E3 2011: Gamma World: Alpha Mutation

E3 2011: Gamma World: Alpha Mutation

I wasn’t particularly impressed with Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale. My biggest complaint was that it was being touted as a “Dungeons & Dragons” title, but had virtually none of the customization options that are so integral to the Dungeons & Dragons experience. At E3, one of the Atari guys behind that title showed me a new title, Gamma World: Alpha Mutation, and the best thing I can say about it is that they learned from that mistake and did not repeat it.

Gamma World was originally (and still is) a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, using the d20 system for its last two editions. It’s been in publication since 1978, and is currently in its 7th edition. Gamma World: Alpha Mutation uses these 7th edition rules, which are similar to what you would expect to see in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, with some variations.

In Daggerdale, you couldn’t choose your own combination of race, class, and gender. In Gamma World: Alpha Mutation, you not only choose one race…you choose two. Part of character creation includes picking your character’s “Origins.” Your primary origin defines your primary mutation and your head type, while your secondary origin defines your secondary mutation. While your primary origin defines your head type, the rest of your body is randomly assembled using parts of each origin. There will be six origins to choose from, with Radioactive Man and Yeti being the two currently announced.

The game itself is a third-person shooter RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, now called Gamma World by its inhabitants. Current 7E backstory blames the apocalypse on the Large Hadron Collider, but I’m not sure if that’s true for the game (or if the state of the world is even a relevant story point in the game). Combat is simple enough, with melee attacks, from-the-hip weapon firing, and more precisely aimed weapon firing. There is a full single player campaign, and up to two players local split-screen and online co-op, with a goal of having that up to four players before the fall xbla/psn/pc release. Expect approximately ten hours for the campaign, with DLC expected to increase that time.

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