Archangel, First Impressions
Archangel is a third person game (with
first person view option) that joins role-playing and action-game
genres. The action of ARCHANGEL takes place in three different
epochs and in different locations, ranging from the middle-ages
to futuristic Berlin. The Game combines techno-thriller, horror
and fantasy styles, mixing age-old legends with technologically
At ECTS I had the opportunity to see an early alpha stage
demo of Archangel at the Fishtank booth. As it was an early
alpha stage they only showed a small demo, featuring an outdoor
fight in the dark middle-ages.
In the intro of the game you, a young man, are driving home
in the night. Snowflakes are falling down and the road seems
empty. But then there is a sudden flash of light and you hit
the brakes and the last thing you hear is the rasping sound
Unaware of what happens then, you are being dragged from the
car by an old man....
...When you open your eyes you are in a small room.
You will soon find out that you've woken up in the middle-ages,
unaware of what force has brought you here, nor who you are.
In time you'll find out that you have been called by a strange
kind of deity to purify the world from the evil it inhabits.
For this you will become the Archangel, but you are unaware
of that in the beginning.
The story covers three totally different levels. After the
dark middle-ages you will find yourself in futuristic Berlin
followed by the last stage in the City of Evil. As each of
these three era's are totally different it allows the developers
to mix fantasy and sci-fi styles into one.
Like said before, you will need to purify the world from
all evil, which will in general mean defeating any evil presence
in all three of these era's. So Archangel will have a lot
of action in the game and a range of weapons that you can
use, each specific to the era they belong in. I'll leave it
to your imagination what kind of weapons are possible here
The approach is in essence that you first think about the
best weapon/strategy to follow, then fight and then of course
win. The developers of Archangel claim that using your wits
and intelligence is far more rewarding than just plain fighting.
You will have to think about the best weapon/strategy to use
in combat to kill your opponent, as not all weapons might
be effective and not all strategies will be useful in your
Besides using weapons you will also find runes in Archangel,
which will allow you to learn the magic as described by the
rune. The runes do not wear out, so as long as you have the
runes you can use the magic they represent. Of course the
combination of weapons and magic greatly enhances your possibilities
to win a fight.
One of the RPG elements in the game is that you can choose
your character to be either a panther, a ghost or a warrior.
At the moment I only saw a warrior at work and it is not clear
to me at the moment, what the different characteristics are
of each class.
Furthermore they claim that the NPC's in the game will act
and react in an intelligence manner, but it was not possible
to see any example of that in the demo that was showed. We
will have to wait on a demo at a later stage to see any evidence
The presentation was given by the publisher Fishtank and featured
a section in the dark middle ages. The engine for the game
has been written by the developer, Metropolis Software from
the ground up. Even though writing a new 3D engine is a lot
of work it does give the developers the possibility to shape
it into whatever they want and the developers claim that it
will even set new standards.
The character animations have been done by motion capturing
a real life actor and the character on the screen did move
and fight in a very realistic way, so they seemed to have
integrated it very well. The part which was shown covered
some outside terrain, which looked really well actually, even
for such an early alpha.
You play the game in 3rd person view, but you will have the
option to switch to 1st person view, which is especially useful
when using a ranged weapon such as a bow and arrow as you
can aim much better in that case. Besides that, some people
do prefer to play their games in 1st person view anyhow, so
having two view possibilities might attract both type of players.
The game has the promise in it to become something big and
it has the possibility to attract both RPG and action style
players. But there are many questions left, which might be
answered in a newer demo, not only showing more of the game
but also giving more information about the different elements
of the game.
The release date is tentatively set at Q2, 2002. So we still
have to wait a while, but we have some artwork, screenshots
and videos in our gallery
to let you check out for yourself what the current status