GameSpot recently had the chance to visit Eidos' offices to take a look at Ion Storm's upcoming RPG, Anachronox, powered by the Quake II engine and came back with some interesting information. The Science Fiction setting is evident from the opening cinema, where three characters, known as Grumpos (a wizard-like character), Boots, and Rho approach an asteroid-like object in their ship. The interplay between the characters could be seen as early as this opening scene -- while Grumpos is busy chatting with mission control, Boots and Rho exchange facial expressions in the background.
The game controls are similar to other first-person shooters, with the mouse controlling line of sight and direction. However, the camera view follows the third-person perspective used in many RPGs. The current control system was reportedly sluggish, but will most likely be tuned up for the final release. It might also just take some getting used to.
Anachronox's battle system is where its console RPG homage is most easily seen. Rather than taking the standard realtime battles seen in many PC RPGs, Anachronox uses a system very much like the Active Time Battle system in many Square games. Each character has a meter signifying when the character can launch an attack. When the meter fills, the character can use regular attacks, items, or special attacks. Paying homage to console RPGs once again, many of the special attacks have humorous animations. The battle system has not escaped without change, however. Many important battles have background objects which can be manipulated during the course of a battle. For instance, during an early battle, Grumpos has the ability to deactivate a bridge, destroying the ability of both the party and the enemies to launch close-range attacks. This adds an extra element of strategy to battles.
Expect to see more Anachronox information as its March 2001 release date draws near.