This game is pretty slick. From what I understand from the in-game banter, your character has been given various supernatural power by your boss, who goes by the name of... Boss. I'm not sure why he's given you these powers, or why I'm going around killing various mercenaries and monks, and to be honest, I don't really care, this is fun! Screw storyline or plot when you have gameplay as great as this.
You get your first glimpse at power after you kill your first monk. You get a Metal Gear Solid-esque message from Boss, saying that you can heal yourself and search bodies by feeding on their soul. Just walk up to them and press your action key. Your character holds out his hand and starts to leech the soul of the enemy, giving you a bit of health and any weapons or items the character was carrying. When you've finished eating the body disappears forever.
You also get a secondary attack. Holding the right mouse button down charges your arm. That's right. Charges your arm. It starts glowing red and when you let go... well I'm not really sure what happens, but lots of people die. It's pretty cool but chews through your mana quite efficiently.
After a while Boss will contact you again, saying he's given you a rolling power. You turn invisible while you roll. It's pretty neat, but not very effective against enemies, I think this power is probably just for puzzles. Like the one you are presented with when you get the power.
The next power you are given is teleportation. It's a bit awkward at first, the game doesn't really do a very good job of explaining just how exactly to use it, but after a couple dozen tries you eventually get it. Instead of a traditional teleportation power it's more like a temporary out-of-body experience. I guess kind of like the spirit-walking in Prey, only really weird and disorientating.
There are absolutely no relation between the first and second levels of the demo, you don't even get a little blurb to tell you why you are suddenly no where near where you just where, or why you have new weapons and items, or why you no longer have your jacket on. For the second level you get a cool new toy, a little telekinesis power. "Equip" your glove from your items menu (CTRL) and press your use button. Your character's hands start glowing and if you can pick something up your reticle will turn red and start doing the Macarana. Actually moving things around is a little strange at first, use your mouse and movement keys to do it. You can even pull objects, such as dead bodies, through walls and shit. You can even pick live enemies up but it's not very effective as until you let go of their marker, they are still standing there shooting at you. You even walk really slow while you have your telekinesis equipped, and you have no way of attacking. When you do drop them they get a little confused and are disorientated for a few seconds before going back to shooting you.
A really cool feature that I liked was that when you kill someone a little heat-haze affect flashes around you. Since there is some kind of "alignment" icon in your HUD I assume it means that you get bad mojo points for killing. However it's very helpful. There have been countless times in other games where I've continued shooting at places where a guy was, long after he's dead. This flashy effect indicates that I can stop firing now, or focus my attack on some one else.
The game ran really smoothly for the most part. Everywhere I read everyone's saying the game runs like butter. For me, after a while it started to slow down, especially after it started snowing. I'm pretty sure that's just my dodgy Vista drivers though. I just installed the brand new nVidia Vista drivers but I still haven't rebooted, so my systems probably slowly deteriorating. Whatever it was it went away in the second level.
The aiming is a bit dodgy in my opinion, it feels like there is some mouse acceleration but I couldn't find any options for it in the settings menu. I hate mouse acceleration. Then again it might be because of the choppy Vista drivers again. Apart from that the gun ran like silk, I was very impressed with the performance.
You can stick to walls and do all the cool third-person action game stuff like that. Even blindly shooting around corners by holding ALT before you start shooting. It's not very effective but if they are close you can mash their face up pretty good. Toward the end of the second demo level there are a lot of little walls all near each other that you can stick to, and that makes navigating that area a little difficult, as your character constantly wants to stick to walls.
The first boss was the head monk. He was a little too hard for my liking. Especially since he's apparently the boss for the first level. He has a strong machine gun that never seems to miss. He has a spell of missitus at the beginning but once he's in the zone he's an amazing hit. When I killed him I only had 5hp left. It would be easier if you could crouch behind the boxes, or if you could avoid getting hit at all by hiding behind anything. Unfortunately you have to stand there getting shot while you kill him. Turns out you can crouch or "sneak" by holding the SHIFT key. This wasn't mentioned anywhere in the game and I had to find out via the controls settings. Poor form. Regardless, being able to crouch makes the boss a lot easier. It takes almost no effort at all to get rid of him. The method to killing him is pretty easy, one of the lights is obscured behind his giant shield and took me forever to notice it was there.
The second boss is pretty weak. It's easy to avoid his hits and relatively easy to hit him. I got the impression that this was further in to the storyline than the previous level. The level itself was a little more challenging than the last, but the boss was a pushover. It was a little disappointing.