Copyright 2002

[ August 19th 2002 ]

Once upon a time, Tomb Raider designers Toby Gard and Paul Douglas left Core to form their own company, which they called Confounding Factor. There they would craft a groundbreaking new third person action-adventure game named Galleon, which would feature all manner of swashbuckling as you took control of a buccaneer by the name of Rhama and guided him around shipwrecks and islands in his clipper the Endeavour. A wide variety of fluid animations were promised for your character, as well as a unique sword fighting system and glorious 3D graphics.

Way back in those days of yore a few (blatantly pre-rendered) "screenshots" appeared in the print media, amidst much touting of "world exclusive" previews which were obviously based on little more than a few beers with the developers and a couple of pieces of concept art, but otherwise all was eerily quiet. Years came and years went, and Core pumped out half a dozen more Tomb Raider games on a variety of platforms, with each new installment proving less inspiring than the last and yet somehow still managing to sell shedloads of copies. Meanwhile Westwood made their own swashbuckling action-adventure game, the flawed Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat. And yet there was seldom any news of Galleon. It was almost as if the ship had floundered, lost at sea.

Anyway, by a strange quirk of fate it appears that Galleon may actually come ashore in Europe this year, with a December release for the Xbox and GameCube currently on the cards. And to prove that the game isn't just a figment of someone's over-active imagination, UK publisher Virgin Interactive has produced a new batch of screenshots taken from the GameCube version. The years haven't exactly been kind on the game, and it's hard to say whether the angular look of the characters and locations is a stylistic decision or merely engine limitations, but either way it does have a unique feel to it which isn't entirely displeasing to the eye. Whether the gameplay can live up to the many long years of expectation remains to be seen...

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