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Reviewed: Giants
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: February 11th 2002
Page: 2

 This review is all about PC to console conversions... but that's okay, because at its heart, any good review needs to mention how Giants copes with the inevitable problems with a conversion, especially given the porting system: the lowly Playstation 2.  Endowed with a TINY amount of texture memory (less than half of what Giants asks for to run as beautifully as it does on the PC), a slower processor, and using the TV as a display instead of a clean monitor, there are tradeoffs. There's also the question of controls.

Being backwards, of course, I choose to take on the controls first. As any good gamer knows, it's not how gorgeous a game is: what keeps people playing is the gameplay. In this, Giants made two concessions. First, they slowed it down.  Giants on my gaming PC, with the 1.33GHz AMD processor and GeForce3 Ti500 card, is a vastly different experience from the PS2. On the PS2, it feels like half speed... but there's beauty in this. Where the PC was all about a firefight, Giants on the PS2 is just slow enough to let players pick their own shots.

The controls, surprisingly, work well. The game only uses 4 buttons regularly, leaving strafing, motion, and aiming to the two analog sticks on the PS2 controller.  A generous auto-aiming cone takes care of the nitpicking, filling in the imprecise nature of the thumbsticks nicely. Weapon selection and firing are on the top 4 buttons, and you're good to go. A simple, elegant solution to a nasty problem. 

In terms of sound... this is the one thing that the game left intact, and it's still gorgeous. The music is clever and majestic at the right times, gun and enemy sounds beautiful. Voices are great. "HUNGRY!!!" is still a classic.

The graphics are where Giants suffers most, unsurprisingly. To keep up with the stripped-down video RAM and processor speeds, a few things are missing. Ground cover that concealed enemies? Gone.  Some of the nicer fog and lighting effects are toned down. A few of the levels have been edited, though that compensates a bit for the changes in game speed.  The point is, however, that the fun elements that make Giants great to play are still there, even though the graphics aren't quite as captivating.  

Do you want to get Giants for PS2? Well, it's a hard question. If you have it for PC... then maybe. If you've waited, then go for whichever you can get your hands on.

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Added:  Monday, February 11, 2002
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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