Giants: Citizen Kabuto is an impressive display of graphics and top-notch sound. The game is clearly taking advantage of what new high end computers can offer to the field. Unfortunately, if you don’t have one of these computers you’re going to miss the best of what this game has to offer, which is a shame because I like the idea of the game so much more than the execution of it.
To begin with you have all the good elements: funny dialogue and very funny film clips, an opportunity to play any of three different species all warring against each other, along with beautiful graphics and an impressive soundtrack. What more could you want? Well, a lot.
The three species are the Meccaryns or Meccs, the Sea Reapers, and the giant, Kabuto. The Meccs are a British sounding (shrug) group of happy-go-lucky blokes with a good sense of humor, lots of weapons, and time on their hands. The Meccs are the first characters you get to play. Playing as a Mecc is pretty much like playing any other soldier in a first-person shooter. The primary objective of the Meccs is to destroy evil reaper bases and to rescue little characters called Smarties. Grateful rescued Smarties will build things for you like bases and stores and pubs and such. To keep your Smarties happy you hunt the local fauna and bring them back for the Smarties to eat. The Mecc missions have the most humor in them, the dialogue between characters is full of funny clips and pop culture references.
After you finish the Meccs storyline you can play as a Sea Reaper named Delphi. The Sea Reapers use magical spells to conduct their missions instead of the heavy weaponry of the Meccs. Delphi is their princess and she’s trying to make changes in their world. She does have a sword and bow, but most of her power comes from spells. Both Sea Reapers and Meccs rescue Smarties and use them to build bases for them. The Sea Reapers in all their wisdom actually created the third playable character, Kabuto, the giant. They, of course, wish they hadn’t. He was supposed to protect their island, but instead he’s like the watch dog from hell.
Kabuto is mostly an eating machine. Playing as Kabuto comes at the end of the game and isn’t as fun as it sounds. Playing as Kabuto is like playing a WWF game on N64 except the view options as Kabuto are either the view from his feet or from the inside of his mouth, neither of which makes for very intuitive play. He’s lumbering and difficult to control. When you start off as Kabuto, you’re small for a giant. He grows as he consumes Smarties, digested and fully processed Smarties are supposed to turn into tiny Kabutos that will serve you. Mine mostly just got killed.
I was disappointed with this game. I found it annoying that I had to finish one whole storyline before I could play as a different character. I wanted to play as a Mecc when I was in a shooter mood, as Delphi when I was in a mystical mood and as Kabuto when I wanted to watch carnage in the view from my mouth. I also found the base building missions tedious, although I can see how they would be useful in the multiplayer mode. The frustration for me was that the game has so much potential that just wasn’t fully realized. I give it 3.5 GiN gems.
Developers: Planet Moon
Platforms: Mac, PC