UK game developer
Virtual Programming Ltd
has released a playable demo version of its forthcoming action game Payback. The company has also updated its project status page with information about games in development and new projects it has recently taken on.
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Payback is, without question, a game that’s heavily influenced by the infamous PlayStation title Grand Theft Auto (the original, not the heavily reported-on sequel “Grand Theft Auto 3”). In this game you take the role of a criminal who has to go on a series of missions to earn income and prestige in his underworld crime organization. To do that, you steal cars, assault civilians, get into shootouts with police officers, and so on — but the more criminal activity you engage in, the more likely it is that the cops will be on your tail.
While most of the action is displayed from an overhead perspective above the playfield, Payback features a scaling and rotating 3D graphics engine that will pull you into the action, along with various customizable special effects that add some eye candy. The game is now in gold master stage, according to Virtual Programming, and should be hitting stores soon.
For gamers in the US, Virtual Programming’s past title releases Wipeout 2097 and KickOff 2002 have both seen their stateside distribution handled by game publisher Freeverse Software, makers of WingNuts and popular card games.
Virtual Programming also updated its project status page with some details about other Mac games the company is working on. The company said that its Mac conversion of the historically inspired real-time strategy game Tzar: Burden of the Crown is now in an “early testing stage” and is anticipated for a release in Q1 of 2003. The hotly anticipated global conquest and diplomacy game Europa Universalis is now in late testing and also appears slated for a Q1 2003 release. Also anticipated for a Q1 release is a newly announced strategy game set in ancient Rome called Legion.
What’s more, Virtual Programming has taken over Mac development of the long-awaited 3D vehicle racing game Fuel; the company said that its Mac conversion efforts are still in an “early planning stage” and hasn’t yet specified a scheduled release date. Also in an “early planning stage” is Celtic Kings, another real-time strategy game that blends “strategy, role-playing and adventure elements” in a setting of ancient Europe where the Gauls, Teutons, Druids and Romans vie for power.
to download the 5MB demo of Payback. It requires a rev. B iMac or better; Mac OS 9.0 or later; and 64MB RAM.