E3 2007: LucasArts Expands IP base with New Thrillville, Fracture
Well we just got back from a stellar appointment with the fine folks at LucasArts. In addition to the Star Wars offerings, LucasArts gave us some great looks at upcoming titles Thrillville: Off the Rails, and Fracture.
Thrillville: Off the Rails demonstrated an engaging and fun romp through the theme-park creation and management genre. Utilizing simple controls and an increased option set, Off the Rails offers gamers both a casual and involved environment. Only have a few minutes to play? Jump in and create a new coaster on the fly or play one of the numerous single or multi player mini-games. Micro-management your thing? Spend the day addressing the numerous needs of your parks guests. With an NPC dialog script that is longer than that of Knights of the Old Republic, you should stay busy for quite a while.
Perhaps the most engaging addition to the title is the added functionality found in the Nintendo Wii version. Building coasters on the Wii involves simply moving the Wii-mote in the direction you want to lay your tracks. The Nunchuk controls the banking of the line while the main remote addresses the vertical and horizontal. LucasArts demonstrated that gamers could even build coasters with their eyes closed. The fact that your tracks man not end where they began is no longer an issue, as all passengers are equipped with parachutes. Yes, you finally have the option to crash your rollercoasters.
LucasArts also took the time to show us gameplay from Fracture. The hook of Fracture is terrain deformation. Players manipulate the landmass itself to accomplish varying objectives. Going into the event I was enthralled by the idea of mass ground deformation, but concerned about the ability to actually pull it off. After all, the ground is typically one of the largest elements in a game, and the ability to shape and modify the land to that degree has got to be an amazing challenge technologically. I am happy to say it works like a charm and the build we were shown looked amazing. Perhaps the most interesting thing shown was a tunneling weapon called the Bangalore. The Bangalore is fired into the ground and then tunnels its way to the enemy before popping out and exploding. You can actually see the round spanning the terrain on its way to its intended target. The LucasArts team later told us they were affectionately calling it the “Bugs Bunny Gun”.