Artificial Life (2)
Game Theory (1)
Movie Reviews (67)
Outer Space (4)
Quantum Theory (5)
Special Relativity (1)
Science Fiction (4)
I've spent the best part of the weekend playing a new Sega game called Rez and it just might be the best thing ever
ARTICLE INFOThat said, it's actually a very simple 3D shoot-'em-up. You move through each level on a set path and can lock-on to up eight enemies at a time to blow them up. The 'plot', such as it is, is based around inflitrating a computer system and destroying viruses. The cool parts are that it's all based around music, so that your shots and the sounds enemies make when they're destroyed are part of the sound track, and that it looks like nothing I've ever seen before. It's abstract almost to the point of not having 'graphics' in the conventional sense - just futuristic and yet also retro wireframe environments.
game by Tetsuya Miziguchi
rated 9.0/10 by 7 people
It looks like a combination of the VR stuff in Ghost in the Shell (manga and anime), 'seeing the Matrix' plus about four games of Tempest overlaid on each other. Explosions are great - they start out as Tempest-style smears of colour, then upgrade to amazing pixellated effects. The way the graphics 'improve' as you move through down through the level is brilliant too - it's recognisably the same stage, just more complex / colourful and pulsing and vibrating in different ways.
Each stage is a 'sub-system', split into ten layers, and the aim is to find the keys that allow you to move down to lower levels of the program. You start at the top with a very simple sound - just a bassline or a few breakbeats, and as you move down through the layers the sound gets more complex and the tempo often increases well. Everything has a sound too, so once you get a feel for the game you'll let enemies fire missiles at you because their projectiles have cooler 909 samples you can use. If you get a max lock-on (eight enemies) you also get a vocal stab when you fire, and with a bit of practice it's easy to get it all in time with the underlying music.
Your character evolves as you power up, and the visual and aural representation of its attacks change as you go. On PlayStation 2, the controller pulses in your hands to the beat as well, increasing the level of immersion. It's beautiful, hypnotic and definitely the closest thing to 'games as art' yet, and although it's pretty short (five levels) there's a ruck of hidden stuff that I've barely touched on so far.
Featured artists include Ken Ishii, some other Japanese people (didn't write them down), Adam Freeland, Carl Craig. Plus there are more that flash past in the credits that I haven't unlocked yet.
Having a decent TV and sound system helps to give the full Rez experience - something the game cheekily recommends on the title screen...