Romero’s experience point system works to reward advanced players, who will gain in experience and ability as they kill more and more monsters throughout the game. A very intriguing idea, that, if done right could add a whole new level to 3D shooters.

One of the most interesting things about the game is in its level design. You travel back through time to four different, unique levels. Ancient Greece, The Dark Ages, San Francisco and Future Japan). The levels will have a whole different look and feel uniquely their own, even going as far as to have exclusives songs for each.

Romero claims that the game will boast 32 different weapons ranging from close range to long range. Also, each time period will have its own set of weapons unique to the period.

Monsters, monsters and more monsters. Yes, this game will have 64 monsters. An amazing amount of enemies for a game of this type. Obviously, Romero is shooting for something very special. A few of the planned enemies so far include a Cyclops, Squid, Ragemaster 5000, Froginator and a Battleboar.

If 3D fighting is your thing -- keep your eye on this very promising title.

Update: 04-28-97

Continuing the tradition of first-person shooters, Ion Storm's Daikatana will be a fast-paced gore fest with a seemingly endless supply of weapons at your side as you destroy and massacre everything in your path.

John Romero’s newly formed Ion Storm has been hard at work on the game that will be shown at June’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in the coming months. A recent interview with Romero helped us put the pieces of this puzzling and previously secretive game together.

Daikatana, a game running on an improved version of the existing Quake engine, is said to feature giant zones of varied game environments ranging from Ancient cities and demonic landscapes, to a futuristic, technologically advanced Japan.

Romero explained that the game will feature more than 32 weapons and 64 monsters. This, in itself, is an accomplishment worthy of notice. Add to the mix the fact that the new engine also takes advantage of environmental changes, hazards and objects (i.e. shooting out windows, rain storms, etc.) and you’ve got what every first-person enthusiast has been begging for since day one: A game utilizing Quake’s awesome engine and dark atmosphere that also allows for environmental interaction. Deathmatch players rejoice!

When asked if the Nintendo 64 port would contain the gore and violence that is associated with Romero’s games, he replied: "Oh yeah. It’ll have all that good Quake stuff."

The Nintendo 64 version will be a straight port of the game that will take advantage of the graphic capabilities of the system and should be rearing to go sometime in the '98 season.

If everything goes smoothly, Nintendo 64 will be the system of choice for all your first-person, kill-for-all needs in the months to come.