Many of you likely remember the punishing gameplay of Astro Boy: Omega Factor. In fact, our first question to the High Voltage rep that demoed the game at the D3 Publisher booth was just that, if they played the game and whether they planned to follow in its footsteps. The good news is that High Voltage indeed did play through Omega Factor and took inspiration from the game, evident in the 2.5D approach of the Wii game and simplistic combat. The bad news is that this seemed less like a game inspired by Omega Factor and more a watered down version of one of the better GBA games out there.
The demo started in what appeared to be a factory, with plenty of deadly spikes and robotic enemies to encounter. Many of Astro's abilites were available, including his finger laser. Combat itself seemed kind of tired and repetitive, with the formula being beat up random enemy, collect orbs, use super move, rinse, repeat.
We were shown another segment where Astro was flying through Metro City, in a shmup portion of the game, though these will be few and far between, our rep told us. This portion seemed more enjoyable, as Astro flew through in a linear, 2D fashion, however the invisible track he was on went between buildings and through parks, giving the segment a very 3D feel, much like Ikaruga.
The High Voltage rep also confirmed that the game would incorporate everything from the movie, following its storyline. But, outside of what is based on film, it will also incorporate some extra stuff in the form of added levels, and four different difficulty settings, allowing players to make the experience as tough or forgiving as they like. The High Voltage rep told us this was to help recreate the punishing gameplay of Omega Factor, but still make it accessible to casual players.
Astro Boy releases October 23, in time for the film's release.