The Drill Down 378: Leader of the Pac
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This week, Charter buys Time Warner Cable, the secret plan to hijack our smartphones, the NSA ends bulk collection of phone records, the IRS is hacked, and Pac-Man turns 35 … and much much more.

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Because, Awesome: The Snake Plissken Video Game That Almost Happened, Then Didn’t

John Carpenter‘s 1981 post-apocalyptic action-thriller Escape from New York is one of my all-time favorite movies. Shot on a low-budget with the slums of St. Louis, Missouri subbing for the crime-riddled streets of a walled-off Manhattan Island, Carpenter delivered a thrilling adventure that has aged well and continues to lure in and surprise new fans with its fast-paced action set pieces and a lead performance from Kurt Russell as one of the big screen’s coolest anti-heroes: Snake Plissken.

Ten years ago, it was revealed that the iconic eyepatch-sporting criminal with nothing to lose would be starring in his own video game created by Namco Hometek (Dead to Rights) and featuring Russell’s distinctive voice and likeness. Snake Plissken’s Escape was designed to be a third-person adventure game in the vein of the Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid (which also featured a hero named Snake) series. The game was scheduled to hit store shelves in Christmas 2005, but for reasons unknown it was cancelled and the project was never resurrected despite having a storyline approved by Russell, Carpenter, and their late producing partner Debra Hill.

Below you’ll find an extended promo for the unreleased Escape game. Take a look and wonder with me at what might have been. A Snake Plissken video game? I would have bought an Xbox brand new for that.

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Game Review: Soul Calibur IV
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Soul Calibur IV
Genre: Fighting
ESRB Rating: Teen
Developer: Namco
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Price: $59.99; Release Date: July 29, 2008

I’ve found myself less than enthused about some of the games I’ve reviewed in the past, which is not to say I can’t get any excitement out of myself, but when offered the chance to review Soul Calibur IV, well let’s just say I jumped at the opportunity. Needless to say, I am in love with this game. It’s just incredibly fun, jam-packed with features, easy enough for rookies like me to enjoy, but deep enough for the hardest of hard core fighting fans to get into. There’s no point where this game fails, and I just don’t see myself getting sick of it for a long time.

We’ll start with the easiest thing to compliment, the graphics. This is just a jaw-droppingly gorgeous game, and at no point does the game slow down during fighting. The character design is a step above every other game to come out in a while. Just the way the characters move is a thing of beauty, and there’s a layer of polish on the whole game that just impressed the hell out of me. I did see a few instances of some graphical glitches, but they were really only in the cinematic scenes before and after the fight. The impressive thing about the story scenes though, is that they’re all rendered in real time by the games engine, and they still look great. It even inserted the character I created into the story, which I was not really expecting.

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