R.A.D. pits giant robots in a
clash for supremacy in a crowded urban setting
By Michael Lafferty
Ah, the feeling of raw robotic power at your fingertips, the ability to smash and trash – is there anything quite like it?
Enix is betting that there isn’t anything quite like Robot Alchemic Drive, a single-player action-adventure program for the PlayStation2, due for release in November.
You are in control of 75 tons of high-tensile robot, battling another giant nemesis in a crowded urban setting. This game does have missions and gameplay occurs on two levels – the robot plane and human plane. Other features include a unique control mechanism that simulates remote control of giant robots; robots can transform; incredible sense of scale, research and design system which enables customization of robots; and story-driven gameplay.
You want weapons? Well, if a giant robot wasn’t enough of a weapon, this game also has an array of other tools of mayhem, including missiles, lasers, shooting fists and boomerangs.
Justin Lucas, product manager at
Enix, talked with GameZone about Robot Alchemic Drive (RAD).
Question: Explain a little bit about the concept behind R.A.D.
Justin: “You play the role of a Handler, a person responsible for controlling a 75-ton robot, throughout a huge metropolitan area to battle with an alien.”
Q: What do you consider to be the major drawing points or features of this game?
Justin: “Giant robots battling each other, big destructible cities, and a very cool story line whereby giant monster aliens appear and are hell-bent on destroying your city. It’s up to you to protect your city and its citizens from this menace. How you do it is up to you, however the single fact that the aliens are appearing on the planet may be a signal of something greater, but I’ll leave that a secret for now.
“Another cool aspect of the game is that it shares the same character designer as Cowboy Bebop, one of the hottest animes in the U.S.”
Q: Can you give us some background into the development of the R.A.D. world?
Justin: “Sandlot, the developers of RAD, are composed of Ex-Human Entertainment members who worked on a critically acclaimed game called Remote Control Dandy which was only released in Japan, and was a tremendous success.”
Q: What do you think are the most unique features of this program?
Justin: “The tremendous sense of scale you experience as robots 40 stories high battle each other, while you as the handler are still human-size and trying to control the mayhem – either as the robot or yourself. The environments are completely and totally destructible – if you see it, you can smash it. Just be aware there are always consequences to your actions.”
Q: Demographically, who will this game appeal to?
Justin: “I think the game appeals to gamers of all ages, it’s easy enough to get into for the casual gamer, and there is a story deep enough to keep the hardcore involved and interested. I think the crossover appeal between those that like action games and those that like robot games will definitely enjoy RAD.”
Q: Does this game explore any new areas, either technologically or within the genre?
Justin: “RAD truly forges new ground as an action/fighting/sim. Its unique control scheme simulates the effect of controlling a monstrous robot; all while your robot is doing battle with an alien. Add to the fact that as a human, you must avoid being smashed by falling debris or crushed by your own robot and the action becomes strategically intense and varied.
Q: What has proven the toughest part of this game to design, to date? Did the platform it is being developed for, create any new problems? Will this game show up on any other platforms?
Justin: “The sense of scale presented perhaps the largest obstacle, however the team at Sandlot was able to work this through and produce a game that is truly special. At this time our plans are to release RAD in November on the PlayStation2 only.”
Q: What aspect of the game do you enjoy the most?
Justin: “Personally, I enjoy the amazing battles that you can have and the strategy of fighting in a huge city environment and being able to use your surroundings to your advantage. The depth of the story is also appealing.”
Robot Alchemic Drive (RAD) (PS2)