The makers of Rayman 2 offer a nightmarishly good DC platformer. We give you the dirty details. - by Prophet
When I was a child I had a lot of strange and wondrous dreams. Some of these dreams were a mix of peril, pleasure and power. I can remember the freedom of flying over New York City on a blanket and the worry of tumbling to my death -- some say a person that dies in their dreams, dies for real. Children tend to acclimate the real world into their dreams, but at the same time empower themselves to do great and wondrous things. But along with these dreams of power and wonder comes nightmares of equal proportions that either force children to face their fears, or run screaming from them. There has been a lot of literature, movies, games and other media that have captured both sides of this interesting coin including Alice in Wonderland, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Stephen King's The Talisman (among many others). All of these works detail imaginary worlds where children are forced to face their imagination and claim victory. Evil Twin by In Utero aims to use this type of scenario to thrust players headlong into a similar world where the fantastic meets the dark and unimaginable.
Evil Twin is a 3D platformer for the Dreamcast (as well as the PC & the PS2) set in a dark and foreboding world where the main character, an orphan named Cyprien, is forced to face a world created from his imagination. The goal of the game is to save your friends from a mysterious stranger whose intentions are unknown, but nonetheless seemingly evil. The adventure begins on Cyprien's birthday, when he decides that he's had enough of the trappings of childhood and is ready to begin his journey into adulthood. As the old saying goes, “be careful what you wish for, for you might just get it”. Unknown to this strange little boy is the fact that a mysterious figure known as The Master decides to offer Cyprien a small test: He kidnaps all of Cyprien's friends and transports them to a world created by Cyprien's own strange imaginings. Ultimately Cyprien is forced to face this world armed with his wits and a few other interesting powers. Though the journey begins as a mission to save his fellow orphans, it quickly becomes an opportunity for Cyprien to face his childhood fears and his imagination.
Evil Twin is a pure 3D-platformer set in a dark and creepy game world played out in 65 to 70 bizarre locales across 8 different areas. Being a platformer, you can expect to do a lot of jumping, climbing, puzzle solving, and exploring as you search for your kidnapped friends. Evil Twin can be played from both the third and first-person perspective, which (at least in theory) allows you to get a better view to do various functions. There were some issues with the camera angles being at odds with gameplay in previous builds of Evil Twin, but In Utero promises that they will work these problems out before the game ships later this year. Other functions you’ll be able to perform include jumping, shooting projectiles & paper airplanes (zoom) and using various objects (power-ups) you pick up along the way. As the game progresses Cyprien can get new types of slingshot ammunition, which becomes available as you free your kidnapped friends.
One of the most interesting aspects of Evil Twin is the ability to become your alter ego, SuperCyp. SuperCyp is a powerful character that can lay waste to almost any enemy and enables Cyprien to do things like fly, shoot fireballs & lightning, do a supercharged run or a super jump -- and lots of other cool stuff. I'm not sure if the Cyprien/SuperCyp combination is the inspiration of the game's title or not (one could say that the world itself is the inspiration, but we'll let you make that distinction)
But the most compelling thing about Evil Twin is the world itself. The game uses some pretty bizarre locales that set the mood of the game quite nicely. There’s dark & creepy industrial factories, gritty building interiors, gray & gloomy urban terrain and twisted forests. The aesthetics and creatures in this game are just plain creepy, in a cartoonish & curiously morbid sort of way. They range from nightmarishly large monsters and insects to creatures that look like a mad doll maker pieced them together. Not surprising is the fact that Cyprien seems to fits right into this world; he looks like the love child of American McGee's Alice and Alice Cooper. Just plain creepy.
Evil Twin is definitely an about face for French developer In Utero, whose last development was Rayman 2 -- a platformer whose main character consists of a pair of hands and a head (which is just as bizarre, but cuter and more visually friendly than anything in this game). But Evil Twin is more than just a simple platformer. It’s a game with an incredible story to tell that crosses all the barriers of maturity and tells the universal tale of a character thrust into a parallel universe. Whether or not In Utero’s story is compelling or not remains to be seen, but you can bet we’ll be there first to let you know. Look for Evil Twin later this year.
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