Giants: Citizen Kabuto Review

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a new game from Interplay and Planet Moon that attempts to blur the line between strategy and action games. While most of the combat resembles a third-person shooter, there are elements of base building and resource management which are vital to your success in the game.

Giants takes place on a world covered with islands onto which a group of Meccaryns, a very technology-focused race, crash land on their way to a hedonistic vacation planet. The world on which they land is inhabited by Sea Reapers, Kabuto, and Smarties, as well as various nasty creatures. The Sea Reapers were once the masters of the planet, and they created the giant beast Kabuto to keep it that way. Kabuto soon became too much for even them to control, and so the Reapers were forced to live in the oceans. There they developed powers of magic, and became quite adept with sword and bow weaponry. The Smarties are another indigenous race, and they interact with the three player races in different ways. For the Meccaryns and Reapers, they build bases and provide advanced weaponry. For Kabuto they serve a far simpler purpose - food.

The game begins with the player taking control of the Meccaryns as they try to reassemble their scattered group after their unscheduled stop. As each of the other Meccaryns are found, they join the player, gradually increasing his/her firepower until the full squad of five is finally reunited.

Once the player completes the Meccaryn campaign, he/she takes control of Delphi, a Sea Reaper, and then when the Sea Reaper campaign is finished, the player finally gets to try his/her hand at being the colossus that is Kabuto.

Many of the missions in the game center around rescuing somebody or blowing something up. However, the real-time strategy element comes into play during the missions that require the player to build and protect a base. For this, Smarties must be captured to do the dirty work of building the base and creating its defenses. To keep them happily busy, the player must go out and slaughter the local herd animal, Vimps, and bring the meat back to the base for the the Smarties to enjoy. Vegetarians would be better off playing a game that sticks to the more traditional resource collecting methods such as gold and rock mining.

All of the missions are linked together by cutscenes which rely heavily on sophomoric humor with a decidedly British twist. Think Monty Python marathon at a Frat house and you'll get the picture. While the humor is a mixed bag that ranges from genuinely funny to merely crude, it is a nice change of pace from the usually overly dramatic storylines found in most games.