previewed on PC
Right. We have had games become books, movies become games and games become movies. Yet, with a few notable exceptions (the most famous being Rainbow Six), we rarely see books become games. The reason why there are not many book-to-game conversions is perhaps because developers are not prepared to put themselves out into the unknown and make a game on a non-mainstream story. Unless a story has proven itself to be good enough to make a film out of, the gaming industry simply doesn't seem to be interested. However, a new exception to this 'rule' is about to become reality and it comes in the form of a real-time strategy game.
When you think of real time strategy games, titles like Command & Conquer, Age of Empires or maybe Starcraft will pop into your head. We don't really look to new franchises but perhaps it is a good idea to do so now. Inhabited Island: Battlefield is currently being developed by Wargaming.net and will be published by Akella in the first quarter of 2007.
The game is based on the book Inhabited Island (aka Prisoner of Power), which was written by the Strugatsky brothers. Although I have not read the book myself, I was able to discover some of its storyline. It's a little hazy so work with me here.
A young planetary explorer called Maxim, finds himself stranded on a planet similar to Earth. Four races are locked in a century old battle that is being fueled by a broadcasting station that sends waves into the air that influence peoples brains in such a way that they become aggressive and warlike. Maxim sets out to destroy this Central Broadcast Station but that will not be an easy task...
The four different races you can play and control are the Land of Fathers army, the Khonties, the Barbarians and the Island Empire. Each race will develop different technologies. Through this, heavily armored vehicles, transports and aviation units -each of absolutely different construction- will be present on the battlefield.
In many real-time strategy games, big armies duking it out on the battlefield are often accompanied by lag. Inhabited Islands: Battlefield looks to handle these moments much more gracefully. In one battle scene I saw a number of vehicles moving along while some infantry squads were getting shelled. A hectic scene in which I still managed to notice the reflections in the water (which is almost as good as the water in Far Cry, by the way) and all of it happened without any lag whatsoever.