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Primal: When Jen met Scree: Primal Impressions
Company: SCEA

I just got the Primal demo disc, and thought I'd post some impressions.

For the most part, Primal is a pretty straightforward 3rd person adventure game. The combat system feels very tight and relies heavily on the shoulder buttons. When she first begins, Jen is limited to mainly defending herself with the dagger. It's not until Jen learns to change forms that the fun really begins, allowing Jen more power and some really sweet finishing moves. The system feels excellent, and allows you to pull off all kinds of awesome looking moves with having to perform the joystick Olympics found in other games. To top things off, the camera does a great job of keeping you in the action at all times.

Just when the game begins to feel like your standard combat-fest, the game goes and throws in some very smart puzzles. While the game has its fair share of fetch puzzles, a majority of Primal's puzzles involve you having to switch between Jen and Scree. In fact, most of these puzzles wouldn't be possible without this dynamic. From climbing, to possessing statues, to straight out combat - this game is definitely deeper than it first appears.

Graphically, this is another VERY pretty game. The environments are phenomenal and stand with the best of the PS2 lineup. There are all kinds of different particle and light effects - lots and lots of eye candy. The character models are also great and are very detailed. The little details such as Jen's hair and subtle makeup job really add to the overall feel of the game. It's amazing to see the kind of emotion displayed by the game's characters.

Storywise, Primal is rather clich, but is still able to weave a very interesting story. The game opens when Jen and her boyfriend are attacked by demons. The boyfriend is kidnapped; Jen is in a coma. When she wakes up, she meets the gargoyle and goes on her adventure. Along the way Jen discovers that she is a chosen one, and that the magical gauntlets on her hands grant her all kinds of abilities such as the ability to change forms. Again, it's been done before, but it was enough to get me interested. Besides, it's great to see a game with a strong female lead that isn't a digital fetish.

So far, so good. It's really amazing when you consider that a year or two ago people were giving Sony a hard time for their lack of strong 1st party software. But, considering Jakk & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, SOCOM, Sly Cooper and now Primal - things are changing. This is definitely a game to keep your eyes on.

Judging from the demo, March can't come soon enough.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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