[[Mastering the genes]]In the future humanity will become masters of genetic engineering. The ultimate product of this technology is the Genohunter. The Genohunter is the truly ultimate warrior. It can adapt to any situation simply by integrating the superior qualities of the enemies that it kills into itself. If a slain enemy had the ability to jump high, the Genohunter would incorporate that enemy's DNA into its own and mutate itself so that it too would have that particular useful quality.
This is the basis behind Computer Artworks Ltd.'s newest creation, simply entitled Evolva, after the Genohunter's unique characteristic to evolve and change itself.
In the game you play an Evolva, one of the futuristic military commanders, sent out to destroy a parasite that is invading the galaxy. The parasite spreads its huge tentacle-like limbs around a planet and places its own eggs in the planet. Once the eggs are ready, they hatch and are launched into space to destroy the next set of planets, destroying the host world in the progress. In the meantime, it also produces hordes of "guardians" to protect itself and ensure its survival.
It is your job to stop the parasite. With a team of Genohunters your ship you are sent to try and save the galaxy. You do this by controlling the Genohuntes which you command from the safety of your ship.
Unlike previous games, where you either played a single member of the team or commanded you whole army from a god-like viewpoint from above, Evolva changes all that. It places you right in the middle of the action. You will play as one of the Genohunters and there will be four other screens at the bottom that show what each other Genohunter on your team is seeing.
According to the developers, this will allow gamers to use both strategy and tactics as well as using the first person shooter skills. You could send some of your Genohunters to attack from the front, while you use your own cunning skills and take them our from the side. The artificial intelligence in this game is a great improvement over other games.
The creatures in Evolva are not simply guided by "if", "then" statements, but rather a complex robotic system. If an enemy sees you approaching, he may not run all the way back to his base, but rather only until he finds a sufficient force to bring back and attack you. So basically the rule is, if you see it, kill it. The game developers call this ingenious AI system "artificial life", keep you eye on this technology, it could be big.
As for graphics, you can tell from these screenshots, Evolva will certainly be no slouch in that department. It will feature, to name a few, vertex lighting, which is much more flexible and dynamic than Quake-style lightmaps; sophisticated networking protocols; skeletal animation; skinning; and 3D sound support.
It will also feature a level of realism rarely seen in games. For example, if you shoot an enemy next to a building located next to a river, the enemy's head could bounce off the building's wall (at a physically believable angle, of course), have the correct spin, splash into the river and eventually rise to the surface of the water and bob up and down as it floats down the river.
These levels of realism are extremely rare in the games today, but look for these to become common in the future.
Evolva seems like the next step in RTS/Action gaming. And if this game can pull off all it says that it can, it will be one that revolutionizes the gaming industry as we know it.