Tokyo Jungle

Animal attraction.

In the top left corner of a screen is a giant percentage counter. It is counting down from 100. I have no idea why. In the bottom left corner is a mini-map with glowing yellow and blue dots. I have no idea what these represent. In the bottom right corner is a calorie counter, a picture of a chicken and the number 3. No idea.

In the middle of the screen, a tiny Pomeranian doggy in a woolly red jumper is feeding on the body of a rabbit. The Pomeranian takes a few steps back from the carcass and a trio of vultures swoop in. Before they can begin to feast, the Pomeranian pounces, tearing them to bloody shreds. The word "FINEHUNT" appears on the screen.

This is why I have come to Tokyo.

This is Tokyo Jungle, the game which Sony announced earlier this month. I instantly knew I would like it. Who wouldn't like a game set in post-apocalyptic Japan in which you can make a porcupine fight an elephant?

Unfortunately, you don't get to try out that particular scenario in the demo playable at the Tokyo Game Show. You do get to try out what appears to be the first level, playing as the aforementioned Pomeranian doggy.

The game is side-scrolling - from right to left, unusually - and presented in 2D. You control the doggy using the left stick, and you can jump up, down and between different planes in the background. The scene is your typical Tokyo street as it would look after an apocalypse, complete with crumbling buildings, abandoned vehicles, fallen trees and greenery sprouting from cracks in the tarmac.

A particularly bushy bit of this greenery provides cover for the Pomeranian's first attack. Following the on-screen instructions, I press R1 to creep up on the unsuspecting rabbit on the other side of the bush. Then it's L1 to target and triangle to attack.

The rabbit doesn't have a chance. The Pomeranian leaps into the air with all the grace of a tiny, furry, homicidal ballet dancer. He seizes Flopsy by the throat and snaps her neck like a glass chopstick. A splash of bright red blood oozes across the tarmac. It makes Watership Down look like a heartwarming romantic comedy.

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