Written by  :  MAT (174081)
Written on  :  May 11, 2001
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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The best action-shooter-RPG you'll ever experience!

The Good

Whow!, Whow! and WHOW! This is by all means a game every single player on earth should play. Well, at least all of those who were so in love with games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Unreal, Half-Life or System Shock. You acquire a role of JC Denton, a secret agent for UNATCO agency. It something like ex-UN, but not sure how much is it interested in world's peace. Anyhow, you are... well, more nano-technology then human, probably one of the newest models. Along with your brother, you both have a memory of your parents and everything, but as missions go by, you'll start to believe some words of the terrorists, especially when your brother switch sides.

The story goes pretty deep and there are many overtures and switchovers in it, as well as the thing you can change on any way you like, and still finish the game. Now to tell you the truth, that's something I rarely see as 100% compatible and efficient success in games industry. As you feel, as you think... don't hesitate to listen to your heart when playing, do as you please anytime, there is no such thing as error, only wrong judgment, hehe, but you play as you wish, with complete control over your character and his surroundings, and that's truly accomplished in this game.

The game runs pretty fine, even on my - now old - Pentium II 333MMX, and the fact I have 192MB of RAM doesn't do the trick. Guess it's the processor. Still, even if I reduced a certain quality or screen resolution, the game still looked a blast, simply amazing. The thing is, this game might have many same things like other games, but it's the only one that has all those things right! That's a fact!!! Besides, it does have a great new features which does make it unique.

Your character is built on nano technology, so you can upgrade him form time to time with nano canisters or upgrade canisters, choose the things you wanna upgrade, like being stealth (even literally, hehe), night vision, striking force, focusing targets, eyesight. Hey, didn't you wonder how come he's always wearing sun glasses, when it's always atmosphere like in Blade Runner, foggy and cloudy night. Either that, or you're crawling some dark sewers and buildings. Well, that explains the purpose of this nano technology, doesn't it? :)

As for the weapons, they're great. The thing that seems small, but that way, much more realistic, is the inventory since most of time I couldn't take some more advanced weapons and not leaving the ones I had behind, which was no option since I upgraded the weapons I had already, so it would be a terrible waste. Yeah, you'll notice how with certain weapons (sniper or a rifle gun), your hand isn't steady as you'd like. Well, with upgrading certain weapons, their range and accuracy, you'll be more easy to handle 'em. One thing's for sure in this game, game balance is amazingly correct. That means, there are no tricks like super indestructible bosses, or that you can destroy some bot simply with a rifle. Well, you can, but it'll take you more magazines then you think. Still, the game's pretty hard even if you play it in 'easy' mode. It's most likely you'll be killed many times whichever mode you choose. But the good thing is to pass the training and get acquainted with game's interface, weapons and tactics. Guess those that taught you taught you well... maybe too well for their mistake ;))

There are some pretty cool weapons, like shock buzzer that only render opponent unconscious, not leaving the blood trace so you can just remove the body where none of his pals will spot him with ease. Also, dart bow that's mounted on your hand (actually, you mount it, it's not a part of you originally, it's removable), that has three types of darts. Flare ones that are useful all the way through the game, usual dart with some light damage, and tranquilizer darts that disable opponents. Of course, when you hit him, he runs for a while before he blackouts, but he definitely blackouts. Okay, flamethrower is for mass audience, hehe, and makes crispy enemies rather easy, takes pretty much space though. Sword, well, some kind of advanced technological sword is pretty much useful. Still, if you have weak melee attack, you might need a few slashes to get your target down. Oh, and there's only one thing to be sure you kill your target with only one bullet... and that's to aim for the head.

There are other useful weapons, but when it comes to bots, the regular weapons doesn't do any good. You'll either need EMP grenades that disable robot electronics leaving it unable to perform guard duties, or you can use things like bazooka or rifle when switched to rockets pod, and aim from the distance. Also, you can hack into computers and security grids and sometimes, you can either disable enemy cameras, turrets and/or bots, or make 'em your ally. There are many places to travel to, many ways to get equipment, and many traps, so be careful to whom you trust. And whenever someone needs your help, be sure he's not using you for his own goal, and risking you without thinking twice. In such cases, you can either decline his offer and give him some lead, or make a job for him, collect reward and then waste the fu**er.

Now, this game also has something that's not always present in 1st-person RPG-shooters, and that's a damn fine tune. Music is really awesome. In his own style, it may be just as good as the one from Outlaws, well, in its own style I said :) Great speech, accents, places, everything. This just might be the right game to have the major genres included, and all are active all the way... action, adventure, role-playing, science-fiction, heck, if they ever made this game as a movie, Matrix wouldn't be as close :)

The Bad

Hmm, I wonder how they put such a huge and fantastic game on single CD. Bravo for them. Anyway, there should be some other way to make save games. I mean, I know, the more you explore, the more of that will have to be included in a save game file, but still, 15MB save game file... you just save your game a couple of times and there goes 100MB of your space. And that's only average, it varies form 4MB to 24MB of space. Still, game works fine, doesn't take too much to load, and has great atmosphere, storyline, characters, music and everything else.

The Bottom Line

This game hold too many secrets for me to be able to mention them here, but you can make a game skeleton out of this review, and the rest should be your decision. Still if you don't get this game, it can only be your loss, and your loss only.

As I mentioned earlier, for slower machines, you can use cheaper detail level and different resolutions, which is most of time okay (unless you played for some time in richly detailed level, you might not want to reduce that, hehe), but when it comes to characters, they're completely unrecognizable (faces, I mean), but when you put on rich level of details, they look just plain great. Well, you can always switch the things when you finish the mission and speed isn't important anymore, hehe. Anyway, even in the worst possible detail level, the game still looks better than all the 1st-person shooters I know.

The game has three different endings, but its path is chosen at the very end. I'm usually not a particularly fond of multiple endings, since that usually means you have to play from the beginning and then choose different path. Well, not this time, it's more like making a final decision of what to do. Still, none of the endings won't be that easy, even though they all end more or less at the same place.

Great game! Honestly! I'm really looking forward to its sequel, I wonder to which end will they continue it, if so :) This is a true game we were all longing for, yeah! Good work Ion Storm & Eidos!