Apocalypse

aka: Apocalypse avec Bruce Willis, Apocalypse protagonizado por Bruce Willis, Apocalypse starring Bruce Willis
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Description official descriptions

In Apocalypse, the player takes the role of Trey Kincaird, a nano-physicist with the look and voice of Bruce Willis. He has a simple but challenging goal: defeating the Four Horsemen to avoid the apocalypse and the end of the world.

The game is a fast-paced, linear third-person shooter. The player spends all his time walking through the various levels and shooting at enemies until they die. The movement and shooting directions are controlled independently. There are four boss battles and a few platforming sections.

Spellings

  • アポカリプス - Japanese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation version)

160 People (142 developers, 18 thanks) · View all

Production
Programming
Artwork
Design
Support
Producer
Creative Executive
Associate Producer
A.P. Localizations
Cut-Scene Movies
  • Equinoxe Digital Entertainment
Equinoxe Artists and Animators
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 2 reviews)

Entertaining but flawed package

The Good
After playing the first level of the game, you'll notice that this game feels like a mish-mash of cliché's and things from other games. For example, when the character jumps, he makes a sound VERY similar to the sound effect used for jumping in MediEvil 2 (for PS1, although MediEvil 2 was released two years after this). And as you move around the game, you'll at times be convinced you're playing one of the original Grand Theft Auto games (released around the same time) or Expendable (for PS1 in 2000). Also, the burning text used for the pause menu also remind me of the font used in Die Hard Trilogy (for PS1 in 1996) and the way level 4 starts seems like the bank level of Spiderman (for PS1 in 2000). Furthermore, the lines that Bruce Willis' character says also seem strongly derived from action movies, making the whole experience cliche. And yet, despite all this - or perhaps, in my opinion, BECAUSE of this, the game feels so... legendary. Ever heard the expression "so bad, its good"? Well, this game uses so many good things that it's bad. Bad ass. It's just so entertaining from these things. And entertainment and fun are the best criteria for games.

The level design isn't anything awe-inspiring, but it does keep you on your toes and each level isn't just the same thing throughout - the best example of this being level 3 (the first city level) where you run down streets, across lava pits, along the roofs of apartment buildings (that's the best way to describe it, I guess) and near the end of the level comes a gunfight atop a flying taxi. This taxi 'scene' also reminds me of The Fifth Element (1997 movie, also starring Bruce Willis). Weird, yet awesome.

The way the character jumps, the camera used in the game, the level design, and the way in which weapons are controlled make this a hugely enjoyable platformer/shooter, without the often issue of 'clunkiness' of first-person shooters.

The story seems intriguing, but it isn't presented all that well. However, it is simple and when you're having fun, a simple plot is probably the best. And although the FMVs aren't really high quality, they are somewhat amusing to watch and make a nice transition from level to level.

Oh, and the weapons. My god, the weapons. I was so surprised playing this game at how good the weapons 'felt.' Never before on a PS1 game have I found grenades so appealing. Or flamethrowers. Not meaning to sound sadistic here, but watching a crowd of enemies around you burn has never felt so satisfying. Most games just have the enemy cream, burn, and then dissolve into the ground. On this game, however, the flamethrower seems so powerful and is the deadly weapon it should be. There are other weapons too, but I don't want to explain everything - basically, the particle beam is my favourite, simply because using it feels like using a laser weapon on an old arcade side-scroller such as Darius or Raiden.

The Bad
Right from the very get-go of when you're in control, you'll be confused. Why? Well, the controls. I remember back when the magazine's for the PS1 would bring out demo discs, and for each playable game, it would show you the control scheme of how to control the character, how to run, how to shoot, interact with something, etcetera. That kind of idea would be VERY useful in this game, as the controls aren't like any others I've seen for any PS1, PS2 or PS3 game. To your initial confusion, you'll find that the X, Triangle, Square and Circle buttons are used to fire your weapon in South, North, West and East directions, respectively. I don't mind games experimenting with crazy control schemes, but one as unorthodox like this should be explained to the player beforehand - instead, the game throws you into a fight and lets you discover the crazy controls for yourself.

And the camera sucks. Mostly because it can't be controlled by the player, and there are often times when you're being shot and/or bombed by enemies, but you won't be able to see them to fire back. This could easily be solved by the implementation of a first-person perspective, but such a perspective just isn't available. Thus, you're often forced to just fire in their general direction and strafe around until you hit them.

The last negative thing for this game has to be the way it just throws things at you. You see, random things are good in most games because it keeps the player on their toes. However, it's poorly implemented in this game because 1) on level 2, boulders will fall from the ceiling and by the time you've noticed, there's no where to run to, and should you be able to dodge the boulders, the impact that they cause and the rocks that break off are still enough to kill you. So your stranded until you die, most of the game. Awaiting the inevitable isn't good gameplay. 2) on level 3, the floor will often collapse beneath you so fast that it's only luck you jump away fast enough. 3) level 1 and 3 have spotlights. Like in Metal Gear Solid (for PS1 in 1998), I presumed that if you got caught in the light, more enemies would arrive. But no, according to this game's logic, LIGHT IS LETHAL. And god help you in level 1 if you realise that too late. So I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that the game has some sadistic obstacles that your only going to get past on a second or third try.

The Bottom Line
Despite all its flaws, Apocalypse is such an entertaining game, and even writing this review makes me want to play it more. It's fun, and that's how games should be, even if this game is old and it's style makes it feel it would be better as an arcade game. Obviously with the PS1 being 'obsolete' (even though no such word exists for a true gamer), the game may be hard to find, but I bet it'll be cheap. If you come across it, buy it. Highly recommended. I'll end this review with a Bruce Willis quote I find strangely amusing - "I like blueberry pancakes. They're manly."

PlayStation · by Reborn_Demon (127) · 2009

Smash TV + 3D platforming = a fun, if slightly flawed ride.

The Good
I can easily remember reading 1-page previews and small snippets about this game in all of the big name magazines of the day. At the time, all of the press regarding Apocalypse stated that it would be a 3rd-person action game with a twist. You would be in control of the main character who was accompanied by a wisecracking sidekick, whose voice and likeness were contributed by the one and only Bruce Willis. Whether by time constraints, hardware limitations, or pressure from the powers that be, the sidekick became the hero, and the rest is history.

You play “renegade” scientist Trey Kincaid, wrongfully imprisoned in a future thrust into madness at the hands of a rogue President, who is now in league with a vile religious leader. Together, they are creating their own Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After getting up to speed with the intro, it’s time to start firing without letting off of the trigger.

Fans of Smash TV and Robotron will feel at home, assuming they are using a DualShock or 3rd-party equivalent, as the left stick controls movement and the right stick controls firing. Other functions, such as jump, crouch, weapon switching, etc., are handled via the shoulder buttons. Once you’ve settled in and have gotten used to the movement, you’ll no doubt be dancing circles around many of the minor enemies. The sounds in general are great. The weapon sounds are fitting and the things the enemies scream out as you mow them down may get a chuckle or two. The soundtrack is a plus as well. System of a Down makes an early appearance, both in music and video form. Poe also makes multiple appearances. Her song “Control” appears here (this version being FAR superior to the butchered version that appeared on her long-delayed album, “Haunted”), and she voices Trey’s former girlfriend.

The level design isn’t too bad (we’ll cover the bad later). From futuristic prisons to graveyard nightclubs, you’ll see it all. Neversoft took the Robotron gameplay into free-roaming territory far better than Total Carnage set out to do, and even managed to throw some platforming into the mix while they were at it. Of course, you’ll have to contend with a changing camera view at nearly all times during the game, but that’s really part of the game’s charm. I will say that there is such a thing as too much zoom out, especially at the PS1’s resolution.

The Bad
As stated earlier, Willis’ character was originally meant to be the sidekick. The lines you hear here were recorded for the earlier vision, and were not altered. Ever wonder why it sounds like he’s either talking to himself too much or talking to some invisible person? Now you know. And some of the things he’ll say will grow tiresome. Grab a few health powerups, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Of course, I’m not sure the game would have felt the same if he hadn’t been spouting a line from time to time.

Now, this game is a total blast. But the further you get, the more frustrating some of it can be. The control scheme and camera views can make later platforming a living hell. In fact, you may find that the first half of the game is actually the better part, as there’s less platforming to contend with. That’s not to say that the platforming segments are bad, some just seem needlessly difficult.

The Bottom Line
In all honesty, I could never figure out why this game wasn’t a bigger success. Granted, it wasn’t the game that was covered on-and-off for a year, but everyone seems to have gone off and forgotten about it too easily. If you need a good carnage fix, finding this game used for $5 isn’t difficult. If you can get past some of it’s flaws, you’ll be glad you did.

PlayStation · by DarkBubble (342) · 2005

Trivia

Main Character

At first, Bruce Willis' character was meant to be a sidekick to the player, but at some point of the development the designers decided to make him the main character.

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  • MobyGames ID: 3731

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Additional contributors: Freeman, Evilhead, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Hipolito Pichardo.

Game added April 6th, 2001. Last modified June 21st, 2023.