Minority Report's vision of a near-future world, with its animated cereal boxes, personalised advertisements beamed straight to the brain, and Big Brother-style retinal scan citizen control system, is one of the most ornate and consistently amazing sci-fi worlds delivered in recent cinematic history, and having bought the rights to the inevitable spin-off game, Activision will be hoping that developers Treyarch can accurately recreate the world for another adventure on PS2, Cube and Xbox.
Unsurprisingly, Treyarch has opted for the third person action genre in a similar vein to its recent Spider-Man offering. The player is PreCrime Officer John Anderton, journeying through 15 levels set to the tune of an alternate storyline with the usual conspiratorial overtones. It's not yet clear if John will be fighting for the good or to clear his name again, but the game is almost certainly set prior to the film (for reasons which will be obvious to those who have seen it). Treyarch will be building environments like the PreCrime HQ and Mall City from the film, occupied by human and robot enemies, with hand-to-hand combat the foundation of the game's action.
Various tools including riot shotguns and electro-pulse grenades will be amongst the weapons at Anderton's disposal, along with our own favourites, the brilliantly realised vortex rifle - with the ability to deliver an air punch, rather like Unreal Tournament's melee weapon - and the incapacitating Sick Stick. Anderton will also have a PDA from which to retrieve information and hints should the player run out of ideas, and of course Jet Packs will presumably play a significant role.
There is no Minority Report
One imagines that Treyarch's critics will be watching this one with a sense of foreboding. Certainly, the aerial manoeuvring of the Jet Pack, hand-to-hand combat and a huge, rolling neon cityscape will all be familiar to those fresh out of Spidey's caper. However, Treyarch's promise of multiple endings, an "Intuitive Clue System" to help identify objects which unlock scripted events, and the potential highlight of high-speed chases in the PreCrime Hovership, Mag-lev cars and Lexus vehicles, should be more than enough to convince even the most stubborn of naysayers to wait and see.