The year is 2002, within this network; Capcom creates Production Studio 5. Thus these titles would be released exclusively on the Nintendo GameCube platform. Sadly, not all of the said titles make the cut, and many are let go. While a few managed to survive, one of these was PN03 (Product Number 03). Produced by Shinji Mikami (one of the founding fathers in the Resident Evil / Devil May Cry saga; (along with longtime friend Hideki Kamiya) *Who was then at the time directing Viewtiful Joe (as Clover Studios).
The idea -
An agent is sent to a facility to study what went wrong; many are laid dead, and its remains are of its security mechas run amok. Sneaking in, our observer takes down every obstacle until there is nothing left. Only this person can fight this utopia's nightmarish remains.
- Wait.. doesn't this sound familiar?
A solider sent to a facility, to investigate if the terrorists have nuclear weapons. And come what may, stands on his own against the forces within. Followed by his own past, tries to make a better future for tomorrow.
The concept -
The main character.. a woman in formidable shape, a contextual outfit that garnishes various movement & flexibility. These suits also commandeered energy within its bio structure, allowing its user to harness it as a weapon. (-during demo phase, it was noted that this character would have a gun, later the said weapon idea was dropped)
Only one thing, this character was the only human on this mission. A solo mission from beginning to end, intercepting what was left in its ruins. (*An AI corrupted, and its parts are left untangled) (*oddly enough Metroid Prime also used this concept.. curious about this one)
(*note - this game uses the DMC engine, which of course was later used in DMC3 & Resident Evil 4. Who knew that the GameCube could push itself this far?
(note 2 - since this is more of a outside-in perspective, the game is more of a platformer; yet not leaping over boundaries. More in the fact that it replays as in DMC, but as someone else behind the scenes. But still every bit as challenging)
Vanessa Z. Schneider - bounty hunter? Dons this so-called Aegis Suit, which replicates energy; and can be used as a defense mechanism. (think of Megaman's concept weaponry, but with even more precise controls) The suits limits are actually hidden within levels, once depleted, you will be running & gunning till you recover its energy source.
Aegis Suit -
Built from technical standpoint, it uses an energy frequency that attaches itself to the wearer. Not only is it a suit, it harbors offense & defensive capabilities. Some suits however have limitations, while others exploit the users maneuverability. What is interesting about the suit itself, is that the energy it harvests is from various enemies. Once absorbed, it resolves & replenishes giving more ample power to Vanessa. (alot like Megman on a fun level)
- The story?
As its goes Vanessa is a lone wolf, taking down each fragment of the facility. In the meantime, getting paid for the duty; yet there is no glory or award for the task.
- The reveal?
It turns out within the real ending, that the Vanessa we know is in fact a clone. Summoned by her other self to fix what she left behind. But did she save her timeline? That is something we're not quite sure of, but it seems that she somewhat changed things for the better.
(- taking notes from MGS, the cloning project, and how it unfolds. Although PN03 is a separate entity, there are some serious hints in this game, sort of a "pat on the back")
It is unclear if the original was a heroine, or villain. But throughout the game, it plays on the notion between "Big Boss" & "Snake" on a different level. I believe that is a interpretation through the player themselves.