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Blackthorne (DOS)

66
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  MAT (70534)
Written on  :  May 22, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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Summary

Where Memories Dwell

The Good

It's been literally ages since something like Another World actually showed, and equal in its quality as well as in playability. Bwah! Why didn't this game become so popular as Another World!? It has all the quality needed, and it sure is one of the best platform based action-adventure games with a decent story. Even Flashback (a sequel to Another World) wasn't as good as this game is. 'Anyone who have a love close to this, knows what I'm saying. Anyone who wants a dream to come true, knows how I'm feeling.'

Any mistake with Rambo character is totally and 100% completely coincidental someone once said. You know, it's strange how I never heard of Blizzard chanting upon this game. I noticed their title, among the Interplay's which was better known by the time, but why the hell Blizzard doesn't have this game posted on their site. It's about same time made as Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. This is far best platform game that could unkneelingly stand among Another World and Turrican, two of the greatest platform based games that marked at least the years they were made, if not the decades.

After about-a-minute-or-two introductive story, you, as the chosen one, check once more if anything's missing on your shotgun and begin your journey of liberation and freedom. If I recall well, the game gives you four levels of climate from which every contains couple of sublevels. After each sublevel you get a password so you could continue from that position everytime you want to, since platform based games prefer password entering instead of saving your game status and position.

First level happens in some sort of mines with rather large vegetation. Don't take me to literal for description, as far as it goes, it could've been jungle with rocky areas. Anyway, since I didn't post screenshots by the time I posted the game, because I lack knowledge on DOS taking screenshots and using programmes for that purpose, you'll need to wait for a while for me to post them, or mayb my good old pal Jim, who's one of Moby's creators will win the race of posting images for this game. Anyway, you take your shootgun and start the quest. One thing is really original and funny for us players they made is that character can shoot behind himself not even turning his head. That gives a character more of a macho technician of wasting these 'friendly' oriented orcs.

You'll run upon many imprisoned slaves from which you can get some informations or even some equipment. Of course, you can help them with shooting the chain to which they're cuffed onto, only I alwas missed and somehow perished their existence instead. Good thing is that you don't have any protection (I'm speaking about some blocades like stone shields or trees to cover behind), you can always hide in the shadow. As much as your gun is in use, you can hide, otherwise, if it's been holstered, you'll jump up instead, and if there's any presence of enemies around, you'll take a direct hit.

Some of the slaves are mining, and are in better shape then the once chained to the wall, so you can at least set those free by killing all the guards. In fact, don't kill those slave-miners/diggers until you talk to them, or it will be more difficult to end game if do so. If you're up to killing everthing that breaths, then talk first then shoot. You'll still have time for doing both of those options since they won't go anywhere. Most type of orcs you'll encounter here will be the greenskin ones, the weakest among all the orcish ranks. They have slow shotgun, and they take only one shot to die. You'll also encounter the red ones here, that are only a little bit harder shield and takes two shot to knock 'em down. On the other side, the guards of prisoner miners are not orcs, or at least they look much different, and use long tailed whip instead of shotgun. Some will even use guided spider-bombs from which you cannot hide, but you must shoot them while in the air and going towards you. In this case, you must watch death in the eyes, and send her back from where it came. You can use two different bomb types; the usual ones that are easy to find and look like a glowing balls you can throw or send rolling on ground if you bow when sending them, and the spider bombs that you navigate to your target. You'll need on some ocasions to crack some computer that is rather unreachable, but with these bombs, so don't use them for your personal revenge, or you'll stuck to repeat the following level from the bottom.

On the next level, that looks like some alien sphere, but it's not. Here you'll find many thugs that uses .45 or such like Tanya from Red Alert, and they need several hits to fall. You'll need to play hide-and-shoot tactic with these guys, since your shotgun is not fast enough to shoot repeatedly so he cannot shoot back. As you progress from level to level, your shotgun gets upgraded with almost rifle speed of shooting. Anyway, that doesn't mean it's great option. In some cases it is, but with orcs - not. When you shoot them, they step back, or at least yell, and during that time they're unshootable, all the way they don't get into straight position, so you must perfectly know when to shoot, or you'll be shot.

On this level, beside other thugs, you'll run to purple (that you also encountered a few in mines) orcs that most of them also has spider bombs, and red ones. Maybe blue ones, but not sure. But blue ones will definitely appear on the third level - the desert. Walking the desert is known to be fatal, so watch your steps 'cuz nature can be cruel. In your case, there are some stone golems that will attack you the moment you pass them, so run fast, then turn and shoot. When they shape into their rolling-stones form, you cannot harm them, so you take cover in the shadow. You can also find some hungry plants that can be most annoying to jump over, so couple of bombs will do the work. You'll also encounter many things like triangles that rises you one level up, and such things you can carry, and there will be some places with levers and gates you'll need to run to catch the train, but nothing in this game's impossible, so after couple of failures, you'll die... hehe, just kidding, you'll finally get to whatever location you're going to.

Last level is in the castle of Sarlac, a castle where walls have ears. Beside knowing orcs, here will be the brown ones that takes maximum shoots to fall. The toughest facility and teritorry you must encounter awats you in here, and just for things to be worse then already are, you'll encounter longly awaited Sarlac in his own lair. Now he's that red devil that gave you such a nasty but enjoyable adventure, eh? Just fly you bastard, I keep a special bullet to send through your head, wether you're in the air or down on the ground.

Here thestory ends, and I'm still unfamiliar with the terms why this was longly forgotten game. Was it not published so widely? Did Blizzard's name ment so little by the time? Anyway, the game you don't wanna miss stands right in front of you, what will you say?

The Bad

Hehe *grinning*... it seems Blizzard gave its best when he was nothing. More he exists, less quality games he makes, not speaking of animations that are magnificent. That stands beside, as well as their music. It seems this was the best Blizzard game, and right after this one follows Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, and the Diablo. Other doesn't stand a chance of getting into my life. I know many of you would consider me for crazy not liking other games from 'great' Blizzard, but if you think so, then you're right. Who wouldn't be crazy if liking some old nonesence of a games rather then the newer, bgger and 3d better games. Well, take me as a member of an old classic that like more what he can trust to.

The Bottom Line

Excellent game in a row of Another World type of games with good and decent story, excelent sounds and marvelously made graphic considering the year game was made. Maybe you never thought orcs exist in some platform based edition, eh? Check this thing out. After that, there may be a chance you won't go back to RTS genre... hehe :)