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User Reviews

Nice 3D, lots of action, but the key/switch hunts can be frustrating Kasey Chang (4609) unrated
A fossil, yet a gem Jack Henninger (2) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
AI The quality of the game's intelligence, usually for the behavior of opponents. 3.0
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.3
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.3
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.7
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.4
Overall User Score (9 votes) 3.4

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
There isn’t much else you could ask for in a game of this type. It has a thorough story line, excellent graphics and it is exceedingly configurable. The only question you need to ask yourself is, “Have I played this game before?” It is very similar to other games of this type, such as Descent and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. I would say that, if you are not experienced with games of this type, Hellbender would be an excellent introduction to this genre.
The gameplay is very fast and furious, the baddies will dog you until you either blow them out of the sky, or vice-versa. There's not a boring moment to be had here. One noticeable improvement here is that your new craft can hover, something previously not possible, at least in Terminal Velocity. I do still miss the extra-long range scanners of that game, though. If you are a fan of either Terminal Velocity or Fury 3, this game is for you. You have some more maneuverability here, as well as some incredible new weapons and a plot. Lots of fun. Bottom Line: If you liked Fury3 and Terminal Velocity, this game is for you. If your video card supports DirectX, all the better. Fast action, and lots of it.
Gamezilla (Nov 03, 1999)
Had I only played Hellbender as a single-player game, I probably would have left it on the shelf with the many other decent, but not remarkable titles. Fortunately though, I played it multiplayer, and while it still doesn't crack the "legendary" ranks, it certainly moves up a notch from ordinary. Of all the Microsoft titles I have played, this one is at the top of the list; of all the flight combat sims I've played in the last year, this one is just the most fun and the smoothest fly with minimal archaic ALT+5+SPC+M keyboard combinations to get you killed in the thick of battle. It's a benchmark title for a company that many thought would be left for dead in the gaming realm by its more experienced elders. Wrong again. Hellbender rates a solid 87 out of 100, and Microsoft shows no signs of dying out of the gaming market anytime soon.
Pelit (Oct, 1996)
3D-tuesta huolimatta Hellbender on lopulta vain yksinkertainen räiskintäpeli kymmenien muiden joukossa. Nautittavaa hupia hetkeksi, mutta vain, jos koneesta löytyy julmasti potkua.
There's a lot of Terminal Velocity and Fury3 here, but there's far more attitude packed into Hellbender. And try not to forget that this is a whole new game. As I said in my preview, it may look like TV or Fury3 at a glance, but deeper down, it's the game that both Terminal Velocity and Fury3 wish they were. Neither of those games compelled me to play for more than a few sittings. That's not the case with Hellbender! If you don't have a 3D card, now is a good time to consider one. I just can't recommend this title to someone without such a device.
PC Joker (Feb, 1997)
Okay, für von Konkurrenten wie „Descent“ verwöhnte Multiplayer sind die paar Abschnitte von Hellbender zu wenig und auch nicht komplex genug. Aber Einzelspieler sollten an dem feinen Gameplay, den cleveren Computergegnern und der hübschen 3D- Grafik mit ihren liebevollen Details durchaus Gefallen finden.
Rundum gelungen, doch ein paar kleine Schönheitsfehler: die Gegner sind manchmal etwas schlecht zu erkennen. Schwer zu sagen, ob das nun beabsichtigte Tarnwirkung ist. Hinzu kommt die extrem unübersichtliche Karte, durch die die Labyrinthabschnitte manchmal überhand nehmen. Durch die Kombination dieser beiden Effekte ist die Action nicht mehr ganz so schön locker-flockig wie bei Terminal Velocity. Andererseits ist durch die gelungene, nahtlose Kombination von Luft- und Bodenschlachten und labyrinthigem für ein wenig Abwechslung gesorgt ist. Positiv zu Buche schlagen auch die verschiedenen Mehrspielermodi bis hin zu Matches übers Internet - auch, wenn es uns genauso wenig wie bei Monster Truck Madness gelungen ist, übers Netz zu zocken, bleiben noch lokales Netzwerk oder Modem.
PC Games (Nov, 1996)
In fact, unless you are a huge fan of Fury 3 and Terminal Velocity and just have to have more of the same, I can't recommend HellBender in non-accelerated systems - it plays poorly on even high-end Pentium systems and just isn't compelling at all. The exact opposite is true if you have an accelerated PC. If you don't, Hellbender may make you take the fast step.
PC Games (Germany) (Oct, 1996)
Microsoft verpaßte Fury3 schönere Grafiken und durch interessante Missionen eine spannende Atmospähre. Allerdings wurde das Rad deshalb nicht neu erfunden. Der Multiplayer-Modus ist ein nettes Gimmick, kann aber kaum zum Spielspaß beitragen. Daher ist Hellbender zwar ein solides Spiel, in der gerade anrollenden Spiele-Offensive von Microsoft aber nur ein weiterer Titel.
Fast! Hellbender zeigt, daß Microsoft auf dem richtigen Weg ist, aber in Sachen Gameplay noch aufholen muß. Spielerisch bietet Hellbender weniger Abwechslung und Anspruch als beispielsweise Descent 2 und kann deshalb als Windows 95-Spiel nur in grafischer Hinsicht und mit den Multiplayer-Modi auf sich aufmerksam machen. Die neuen Direct-Schnittstellen sind zwar leistungsfähiger geworden, mich aber ärgert es immer wieder, wenn sie nach der Installation immer noch die Treiber-Datenbank durcheinanderwürfeln.
Det nye er, at din computer snakker med dig med Gillian Andersons stemme (Scully fra X-Files), men det gør jo ikke spillet bedre (hvad bilder du dig ind? -red.) Er du den heldige ejer af et 3D-grafikkort, sker der selvfølgeligt ting og sager med grafikken, men Hellbender er ikke i sig selv værd at købe et 3D-kort for.
Entertainment Weekly (Dec 20, 1996)
So the company spent tens of millions to create its own high-tech game division, and the result is discs like Hellbender — a futuristic, heavy-on-the-weaponry air-combat simulator that approximates the level of Wing Commander III (released two years ago). You can't blame Microsoft's programmers for trying, but I'd rather they applied their talents to stuff for which they seem to have more of an affinity, like kids' activity titles and word-processing programs.
Power Play (Oct, 1996)
Nichts Neues aus dem Hause Microsoft: „Hellbender“ ist solide Action-Hausmannskost, die zwar zwischendurch mal an den Monitor fesselt, aber langfristig kaum überzeugt. Was zum Abreagieren in der Mittagspause geeignet ist, muß fast zwangsläufig ohne spielerischen Tiefgang auskommen und kann bei weitem nicht motivieren wie anspruchsvollere Programme: wer sich mit Titeln wie „Descent“ oder diversen Weltraum-Sims à la „TieFighter“ beschäftigt hat, dürfte sich von „Hellbender“ trotz der größtenteils beeindruckenden Grafik schnell angeödet abwenden. Anders sieht es im Netzwerk aus: Hier ist weniger oft mehr und das Programm kann seinen einfachen Charme richtig entfalten, außerdem hat Microsoft sinnvolle Features wie die unterschiedlichen Raumschiffe eingebaut und obendrein interessante designte Multiplayer-Level spendiert, auch wenn es schon etwas mehr als nur drei hätten sein dürfen.
The latest in the series of flight-sim-lite games that began with Terminal Velocity, Hellbender demonstrates the thinking behind the popular phrase "Quit while you're ahead." Graphics and sound aside, there's little new here, although it provides some short-lived kicks and will help you show off that hot-rod 3D accelerator. All things considered, Hellbender is too slow, too repetitive and too frustrating to provide long-term fun.
Still HELLBENDER is a pretty good game, and a big step forward for flying shooters. If the same thought that went into the look of the game had gone into gameplay, it could have been great.
So, Hellbender, the third in the Terminal Velocity Saga, is just on par with Terminal Velocity itself. Not a heck of a lot has changed, and that's a bad thing. Hellbender is a mediocre shoot em up with dazzling but slow graphics and Gillian Anderson's voice. If you liked Terminal Velocity and you've got the horsepower to run it, you might like Hellbender. If not, I wouldn't recommend the frustration.
High Score (Dec, 1996)
Grafiken i Hellbender kan man få riktigt snygg, fast då gäller det förstås att man har en svinsnabb dator och helst även ett grafikkort med 3D-chip. Annars får man hålla tillgodo med ganska halvmuggig grafik om man vill att det ska röra sig mjukt och smidigt.
GameSpot (Nov 15, 1996)
Even with these new elements, as well as the expected new arsenal of weapons and enemies, Hellbender is beginning to creak with age. The graphics tend to be blocky, and are often more bland than those found in Fury3 or Terminal Velocity. Frame rates are pretty poor on most systems even in low-res, and in hi-res they're just appalling. Some new effects, such as rain and lightning, clutter the screen without being effective. This game engine is getting old, and it's about a year overdue for retirement. Microsoft should have let it fade into the sunset - maybe get it a nice condo in Boca Raton - but instead we get another tired retread of a system that's outstayed its welcome.
Overall, Hellbender is a schizophrenic product, one likely to polarize gamers. Those with fast machines and/or 3D accelerator cards are likely to derive some enjoyment from it, while those on the bottom end of the system requirements will dislike it. It's a bit tough to keep from straddling the fence on a judgment of the game, which is perhaps the clearest review one can give. It's just not that inspirational - equally hard to love or hate.
Ein zweites Descent ist Hellbender nicht gerade. Obwohl das Spiel das Zeug dazu hätte: Interessante 3D-Gelände mit kombiniertem Landschafts/Tunnelflug, nette Beleuchtungseffekte, unterschiedliche Waffen und Gegner und Kampfaufträge. Obendrein hat Hellbender auch noch eine knackige Musik und eine mit Videoclips extrem stimmungsvoll in Szene gesetzte Story. Das alles genügt mir aber nicht, wenn ich beim allerersten Level rund eine Stunde benötige, um überhaupt herauszufinden, was ich tun soll.
Game Revolution (Jun 05, 2004)
1996 marks the first year that the Microsoft Corporation, famed for its operating systems, programming languages, and office utilities has decided to make a serious appeal to the gaming market. Some of these titles, such as MS Golf, Monster Truck Madness, and The Neverhood have been good approaches to the entertainment genre. Other titles, such as Full Court Press and this particular title, Hellbender, have not been so good.