Under Cover

   In late 1998, Japanese publishing giant ESP began running mysterious magazine ads promoting a game known as "Under Cover." It wasn't until several months later that ESP revealed the game itself: a Dreamcast adventure game resembling a cross between [parasite eve] and Metal Gear Solid. As in [parasite eve], the main character is a female detective in a modern-day metropolis -- but Under Cover takes place in Tokyo, not New York, and features Resident Evil-style adventure gameplay.

   Under Cover offers slightly more than the usual adventure experience, as you're given much more freedom. The Tokyo of 2025 features three main areas: "City Hotel," a futuristic area packed with skyscrapers; "Bay Area", a 70s-ish waterfront; and "Water Town", a seedy, casino-laden district. You'll have to travel amongst all three areas and complete various sequential missions in order to unravel the organized crime conspiracy that serves as the cornerstone's of the game's plot. The heroine, Kei, will also get the chance to take the wheel of a number of vehicles, including a car, helicopter, and motorboat.

 Under Cover
Shoot-out on the street

   Minor additions aside, Under Cover is still a fairly generic adventure game -- albeit one with high production values. Developer Pulse Interactive has gone out of its way to recruit plenty of big names to assist in the title's development: The storyline is being penned by Japanese novelist (and long-time gamer) Arimasa Osawa, the soundtrack is provided by New York-based dance musician DJ Gomi, and the character design is being handled by manga artist Kenichi Kutsugi. By the time Under Cover ships in Japan at the end of this year, it will have been in development for around four years.

   Under Cover is being widely hailed as one of the most promising Dreamcast games in the works, and given the effort Pulse is putting into the title, it's easy to see why. According to videogames.com, an undisclosed U.S. publisher has already snapped up the North American rights to the game, so expect Under Cover to go head-to-head with Resident Evil: Code Veronica for the chance to become Dreamcast adventure king.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Under Cover: AD 2025 Kei
Developer Pulse Interactive
Publisher ESP
Genre Adventure
Medium GD-ROM (?)
Platform Dreamcast
Release Date  1999
24 screenshots / 6 TGS shots
6 character designs / 3 weapons and items / 5 vehicle renders
Magazine advertisement