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Beneath a Steel Sky (DOS)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37801)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2006
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars

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Summary

Be vigilant

The Good

Beneath a Steel Sky is Revolution's second adventure game, and an excellent one, I must admit. Robert Foster stumbles across a barren wasteland known as The Gap. During his stay, he is raised by a peaceful tribe, and learns how to hunt and survive in the wasteland. Suddenly, outsiders destroy the wasteland and kidnap Foster, and take him to a city where everything is controlled by a super computer, known as LINC. As he explores the city, he tries to find out who or what LINC is and the person called Overmann that he is accused being of.

As Foster, you are also accompanied by his robot friend Joey, and you'll need to activate him at the start of the game. He can perform tasks that you can't – tasks such as hacking into security systems, jimmy door locks, and do other things without your presence. Once you get him up and running, he gets rude and arrogant, greeting Foster with “Is this the best shell you could find?” and answering one of his questions with “It's not worth explaining, you're too thick.” One interesting thing that you can do, however, without the help of Joey, is log into various LINC terminals around the city, to change the functioning of machinery.

BASS introduces Version 2.0 of Revolution's Virtual Theatre system. Characters are free to walk around, speak to people, and do their own shit – like what we do in everyday life. Speaking of characters, most of who you meet in the game can give you information that may or may not answer Foster's questions, and some are funny. One of the funniest characters that I met is Mrs. Piermont. I found it amusing to listen to her speak especially if you buzz her apartment. She becomes so stress if you do something with her dog.

There are a few comedic situations in the game, such as the courtroom appearance, presided by a judge who doesn't know what he is talking about. And later on in the game, you will meet a talking jukebox that attempts to seduce you while trying to select a song. If you select a particular song, the jukebox will get stuck.

BASS's interface is easy to use, and like Revolution's last game, it is intelligent. You see, click on an object with the left mouse button and the game assumes that you want to examine it, and if you click the right mouse button on that object, or other ones, it assumes that you want to manipulate it. And whatever button you click on a character, the game will always assume that you want to speak to him or her.

BASS is a lot better than Lure of the Temptress in terms of two things – graphics and sound. The graphics are a lot detailed, and they make you feel that you are walking into workshops, security rooms, or out on walkways or investigating something. What I like about the game is that it gives you the ability to enter LINC-space. The backgrounds, as well as individual objects, look well drawn, and even there are dangers that you must overcome, such as the eyeball that watches you wherever you go in the room. I love the graphics when you reach the end of the game. You enter room after room containing advanced technology, and veins sticking out from everywhere. Unlike Lure of the Temptress, there is background music in the game. One of the better pieces of music lies within LINC-space. The sound effects are suburb, especially when played through the Sound Blaster.

Anyone who doesn't like solving puzzles in an adventure game will be pleased to know that there is very little of that here. You just basically find places where you need to be and do whatever you need to do. As you progress through the game, the story goes much further and it eventually leads to one involving androids taking over the city.

Users with CD-ROM drives will get full speech throughout the game, and it is the speech that enhances the pleasure of the game, with talent from both the US and Britain. As well as this, though, users are treated to a comic book introduction that gives them a good background on how Foster came to be. I enjoyed listening to the old man rambling on about The Evil. Users of the disk version would already have a comic book in their box.

The Bad

Whenever you use text in the game, you notice that certain words are in uppercase (eg: How come your FIRE exit leads NOWHERE?) I suppose that it serves as emphasis on certain objects, but if I wrote like that in high school, I would have gotten bad marks. In fact, a review that I saw in a games magazine made fun of this nonsense.

The Bottom Line

Beneath a Steel Sky is an excellent game that has a story which becomes more and more interesting as progress is made. The game has very good graphics and sound, and you will enjoy reading the comic book that gives some info on Foster's background. I was glad that Revolution released the game (both floppy and CD versions) three years ago, giving you all the more reason to try it out.