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CyberMage: Darklight Awakening (DOS)

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Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

אולג 小奥 (171737) on Sep 17, 2011


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I gotta admit that I have a weakness to early FPSs, but it looks like this one is a real gem. So far I find it more interesting than Dark Forces. Has anyone played it?

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

BurningStickMan (17738) on Sep 17, 2011


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Definitely on my unofficial list to play. Strife too.

(Edited by BurningStickMan (17738), Sep 17, 2011)

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

אולג 小奥 (171737) on Sep 17, 2011


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On a slightly unrelated note, is it me, or is Dark Forces not THAT great?.. I mean, it has glowing reviews everywhere, and it certainly was technically advanced, but... I find the level design boring (better than Halo, but still), and the one-time-save feature is positively maddening. I stopped playing after that level with sewers, I just lost interest. Am I completely wrong here? Do the levels get better later?

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

vedder (20210) on Sep 17, 2011


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That sewers level is one of my most treasured gaming memories. That was just nerve wreckingly scary as a ten-year-old. Sloshing through that shallow muck with too few batteries and those Dianoga eyes suddenly popping up above the surface. Brrr.

I personally really liked the level layouts in Dark Forces. You can also tell that the same level designer worked on Outlaws. In fact Outlaws has a sewer-like level very much inspired by the one in Dark Forces.

The save system is a bit antiquated. Definitely agree there. Also wasn't there a supershield option in the options menu? It basically made you invulnerable for laser fire. That still could get you hit by all kinds of physical damage, but still strange.

I'm not sure how I would rate Dark Forces if I were to play it for the first time now. It was the first game I bought with my own money and I was totally in love with Star Wars at the time, so my opinion of it might be a bit subjective.

The levels are full of variety. I have some fond memories also of fist fighting with Kell Dragons on Jabba the Hutt's ship. And trying to take down those pesky Dark Troopers (in their various stages of completeness) and getting to use their awesome weapons afterwards. There was also a kind of annoying ice-planet level where there were slippery floors and steep cliffs.

I tried CyberMage a year or two ago. Thought it was nice, but it didn't hook me to continue playing.

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

אולג 小奥 (171737) on Sep 17, 2011


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Okay man, you've convinced me to give Dark Forces another chance :)

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

BurningStickMan (17738) on Sep 17, 2011


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What vedder said. Also, look at it from the perspective of only have Doom and basic Doom clones around to play. The variety, level design/detail, and the presence of a story (with objectives) puts Dark Forces in its own class, by comparison.

However, I admit not being that impressed with Jedi Knight, and this was when playing on release. :P

(Edited by BurningStickMan (17738), Sep 17, 2011)

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

Zerobrain (2768) on Sep 22, 2011


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אולג 小奥 Wrote:
I gotta admit that I have a weakness to early FPSs, but it looks like this one is a real gem. So far I find it more interesting than Dark Forces. Has anyone played it?

Never played it myself. While my Am486DX-40 could match the speed of some i486DX2 models, Cybermage I couldn't even get to run, if I remember right. Though I had a pal who was very into it.

BurningStickMan Wrote:
What vedder said. Also, look at it from the perspective of only have Doom and basic Doom clones around to play. The variety, level design/detail, and the presence of a story (with objectives) puts Dark Forces in its own class, by comparison.

Yep, Dark Forces may not have been the best Shooter in its era but a real great Star Wars experience.

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

Rola (7408) on Sep 25, 2011


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Blasphemy!

;-)

I know that it's hard for me to remain objective, being an old-fashioned fan of old Star Wars, but as far as the level design goes I'm still in love with this game. I hated what came next in games: ugly large rooms optimized for multiplayer fragfest. Dark Forces still had those all complicated corridors you could actually get lost in, switches/traps as in cRPGs - certainly better than Doom. Wasn't it the first game which introduced windows you could jump through? I ofted did this to surprise the defenders (of course throwing a thermal detonator could cause even bigger surprise!). Ricocheting blaster bolts! I don't recall f/x such as slippery floors in earlier games... Another thing is that the controls & movement were perfect - something you can't say about Witchaven, Terminator:Future Shock and few other games. Many reviews said this was finally the first game that was technically better than Doom. I also loved the effect of dynamic music - I had to wait years (till Jedi Outcast) for this feature to return.

Surely it had flaws. I'm not sure if *no savegames at all* was the best idea - and this comment comes from somebody who completed this game on Hard without losing a single life! (yes, I like it *that* much). For a title released exclusively on CD, they could've packed more content - repainting officers to have various uniforms, just as in the movie, would be both easy & fast. Briefing text could have been spoken and so on... there should be at least an option to play it in hi-res.

... and why no mission pack!?!?! Damn you, LucasArts!

(Edited by Rola (7408), Sep 25, 2011)

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

BurningStickMan (17738) on Sep 26, 2011


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Heretic had slippery floors before DF. Not sure about the windows, but you may be right. It was the first game I played that had the crouch-jump.

Expansion packs, eh? Did you play any of the user maps? Stars End: The Cloak is one I still remember vividly. Condition Red and Back to Yavin were great as well. There was also one where you had to plant demo charges (as you always did), but then had to run to escape the explosion behind you (complete with wall of fire and collapsing ceiling!)

Some good gems were released if they're still available.

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

Rola (7408) on Sep 26, 2011


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Yeah, I've played some user-made levels back then, some were fairly well-designed.

But it's hard to beat official stuff, community-created content tends to be of very uneven quality.

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

BurningStickMan (17738) on Sep 26, 2011


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It's hard to consistently beat official stuff.

Star's End had a ship you entered that lifted off the landing pad (you could see this through the windows) and entered orbit. TIE Fighters attacked (again, the windows). You entered into and activated an escape pod, which landed back on the planet. Popped the hatch, walked out onto the surface - all seamless.

Crazy stuff, and nothing like that was in DF. The benefit of free ambition, no expectations, and no deadlines.

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

Rola (7408) on Sep 26, 2011


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BurningStickMan Wrote:
The benefit of free ambition and no deadlines.

I agree with that - with games being multi-million-dollar business today, dev teams rarely put real passion in their work. While community does that - for free.

When that parcel with new keyboard arrives, I'm going to test that Star's End thingy ;-)

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

leilei (282) on Sep 24, 2011


Cybermage irked be back in the day due to a few reasons

- 320x240 usage, leading to the common 60hz refresh rate, leading to a bit of an eyestrain (when most 3d games were 320x200/640x400 using 70-75hz)

- Jerky motion and controls

- CRASHES A LOT!!! Segfaults ALL OVER. It IS an Origin product, after all

- Combat feels a bit uneven. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's a sudden survival situation





and yes, play freaking Dark Forces. The FM'd iMUSE soundtrack doesn't hold up well though unfortunately, and some of the production gets a little low quality towards the end of the game, with lame fights as well disappointingly. but think of it in the right mindset like there's only Doom (which is where you find it overrated)

(Edited by leilei (282), Sep 24, 2011)

Re: Looks like an awesome underrated FPS

St. Martyne (3540) on Oct 01, 2011


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I played it along time ago, it definitely was my favorite FPS at the time. It really opened my mind to the possibilities of the genre. I don't really think the comparison to Dark Forces is valid. DF is a straight shooter with excellent level design. Cybermage tries to be something more. It largely pales in comparison to System Shock or Ultima Underworld, but still a great effort.