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Messiah (Windows)

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Developed by
Released
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Platform
77
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

As science progressed, humans began conducting daring experiments, defying the laws of creation. Their leader, called Father Prime, has concocted the most audacious plan: contact Satan. His reasoning is that he who controls the devil will also know how to control God. As the Earth plunges into sin and corruption, God himself decides that time has come to interfere. He sends a little cherub named Bob to investigate Father Prime's designs. Since Bob is endowed with a human soul, he has a free will and is capable of making a decision, even if it contradicts God's orders. With nothing but his frail angelic body, Bob descends into the sinful world.

Messiah is a third-person action game set in urban environments with sci-fi elements. The player controls Bob, who can fly (though at low altitude), but not do much else; he is very vulnerable and can be easily killed. Thus, the player must make use of Bob's other ability: possession. Bob is able to take over any creature, from humans to animals. Once he possesses his target, he has complete control over its movements.

Possessing a body can serve a variety of purposes. For example, possessing a muscular brute who has great strength and endurance would be a fitting choice if the player wishes to engage in melee combat; taking control over a trained policeman allows carrying a gun without raising suspicion, etc. Possession ability is also used as a puzzle-solving element, as some areas can be only entered with specific bodies (e.g. only scientists can enter a secure laboratory). On higher difficulty levels, Bob can only possess a target who have their back turned to him, and must sneak around to avoid notice.

Screenshots

Messiah Windows thats me looking dazed
Messiah Windows Main Menu
Messiah Windows Are they looking for me?
Messiah Windows Most of the time you exploit other people’s bodies, using them as camouflage and armor

Alternate Titles

  • "Мессия" -- Russian spelling

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User Reviews

One of the most original and hilarious games I've ever played. kbmb (399) 4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

The Press Says

GamePro (US) Nov 24, 2000 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
PC Zone Aug 13, 2001 8.5 out of 10 85
PC Games (Germany) Mar 07, 2001 82 out of 100 82
Gamesmania Apr 18, 2000 80 out of 100 80
GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) Apr 19, 2000 77 out of 100 77
Game Over Online May 01, 2000 71 out of 100 71
incite PC Gaming Jun, 2000 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
GameSpot Apr 07, 2000 6 out of 10 60
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Jun 07, 2000 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Jul, 2000 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30

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Trivia

Development

This game was in development hell for over 4 years.

The concept of the possession mechanic was inspired by the game Earthworm Jim, where, on one of the levels, the protagonist loses his armor and is vulnerable and helpless until he finds it again. The developers liked the feeling of changing from a weak character into a powerful one.

Marketing

The distributor, Virgin Interactive, came up with a magazine ad depicting Pope John Paul II smoking a cigar, with the tagline "What's possessed you? Messiah". Two magazines refused to run this somewhat controversial ad.

References

There is a scene that has you possess a worker in a radiation suit. When you approach some guards, they call you "Half Life." This is a reference to the game Half-Life.

One of the in-game locations is named "Club Kyd", after Jesper Kyd who composed the game music.

Technical

Messiah's engine is a lot more advanced that what it first may seem. It featured a LOD function (Level Of Detail) that would modify the polygon count in the scene in real time while the player was playing to keep the frame rate smooth. The faster your PC, the more polygons the engine would put in the models making them smoother. And you can see the adding subtraction of polys as you are playing.

Related Web Sites

Matthew Bailey (1143) added Messiah (Windows) on Apr 08, 2000