Warming up for Cold Winter

Videos, interview, release date.

Brilliant Brit-crafted first-person shooters (or, to use an unrubbish non-hyphenated expression I didn't just make up: first-person shooters made in Britain [what exactly is the point of using abbreviations if you then waste ten times as much space explaining them? -Ed] [I dunno. You're the editor, why don't you just edit them out or something? -Tom])... nope, lost my train of thought.

Brilliant first-person shooters made in Britain are a rare thing. (Or a Rare thing.) But they do exist. PS2 exclusive Cold Winter, designed by Birmingham-based Swordfish Studios (who made Hostile Waters for Rage), aspires to be one, and it's due out next Friday, June 3rd, from Sierra. With that in mind, we thought we'd cobble together a few gameplay movies and video diaries in Windows Media and QuickTime format, and remind you of an interview we conducted recently with the game's American producer Ian Stephens that you might have missed in the run-up to E3.

The gameplay movies and diaries, of which there are seven in total, are available on Eurofiles now. They deal with a couple of specific levels - Black Market Valley and Winterlong - as well as addressing various areas of the game including artwork, special effects, physics, controls and storyline, with commentary from various members of the development team. Naturally they also feature plenty of in-game footage, giving you a good idea of what to expect from the game ahead of its release. You can find the Windows Media format zip-o-movies here, while the slightly smaller QuickTime zip is here.

The interview, meanwhile, you can find here, and producer Stephens covering a wide range of topics. You play a character called Sterling (sterling!), an ex-SAS now-MI6 man who's been caught and disavowed and wound up in a political prison somewhere in China. Set in the present day, Cold Winter sees Sterling escape and then crisscross the globe in an attempt to thwart the evil machinations of nuclear-equipped nastymen.

Stephens states the game's case, outlining its technological advances, explaining the decision to focus on PlayStation 2, and talking through the various issues facing developers working on brand new intellectual property in a pretty crowded market. He also goes over the multiplayer experience, and gives a bit of background on the team - and tries to put the game in context with some of the other titles he's worked on at Sierra and elsewhere, including Quake II, Hexen II, Riddick and others.

It's an interesting chat, and the videos are worth watching. Watch out for a review of Cold Winter elsewhere on Eurogamer as we draw closer to its June 3rd release date.

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