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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Pre-E3: PlayStation 2 gets a boost

GTA is an exclusive for three years, not to mention Devil May Cry 2, Resident Evil Online and other surprises

: Multi-platform, PS2, Cube, Xbox While multi-platform games have made an appearance though, it has been Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony really laying the first blows. For a start, Sony must have enjoyed Take 2's announcement that GTA is a PlayStation 2 exclusive for three more years. PlayStation 2 owners have plenty to celebrate in any event. The current king of the consoles received a heck of a lot of support in the shape of games like Contra (excessively violent 2D shooter) and Silent Hill 3 (excessively scary 3D pant-replacer) from Konami, and not content with that, Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner and Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance! ZOE2 looks to be more of the same, with our heroic young urchin of a lead now for all intents and purposes symbiotically linked with his frame on a mission to destroy Bahram HQ. MGS2 Substance on the other hand is a peculiar addition to the series, liable to woo spectators (on PS2, Xbox and PC) with the sights and sounds of hundreds of new VR missions, new campaigns and the option to play as Snake or Raiden through the game's Tanker and Platform sections. Of course, Hideo Kojima (he's a brilliant loony) hasn't stopped there, with Snake skateboarding sections and ninja sword fencing. There's more than we have space to print going into this game, but it does seem a little unfair that they waited until the game achieved global multi-platinum status to spring this one… Rival Japanese developer Capcom has its own plans for the PS2. The company's huge E3 line-up includes games like Auto Modellista (which is obviously linked quite closely to PS2 online, and thus may now miss its winter 2002 release date), Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (the PS2 update or port, we're not sure which, of the Dreamcast fighter of the same name), Devil May Cry 2 (more of the same, and then some), a Breath of Fire game (it had to happen) and others such as Onimusha 2, Red Dead Revolver, Catan, Clocktower 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and Dino Stalker. Perhaps most surprising though was the presence of Resident Evil Online. This Japanese oddity is due out in 2003, and will be another major spoke in PS2 online's front wheel. Not much is known and the footage is similar to the Cube version of the game, except with multiple players on screen and a drop in character detail. Nevertheless, a multiplayer scare-fest is a delightful notion. Elsewhere Sony announced lots of stuff; a sequel to the still-to-be-released-even-if-they-say-otherwise Frequency, Ratchet & Clank (which we have dubbed 'Jak & Daxter with obscene amounts of weaponry'), The Getaway (which, perhaps tenuously, major publications are wetting themselves over in public) and Sly Cooper (a game about a thieving little Raccoon in cel-shaded platform adventuring). We have also seen announcements of Full Throttle as a fully-fledged sequel to the game's ancient PC outing and news that Tony Hawk 4 will be a major online game for Sony. Like we haven't heard that before.