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Winback Preview

Publisher - Koei
Developer - Koei
Platform - N64
Release Date - January 1999
Type - 3D Shooter

This 3rd person action game a first N64 game for Koei who are famous for their strategy games. Players take on the role of Jean-Luc Cougar who is a member of the Strategic Covert Actions Team (SCAT). Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to covertly enter the control centre of a satellite based laser weapon, which has been taken over by terrorists and win it back (hence the title of the game).

According to Koei the 3rd person view "allows players to grasp their surroundings in a clear, visual manner" and will allow Koei to wow us with Cougar's 350 different actions. These include the abilities to hide behind obstacles such as crates and to move unseen through the complex using strategies such as sliding along walls. The enemy A.I. is also very sophisticated with enemies only being able to detect Cougar as realism would dictate and even then they will only respond as their assigned duty allows. This should provide an action game with unrivalled realism in keeping with Koei's strategy heritage. However, I don't think that action fans should worry too much about this being all strategy. Cougar will be able to use loads of cool weapons including heavy stuff like flamethrowers and rocket launchers (once he steals them anyway).

The completion of each level will be rewarded with a real-time cut scene which will serve to advance the story as well as to please the eye.

Competition in the N64 spy-sim genre will be stiff with Konami's Hybrid Heaven and Mission Impossible but the early screenshots look promising (if a little foggy - but that's atmosphere for you) and seem to indicate that this Metal Gear Solid look alike could even turn into a MGS beater.