First of all, let me point out; the story of Cellfactor: Psychokinetic Wars is vague as heck. Right, three different factions are fighting to the death, playing capture the flag and assault for some grand reason. Hey, I mean, as we learned in UTIII we found out that attempting to flesh out a multiplayer built game like with a narrative was pointless and made the game even more so cringe worthy and lessened the impact.
Cellfactor is for those who enjoyed playing multiplayer games such as Quake3 and Epic's Unreal Tournament series to death, basically; imagine the powers of Midway's Psi-Ops, chuck in Q3 ,UT2K4, UTIII, Halflife2 Deathmatch, mix them together in a bowl, lick the spoon, this is what you'll end up with.
As a Unreal Engine powered PSN title (and XBLA at some point), Cellfactor certainly delivers in all the right places, what appears to look like a mod for UTIII soon becomes worth the £8 admission price. Bear in mind, you are buying a game with 3 'ladders' with different class gameplay for each one and 10 varied challenge requirements for each, with 30 challenges in total for the singleplayer game, these challenges help you unlock further perks in the game and gear to customise your character with to take online or with a friend.
Normal gametypes include Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Assault which involves taking a 'hacker' to the opposite base to gain a point If that isn't enough, you can choose to have instant bot matches and split screen games so you can humiliate your friend on the sofa and most importantly, full on online multiplayer (which annoyingly had no one online as I attempted to test this out)
Weapons are the normal suspects, Pistol, Shotgun, Assault rifle, Rocket Launcher, Sniper rifle, the bare essentials of multiplayer FPS combat, that was seen on PC 1998-2004, but don't let that put you off.
The mechanics of the game are very simple to get used to, R1 to fire, X to to jump, Square to reload, Circle or L+R on the D-pad to swap through weapons basically, UTIII controls...until you discover the abilities of each faction which is when you'll see how different the game is. You have two set of numbers on the bottom of your HUD, obviously the one on the left is your health, the other one on the right is your Psi-Power which recharges slowly once using.
The first ability that you'll discover if you decide to choose 'Black Ops', is 'Psi-Push' activated by pressing L1 which is very basic telekinesis, (for those who have played HL2 this is very much like the Gravity Gun), you can pick up nearby barrels, boxes and even rip out metal plates from interior and floors, let go of them to force the object right into someones face/legs, the longer you keep hold of the object, the more Psi-Power you'll get drained. Next you'll discover 'Teleport' activated by R2 which takes up about 50 of your Psi-Power, (unlike UTIII, you can actually teleport WITH flags and the aforementioned 'hacker'), a Psi-Shield which generates a shield activated by L2 by but drains Psi-Power very fast, but great for shielding from rockets, the Black Ops last ability activated by Triangle is a mine which can be place on the ground.
Don't want to be Black Ops? Well, choose 'Bishop' whom has very similar abilities to that of the Black Ops but more advanced Psi-Powers. Strangely, instead of having a gun, Bishop just fires all weapons directly from the hands, these have exactly the same accuracy and hit damage, so don't worry, additional Psi-Abilities other than Psi-Push and Psi-Shield include Flying which is used simply by keeping X for jump down in order to glide around arenas until your Psi-Level dissipates, a rather nasty ability Psi-Cache that thrusts several objects at your targeted foes activated by R2 taking up 50 Psi-Power is like a extreme version of Psi-Push and is incredibly amusing, finally, pressing Triangle will give you the equivalent of a flash bang grenade.
Don't want to be Bishop? well, choose the Terminator...I mean 'Guardian'. Who can freaking DUAL WIELD by pressing L1 and R1 and can change the right weapon with Circle and the left with Triangle, L2 will make you dodge and finally R2 will make you Super-Run which you can actually run into people and kill them with.
Cellfactor is some insane fast paced classic FPS arena action with a twist, with music that could easily be heard out of a Quake or UT title, which some great sound effects for the weapons, the maps are also a pretty good selection with plenty of jump pads and power-ups. You can easily stretch out about 3 hours on the Single Player and tutorials and then unleash your powers online (if I could actually find anyone to play with), the game ashamedly DOESN'T have custom soundtracks and deserves further map-packs if it ever happens.
Oh, how jealous Epic must be for not making this one.
Anyway, try the free demo right now on the EU PSN store, see if it suits your taste, because if you like Epic's UT series and Quake3, I'd be very surprised if you didn't fall in love with this little PSN title.
Callout to PS3Addiction for not actually bothering to review or play the game further than the start menu. Well done, thanks for doing the Eurogamer thing. Online only, no singleplayer, yeah, right.