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Written by  :  Charles Andrews (1)
Written on  :  Jul 08, 2013
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
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Summary

Want to play a game that grips you?

The Good

The story for this game is that there is a space colony called Beltlogger 9 and something weird happens to the workers there as they just all end up dead. The main character's girlfriend dies as well due to a form of schizophrenia called pickman's syndrome which is what the crew of the station was diagnosed with as well. So you and your crew fly to the colony in your mechs to investigate, but then you are suddenly attacked by robots. The main character manages to fly to the entrance point but the rest of his squad gets wiped out and as a last resort, one of them self destruct's their damaged mech which causes everything to explode and sends a wall of fire at you. The main character escapes just in time and have to continue on alone. This is just the opening FMV for the game. It definitely starts off well, and sets you up for an amazing game.

The game then starts off and some levels are a bit linear while others are just designed weirdly, but you are fully able to explore them and on each one you have to find a key to get to the next level. As you play a level, there are upgrades and items scattered throughout each one. It is a must that you get everything that you can as the game gets harder with each new level, items will be locked up , or in big barrels that you have to shoot, or are out in the open. Enemies will also drop items when you defeat them. Next for your weapons, you have a Rifle which fires solid bullets in succession, a rapid fire laser which drains energy, a missile which locks on and homes in on targets as you fire it, a mortar which locks on and climbs vertically and hits, though not the most reliable weapon, and lastly THE BOMB, which fires without a lock-on, but will cause your mech to blow up if so you have to take cover inside a building, but you only get 3 shots for the bomb, so use it wisely, everything else is easy to get ammo for. It's blast radius is massive, so be careful when using it. Also the game has various option units for your mech like night vision and stabilizers, as well as more powerful guns for your types of weapons which you have to dig for on levels. Lastly the game gives you a full range of options, like what you want on your hud, a radar with a map or just a radar, what messages you want to hear in-game, as well as fully configurable controls. The game also lets you fully look at the level at any time as well as changing your guns and option units. Next up would be the music, at times it can be good and makes you feel like your exploring the unknown, and at other times it makes you feel like your trapped and there's no hope, only certain doom. The game starts off a bit slow and draggy, but then picks up as you fight tougher robots and have to explore bigger levels, not to mention there is a force that had taken over the space station that kinda acts like Shodan from System Shock, but not as creepy. The graphics for the time are great, the game has a bit of slowdown when too much goes on, but the graphics hold up well, they don't pixelate much and things in the background are dark until get closer to them, The textures all look really good, walls don't morph when you turn, enemies aren't chunky or have floating parts as they move, everything is made solid and there is even low pop-in for things that are far away, there was a lot of work put into this game and it definitely shows. Now for the audio, man is the sound crystal clear as you hear your computer speak as well as conversations people have with you, not to mention in Record logs that you pick up. The audio is also great in the cutscenes and those look really great as well, no pixelation or blurriness to speak of. This is game holds up great for being released on the PS1, it even looks and sounds better than a lot of games from it's time, it even outdoes some computer games, without a doubt this game is a hidden gem for the PS1, it is a great Sci-Fi game with a gripping story that will make you keep playing. This game is a must for anyone who likes games with story or who are into Sci-Fi.

The Bad

The level backgrounds are just the same picture pasted on all 4 sides of an area, It doesn't look great but it works, plus the only drawback to the game is that you have a time limit for each level. It's not displayed, your robot's computer voice tells you "self-destruct sequence activated," so when you hear that you only have like 5 minutes or so left, but the time limit for a level would have to be about 20-25 minutes. It really is a pain in the butt to have a time limit and it means you have to get through a level as fast as you can, since the game is hard enough as it is as you have to collect items and upgrades and use them sparingly and you have to deal with harder and larger groups of enemies as the game goes on, so it really is a pain to worry about that as well.

The Bottom Line

This game was ahead of it's time, but in fact it doesn't really feel aged, it feels really modern except to say for graphics, since they are old, but are some of the best on the PS1. Since there is so much stuff available to you and how much freedom you have on levels is crazy for a game way back in 1996 to 1997.

Anyway in comparsion to other games, this takes FPS elements from the 90's as you have to face enemies either head on or from a distance with not much room or in open areas. Really I can't compare to much, the game is really it's own thing and was ahead of it''s time, but you can just compare to game like System Shock 1 and 2, Half-life 1, and Star Wars: Dark Forces, since it's a Space Station game so basically any game where your stuck somewhere and you have to explore it, except it's not open and you can't go back to a level. Just pick a copy and see for yourself what I'm blabbering about, this is a game that should have gotten WAY more credit than what it got. Seriously, it's one of the best games ever made.