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I-War is probably worth playing through if you like the concept, don't try to rush through it, and get it cheaply. Its gameplay is repetitive, but uncomplicated and enjoyable, with one of the Jag's better 3D framerates. The well-rationed tank upgrades also give a sense of progress as it becomes noticeably easier for your to splinter virtual foes. There's not much else to it though, and many gamers will get understandably bored before the halfway point. Overall, a decent game that won't set the Jaguar, or your opinion of it, on fire.
The gameplay and graphics are similar, but inferior to both Cyber Morph and Battle Morph, with the added feature of a 2-player option. You move around in a 3-D environment, flip a couple of switches, open a few doors, travel through a warp or two and shoot at enemies that are difficult to distinguish from background objects. Even the crosshairs are difficult to manipulate. The puzzles, the mazes, the texture-mapping, the Gouraud shading...none of it proves to make for a very exciting game, and the five different perspectives on three different anti-virus craft aren't going to make up for that either.
In essence, this game could have been another of the Jaguar's elite -- along with Tempest 2000 and Iron Solider -- but it falls desperately short with some slowdown and choppiness. The potential is there, I-War is fun... for the first couple of levels. The objectives are nice, and I liked the effect of warping from area to area. In fact, the whole game has a nice retro feel to it -- kind of a throwback to the days of I, Robot. The techno soundtrack is standard procedure and really has no impact here, it's just average, much like the sound effects. Two words: 16-bit. A few more months of tweaking could have and would have helped matters. Maybe it's the fault of the developers, maybe the game testers were disgruntled, or maybe it was the Jaguar. All they had to say was: "Speed it up, tighten it up, and suck it up. You got something here boys, now just finish it." Whatever the reason, it just adds to the melodramatic tragedy that was the Atari Jaguar.
Jaguar fans don't have a lot to cheer about these days. Unfortunately, I-War won't boost morale. I-War's standard tank shooting isn't bad, but it's ordinary, sporting average controls, unimaginative weapons and flat backgrounds.
I know mech games are popular, but why am I hunting out viruses on the Net? The control is swift and the levels have some originality, but the basic 16-bit graphics and the barely adequate sound make I-War fail horribly. Some fun can be found within, but many will find it too easy to die. There is simply not enough visually or gameplay-wise to make it excel. The enemies are mostly small and simplistic. Sorry, but I-War for this system (or any system) just isn't impressive at all.
There are some nifty explosions, but they tend to slow down the action considerably. I-War does feature some respectable techno music, and I like how you can save your place between stages. There's also a bonus stage that lets you collect pods as you fly through a tunnel, but it's hardly what I'd call exciting. I-War is a playable game, but there's not enough here to make you want to come back for more. It's one of those games you forget about the instant you turn it off.