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CyClones (DOS)

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Platform
68
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.4
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5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Legions of alien Cybernetic Clones (CyClones) have devastated the Earth. Humanity's only hope lies with Havoc, himself a cybernetic warrior that had been manipulated by the CyClones to do their evil bidding. Havoc must fight the CyClones without mercy, protecting the Earth and avenging his own past.

CyClones is a first-person shooter (FPS) in which the player controls Havoc, exploring maze-like environments and blasting hostile aliens with a variety of firearms. The game is notable for pioneering the use of mouse control in games of its genre, allowing the player to aim independently of movement and move the aiming cursor to any part of the screen. Power-ups can be collected and stored in the player's inventory, bestowing combat-related benefits upon Havoc when used. Three-dimensional level maps can be brought up by pressing a key.

Another feature the game introduces to the genre is stealth. While the vast majority of the game consists of combat, there are a few stages which require the player to avoid it and stay unnoticed by the enemies, moving silently. A tutorial level also makes its first FPS appearance in CyClones, instructing the player in basic gameplay mechanics.

Screenshots

CyClones DOS Our command center
CyClones DOS Your ship is ready to go (from the intro after level 3)
CyClones DOS In-game shot - 9 (a view while they are hitting you)
CyClones DOS In-game shot - 8

User Reviews

Raven's revolutionary but forgotten alien-blaster. Zovni (9360) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
A solid FPS for its time-although the impatient may find it tedious. Doug Brozek (8) 2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars

The Press Says

Coming Soon Magazine Mar, 1995 83 out of 100 83
PC Gamer Mar, 1995 81 out of 100 81
PC Games (Germany) Mar, 1995 78 out of 100 78
Joystick (French) Feb, 1995 75 out of 100 75
PC Player (Germany) Jan, 1995 72 out of 100 72
Power Play Nov, 1994 63 out of 100 63
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Apr, 1995 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
High Score Apr, 1995 2 out of 5 40

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Trivia

Copy protection

the game used protection on the floppy disks, but on the CD version, it comes with the codes in a file on the CD, even though it has no copy protection.

Development

(Information taken from Raven's website.)

CyClones was begun in February of 1994, marking the beginning of a new period for Raven. Coming off of a good relationship with Electronic Arts, which produced both Black Crypt and ShadowCaster, Raven split into two groups. One which worked with id's new DOOM engine to create Mage, a fantasy action game, which would eventually evolve into the game Heretic. The other team started on a project that was to use the engine from ShadowCaster to create a futuristic shooter for Strategic Simulations (SSI), called CyClones. The name referred to Cybernetic Clones, the minions of aliens who had ravaged and devastated the earth. The player was cast as the cybernetic warrior Havoc who, in the course of his battle against the aliens, discovers that he himself is one of these monstrosities, reprogrammed by his masters to do their bidding.

The game was in first person 3D, as was most other Raven games, so reusing the ShadowCaster engine and its tools was a natural choice. But within a short time, the team found that they wanted to do more with the game and engine than they had done before. A new, 100% in-house engine was created that could handle moving platforms, catwalks, sloped areas, and transparent textures. The engine, by Carl Stika, was nicknamed STEAM.

CyClones' production cycle was at the height of multimedia madness. Sometime during the development of the game it was decided that for a competitive edge, it would become "a multimedia extravaganza". A small budget was granted for full-motion video sequences to be created for the game, to be presented between missions as briefings. However, the video that was placed in the final game was noted by one reviewer to be so horribly bad that "it makes Clutch Cargo look like Masterpiece Theatre". It was generally agreed that the lesser-distributed floppy disk version without the live video proved superior to the "multimedia enhanced" edition. As of 2000, Raven still jealously guards the original videotape containing the full 30-minute version of the video production, stating that the 8 minutes that were used in the final game were "amazingly, far better than the stuff that wasn't used".

Innovations

CyClones had a unique mouse control system, where movement could be handled independently of aiming, and any area could be targeted on screen. The gun was controlled by a crosshair, which was also used for picking up objects and manipulating world objects like doors and switches. While this setup for keyboard-and-mouse control was unusual for a shooter, its method of using the mouse to scan left and right, up and down predated the now-vogue concept of mouse-looking in an action game. It brought many to find this to be an extremely intuitive and preferential method of control, and stand by it to this day. It also had one of the first training modes in a FPS.

Rating

Raven Software's official website has the game's ESRB rating listed down as T (Teen), but it is actually rated M (Mature) for Animated Violence, Animated Blood and Gore.

Although quite unnoticable as there aren't that many situations in the game when an enemy will be right next to an exploding barrel, shooting an exploding barrel will cause enemies near it to explode into chunky bits, just as in any other gory 3D shooter like Rise of the Triad or Quake. That is what ended up earning CyClones an M rating.

Information also contributed by Arson Winter and Spartan 234

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Accatone (5187) added CyClones (DOS) on Jan 14, 2000