Dead Or Alive 4 preview (Xbox 360)

Team Ninja and Tecmo’s upcoming fighting game sequel, which is scheduled to be an exclusive launch title for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console this fall. Here’s an excerpt:

DOA4’S visuals are, in a word, outstanding. While the high visual quality of the previous games has left DOA4 a big pair of shoes to fill, the game is well on its way to doing just that. The work-in-progress version we saw was running at 1080i and needs to be seen on an HDTV to be believed. The environments featured an amazing level of detail that just popped off the screen thanks to that insanely high resolution. Liberal use of bump mapping, lighting, and particle effects are outstanding and bring the environments to impressive life. The shiniest Ultimate environment, the crazy nightclub that was awash in lighting and particles, pales in comparison to what we saw. However, in many ways, you can see counterparts to those stages, taken to the next level in DOA4.

Screenshot: Dead or Alive 4 In the exclusive environment teaser video provided to us by Team Ninja, you’ll see the arenas in which you’ll be kicking ass. The beautiful Ninja Gaiden-esque temple, complete with pond and cherry blossoms; the neon and car-filled Las Vegas; the open-air market seen in the trailer; the screen-filled mansion interior that overlooks an open field; the gorgeous wrestling ring stage that’s complete with a crowd and insane lighting; a Jurassic Park-style stage chockfull of dinosaurs and a massive volcano; the long stairway with monkeys; and another Ninja Gaiden-style area, the nighttime rooftop. These stages, already gorgeous, are beefed up several notches running in HD. The characters are equally impressive, although this time out a good deal of the detail on them is far more subtle. Patterned clothing, loose flowing hair, and expressive faces all help bring the cast of the game to vivid life. The animation is looking sharp, with fluid motion already in place for many of the characters. The only hitch at present is the game’s frame rate, which is still being tightened up due to occasional inconsistencies.

The game’s audio is on par with the standards set by the previous games, only beefed up some thanks to the 360’s sound capabilities. You’ll hear a good assortment of voices and ambient sound which is solid. In some cases, such as the wrestling ring, the audio will reflect the state of your fight, as the crowd will react to what’s happening. The collisions in the game are satisfying as always, thanks to their over-the-top nature.


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