Who said all the good names were gone? [One-time contributor Yolanda Kefka, probably. -Ed] Well, if animal-bashing first-person shooter Vivisector is anything to go by, it wasn't developer Action Forms, nor publisher Brigades. Due out in October on the PC and sounding curiously (and spookily, given Marlon Brando's death last week) like The Island of Dr Moreau, Vivisector is a straight shooter that harnesses a seemingly unhealthy obsession with offending animal lovers, including promises that our enemies - cybernetically modified animals, apparently - will "gorily fly to pieces under the onslaught" from our 16 different types of weapon.
It's all centred around the tale of some bloke called Dr Morhead, who finds himself exiled from Britain in the late 19th century for his dastardly experiments on animals. He sets himself up instead of an island called Soreo, and continues his experiments. Soon enough, all contact is lost with the island. And in typical fashion, it's another 100 years and plenty of breeding opportunities later that mankind revisits Soreo - and it just so happens that you're the chap on call. A chap by the name of Kurt Robinson - a Special Forces soldier dispatched to Soreo to suppress a burgeoning rebel force. Naturally, you get slightly more than he expected. You gets big scary cyborg animals.
Over the course of Vivisector, players will tackle some 20 of the things, split into three different classes (the 'Modbeast' foot soldiers, 'Humanimal' bipedal warriors, and 'Overbrute' elite units), and we're promised that with a degree of slicing, sniping and vaporising the little critters will disintegrate spectacularly. Action Forms is employing various advanced physics techniques to conjure up "satisfying death-throes", it says 'ere. The developer is also using its proprietary AtmosFear engine, which is capable of rendering huge environments with "photorealistic vegetation" on the one hand, and claustrophobic interiors at the other end of the scale.
There should be some 24 levels to flex AtmosFear's muscles, from scientific complexes (presumably abandoned) to steaming jungle and mountains, and with every level Kurt is given the chance to upgrade his abilities in four key departments - Speed, Resistance, Aim Stability and Health - by exploring, killing efficiently and completing objectives, among other things. You can catch a glimpse of the man as he goes about his quest by checking out the first ten screenshots here.
Truth be told though, we're not very excited about Vivisector yet. Perhaps it's because the word itself reminds us of "Vasectomy" (for no apparent reason), or perhaps it's because the screenshots paint a picture of inconsistency (some, like the jungle and mountainside shots, are gorgeous; others, simply, are not). Or perhaps it's the fact that it's shaping up to be another first-person shooter that doesn't do anything discernibly different to many of the others. Whatever the answer, we're hoping it changes our minds when we get our hands on playable code. And we'll let you know, eh?