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Monday, August 28, 2000
Alien Legion Bound For Mac?
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The prolific licensing of Epic's Unreal engine has already brought several titles to the Mac OS. Now a new shooter in development, one with an interesting twist on the genre, may be headed to the Mac platform as well. Alien Legion is a FPS/strategy title in development by NeXS Interactive, based on the Unreal engine which has been ported to the Mac OS by Westlake Interactive. This title combines the action of a typical shooter with squad-based warfare and tactical combat. Three computer-controlled allied commandos accompany you on your epic battle against the Skoraq, an alien race bent on total domination. Featuring an advanced particle engine, totally new gameplay modes and 44 levels total, this looks like a game to watch for -- and the title's executive producer feels that there is a very good chance this game will come to the Mac OS as well as PC.

We contacted Jonathan Navia of Nexus Interactive about the possibility of a Mac port of this game. Here is his reply:

We've been contacted by several well known publishing and representative
companies that want to see Alien Legion out there on the market. All of
these companies have a history of having their titles appear both on Windows
9x and MacOS platforms. Since the Unreal engine HAS been ported to Macs, I
see no reason why AL cannot be, eventually. Since Alien Legion is a first
person shooter, most of our code has been new .u files and some of the C++
headers as well for the new tech we've added. While this will have to be
converted, I believe it will be possible. So in a nutshell, we'll do one,
its just a matter of when and by what means. :)
This game is well along in development, and due in Q4 2000 for the PC. Here is a list of the game's features from the official web site:
Over 32 action packed singe player levels across 5 episodes. These 5 episodes contain multiple terrain from vast tundra to a deep jungle to a massive desert. Explore an alien space station and even walk on the exterior hull of your own ship. 14 Multiplayer levels and modes such as Flag Tag and DeathMatch 2.0. An important story that you guide by your actions, explains our own morals and why humanity, such a beautiful creature, is capable of nightmares. Three selectable characters. M21 ATCS system- brings coop play to singleplayer with 3 ally commandos each with own attributes and they can recognize complex commands you give them.

10 awesome weapons of destruction. 4 New deathmatch modes- Control The Base, Air Attack, Deathmatch 2.0 and Flag Tag. 17 new enemies, 3 new end episode generals.

Cutscenes explain the plot. In game radio communication between players via M21. Real time interaction with command ship USS Avenger. All new M21 commands. 10 music tracks .

NPC's will help you... if you help them. The ability to talk to NPC's and the Computer. Enhanced artificial intelligence.

Highly modified Unreal engine with Particle and Visual Effects engines to increase the number and quality of breathtaking effecs NeXS Interactive is well known for.

The game also features advanced Level of Detail (LOD) technology, which allows more creatures on the screen at a time by actively modifying the model geometry to use fewer polygons, in the interest of maintaining a steady frame rate. Only those 'actors' (allied or enemy player models) that are far away from your viewpoint are reduced in detail, so you most likely won't notice the difference -- but your video card will.

The other big selling point of this game is advanced artificial intelligence which allows both allies and enemies to behave in tactically intelligent ways. During the game you will have three allied 'bots,' each with different abilities; you can control them directly or issue them orders. You will also have the option of choosing which bots you want, and choosing your own character (from three options) at the beginning of each 'episode' (group of related levels.)

If you're interested in learning more about this title, the official web site is a good place to start -- there you will find screen shots, feature details and the long, involved backstory that sets this epic title in motion. This web site can be a bit quirky withsome browsers -- if you lose your vertical scroll bar, just re-size the window to get it back. And earlier this Summer Gamer's Central posted a preview of Alien Legion, based on an Alpha version, which has many nice screen shots as well as a decent description of gameplay.

Once again the cross-platform nature of the Unreal engine greatly increases the likelihood of a PC title being ported to the Mac OS. You can be sure we're watching this one closely, as it nears completion.

NeXS Interactive
Alien Legion Preview at Gamer's Central

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