SummaryThe sega saturn couldn't handle 3D games.. this games proves it.
The GoodFor all the good points, read Satoshi Kunsai's review on this game. I think the game is an average old fps game among other old ones like ken's labyrinth, rise of the triads and blake stone 3D. What I personally like about the game is it's atmosphere, there is some north african music playing that really sets me in the adventurous mood. Also, the story fits well. I remember playing this game briefly on the PC almost a decade ago and I was pretty excited at first, but only a few minutes later I remembered why I didn't accept this title as a winner.
The BadThe game is really hard! While they say this is one of the only fps games that runs smoothly on the Saturn, I think that is not true. The frame rate just flashes before my eyes and make it impossible to have a clear view on enemies and gaps. After a few plays I got stuck in Sobek Pass, this is not really a far progress, but there is where it gets hard. You need to jump over a few falling boulders, lava pits and balls of fire where one hit often means instant death. That wouldn't be so bad if they gave me the opportunity to save the game where I wanted to! After about 50 retries I just had enough of it. Every time you start completely at the beginning of that stage even after I retrieved an important piece of that transmitter. What I also didn't like about this game is it's simplicity. Sure I believe some places in the mountains in Egypt are full of rocks, but that doesn't mean they should design every inch you see in the same rocks over and over and over so all you can see are 4 colours in brown rocks. That is not realistic, that is L-A-Z-Y. Also there are very few weapons and a lot of them are worthless. The ammo refill always look like some odd balls. You have the grey balls, the brown balls, the purple balls etc.. recycling graphics is another symptom of laziness. Talk about ammo, your ammo and health are displayed by just two pathetic bars, so you can never estimate how much ammo you have left. And what is wrong with the enemies? Most of the time I am shooting at birds of prey, scarabs and north african killer bees that blink before my eyes. With the frame rate of 20-25 it is a chore to eliminate them and to adjust the view so you can point your weapon at them. Most of the time I was being hit by the flying creatures but I coudn't even spot them. The frame rate makes it also impossible to jump without falling off ledges and become one with the lava. One wrong move and you fall off, because with this frame rate, every step you make is equal to ten steps.
The Bottom LineThis is how I would make the conclusion. Back in the late nineties, 3D was it. Exploring worlds, in depth motions, looking from different angles etc etc and 2D became a foul word. There were a handful of successful 3D games, but a lot of them were just hideous. Have you ever wondered why super mario bros for the NES still looks good and a game like exhumed (as it is called in Europe) looks awfully bad. Exhumed has aged drastically so it can't be enjoyed and perhaps the Sega Saturn didn't have the capabilities to do 3D. But 3D is what the crowd wanted, and 3D is what the crowd got. And so what we have here is another title that is forgotten on the huge pile of failed 3D games and best to leave it forgotten.