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Game Over Online ~ EyeToy: AntiGrav (c) Sony Computer Entertainment

EyeToy: AntiGrav (c) Sony Computer Entertainment

Published: Thursday, October 21st, 2004 at 05:00 PM
Written By: Jeff 'Linkphreak' Haynes

Last week we managed to get a preview of AntiGrav, the latest EyeToy title following up Play and Groove. While other EyeToy games have mainly been focused upon mini-games or other amusement features, AntiGrav is different for two reasons. First, AntiGrav is a fully featured “extreme” sports title that requires the use of your entire body to control onscreen action. Secondly, you’re actually not the focus of this game; instead, your movements direct an onscreen character through a number of arenas (more on this later). Grab a board and get ready to get some air, because we’re taking off with EyeToy: AntiGrav.

Movement within AntiGrav is based on the EyeToy’s tracking of your face. Once you’ve lined your head up in the projected box onscreen, the EyeToy starts tracking your head movements, following exactly where you are via an onscreen icon. As the primary “controller” for your characters, you merely lean your head in one direction or the other to move your rider that way. Riders will duck if you bend your knees and dip your head; similarly, your player will catch some air when you jump. You will have to be careful, however, because throwing your head wildly will cause erratic maneuvering for your boarder. Fortunately, you can throw your arms directly out to the side to slow your momentum down.

The action of AntiGrav is somewhat reminiscent of the SSX franchise, where players pick a boarder from one of 8 men and women from four clans. While the choice of a character from the Stinger, Sonar, Scarab or Talon clan doesn’t really affect your chances within the game, it provides stylistic flavor to the riders you field within the game. For instance, some of the backpacks, clothing styles or color schemes are influenced by a rider’s allegiance to their group. AntiGrav is set in the future where athletes ride hoverboards through a number of massive environments. Some of these include racing through a wharf in a city, leaping from rooftop to rooftop of massive skyscrapers, and flying down a huge mountain.

Each environment has two game modes, Speed and Style, which determines just how you’ll take on a level. Speed mode forces you to try to navigate through a map in the fastest time, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are multiple shortcuts and directions through a course, forcing you to try to find the best line from start to finish. While there is no wrong path in a level, some of them will definitely take much longer to complete. This can sometimes be detrimental to your overall score, since Speed mode is evaluated from three overall racing heats.

Style mode, by contrast, is based around points. Many of these are acquired by performing tricks from jumps, controlled by waving your arms. There are a number of moves that can be triggered, including caveman rolls, back flips and other stunts. Each racer has a super trick as well, that can be triggered by completing a combination of trick sequences, though you’ll probably want to wait for big ramps and a lot of air to try pulling it off. Fortunately, you can acquire turbo to launch you down a track or a ramp with extra speed by performing tricks, or hitting combo rings spaced along the track. Regardless of Speed or Style mode, at the end of a race, you’ll receive a ranking, and good performances could unlock additional equipment, tracks and racers.

The graphical style of AntiGrav is suitably futuristic and slick, with plenty of details within the large environments for each race. Characters animate nicely, although they can be a little stiff based on how quickly the EyeToy tracks your movements. The true star of the game is the soundtrack from Apollo 440, which remixes and changes based on your performance. From what we’ve played, we’re hoping that many more games like AntiGrav are planned when it flies into stores in early November. Check back soon for a full review!

Questions or comments about the upcoming release of Eyetoy: AntiGrav for the PlayStation 2? Talk to us!

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