Description official description
Five hundred years in the future, man and machine are virtually one and the greatest megacity in the world is locked in brutal war. Play as the ultimate saboteur part of an elite fighting force. The mission: steal the largest, most sophisticated biomechanical attack weapon ever designed and kick some serious ass.
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 66% (based on 39 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)
If there's something you can always bet on is that giant robots are cool, and thus any game with giant robots has a considerable degree of coolness assured right from the start. Slave Zero basically runs on that premise, as it's your basic, generic shooter only it has... guess what? Yup, giant robots.
This "Giant-robot-ness" of the game is not only the main gimmick for selling the game, but it's also it's strongest feature as it uses some never before seen elements to better exploit the scale of the game. Remember Shogo? (another failed giant-robot action game released at the same time) Well, as far as gameplay goes, this is basically Shogo from a 3rd person perspective. However, unlike Shogo, Slave Zero doesn't divide the game into specific missions but instead takes you through a collection of levels that in turn take you all over a gigantic mega-city through which you can rampage at free will, and that's why Slave Zero has a slightly better appeal than Shogo. Shogo was mostly an fps with giant robot skins as far as "Giant-robot-ness" is concerned. Slave Zero on the other hand allows you to constantly jump from building to building, demolish smaller buildings or similar structures, and even pick up and throw around the many cars, vehicles and people that populate the city! Nothing brings a smile to your face more than picking up an unsuspecting pedestrian and launching him/her face first against a building only to see them turn into a small bloody stain :)).
As I mentioned this is Slave Zero's strongest point, and the element that brings Slave Zero all it's personality. You traverse the city jumping around like a robotic King-Kong, shaking the ground with every landing and make your way through the streets infested with terrified pedestrians all running away from your rampage as you go towards whatever your objective is (usually destroying this and that) and make scrap metal of every other robot that crosses your path.
The graphics engine (very Quake2-like) does a pretty good job of constructing the gameworld, and with reasonably good looking textures and awesome weapon effects, makes for a reasonably spectacular gaming experience. Not only that, but the art direction, complete with neon billboards filled with kanjis, layered neighborhoods that could have been ripped from Macross, and giant floating highways make a good work of selling the idea of a super-futuristic metropolis.
As far as gameplay goes the game doesn't offer up much more. This, I guess, is where Shogo wins out, as Slave Zero is basically your straightforward, no-questions-asked shooter that only involves clearing out the levels and killing everything in your way. There at least 2 levels which involve you escorting something, but other than that it's Robotron all over again. As in Shogo, much of the problem lies with the fact that you don't get to try out more of the giant-robot oriented features, as the game is centered around gunplay with the other mechs. Sure, you can always "stop and smell the roses" so to speak, and try out the features I mentioned above like pedestrian-throwing, but it's never something that's fully integrated into the game... Slave Zero could have been a Contra-clone or another Doom alien-blaster and you wouldn't have known the difference, as in the end all the "Giant robot-ness" is there for cosmetic purposes only.
Besides, while the graphic engine does a pretty good job of portraying the gameworld and not crippling the machines of it's time, one catches on to it's trick pretty early on: the areas are always terribly constricted spaces. Sure, they fool you by giving you an open ceiling, platforms, chasms and other stuff, but if you think about it Slave Zero is basically a cleverly disguised tunnel-crawl, with always a narrow path that you must follow as expected. Needless to say this makes the game look very boring after a while.
The story is pretty shitty and barely worth mentioning (Mr. bad emperor is evil, you rebel warrior, go, kill) and I'd like to point out that the final boss is a cheap motherf$%%&... As every other enemy in the game he's braindead, but since the developers figured he's endboss and should be somewhat of a challenge they decided to make him nearly invincible. I could never defeat him just because I ran out of ammo!! Don't tell me that isn't lame.....
The Bottom Line
If you are still looking for the coolest Giant-robot game then move along. Slave Zero may have some interesting ideas but it doesn't do anything with them and ends up being another forgettable generic shooter.
Windows · by Zovni (10502) · 2004
Hellfire cannon - best gun I have seen in an FPS.
The story and the level design of the games was very good. And the concepts were really neat. The game was entertaining for a while and occasionally I will still dig it out of my game cupboard and play if for an hour or two.
The scale of the game. You can actually see the tiny people and cars driving around the cities while you, this monsterous robot, stomp around destroying everything that gets in your way.
The controls are really difficult to get the hang of. Once you do it's no problem but there is no actual way to fully customize the controls, only a few poorly done presets. It took me a good hour or two to get the hang of the one I liked the most.
It wasn't polished like it could and should have been. The designers lacked a little sense when they were making things (why doesn't it save controller type configurations.)
The Bottom Line
Dreamcast games are rare in stores but when you find them they are usually fairly cheap. Pick this one up if you would like a decent shooter to play with some friends. For $5 it'd be worth it.
Dreamcast · by KFactor (76) · 2003
The game runs on a custom 3D engine called "Ecstasy Engine", which was custom built to allow the game to run on the SEGA Dreamcast, and to date is the only game to run on it.
In the German version, all humans were replaced with robots. The only exceptions are the cover and the intro cutscene.
Related Sites +
Something Awful review
A humorous review on Something Awful (PC version)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Kurt Arnlund.
Game added June 23rd, 2001. Last modified August 28th, 2023.