"Slave Zero: $7.99 Finding a game you hate: Pricless"

Thou must not use cover art to hide awful games. I hate games whose front covers hide the bane that is burned into the CD behind it. Thou must not use false statements to advertise a poor game. I also hate it when a game sets high standards for itself through false advertisement. Sure I should know better than to believe everything I read, but I'd like to think if someone said, ''This is the best third person platformer ever!!'' that they had a reason other than money for saying that. Unfortunately, I was seriously duped. This game, Slave Zero, broke all three of my most important rules for a video game. The third rule? Thou must not suck.

Story 5/10
In the future, critics are proven wrong as the plot to Robocop comes true. Corporations own the government, and they are ruling the people with an iron fist. However, the iron fist is very much heavy, so they use robots to help prop it up. Not just any large pointless mechanized beast, whose inefficiency is rivaled only by its expense, but one that is genetically engineered with biomechanical terror in mind. Needless to say, this game lacks a certain something. Actually this game lacks quite a bit. Forgive my cynicism, but when exactly did corporations stop caring about profits, and start caring about large beasts with little use. Not only do they create these biomechanical behemoths, but apparently they don't bother to secure them, since a small sect who doesn't want to be controlled decides to steal one called Slave Zero. While that's a rather good concept (fighting for freedom with the very thing that enslaves you), the story line doesn't progress that well. You fight, you do, you run, but never do you care. Oh no, I've been destroyed, oh well, where's Crazy Taxi? I remember playing platformers where I hated the enemy so much so that I wanted to see their dead bodies covered in my urine and feces. In this game, however, I could care less. The story could be so much more if it had more emotion in it. But once again, I'm a tad cynical.

Gameplay 4/10
Well, at least its not a really bad game as far as gameplay goes. At least in another world, I could say that. Not so with Slave Zero. The game is not saved by a dynamic control system. I'll be the first to admit, I didn't think this felt sluggish at all. Its what I expected from anything mechanical. Of course its going to move like a rock, it was mined from one. So I've got nothing against the thing moving kinda slow. I don't expect it to be like controlling a tiger. I do however expect it to be somewhat intuitive. The games gets a plus for triggers being the fire buttons, but it gets that taken away for the weapon change not being just one button. There's only a total of three weapons that you carry on you, but changing weapons requires depressing a D-pad direction and the trigger. You look around and aim with the same thumb. This of course means, you don't change guns during a fight. Which is okay, since they both relatively suck. And picking up items requires the same deal. Of course, the L trigger shot rockets and picked up items. So basically I'd waste rockets. So what you say? Rocket wasting makes the game so much better. You've picked up a cool pole/car, and now you can wield it with authority. Once again I was sadly disappointed. I couldn't even wield it without authority, the whole thing sucked. You have beam in your left hand, which you can not use. Now you look cooler than before. No, you look like a dork with a beam in your hand. Throw it at someone, you'll have to fire a rocket first, and that ends the point of throwing it. Which brings me to my next gripe. Rockets destroy everything they hit. Easily. Its not that there's a slew of enemies that must die, and there's a limited number of rockets. One rocket, one enemy, now the next forty-nine are in danger, but number fifty-one, he shall slay you in a incredible display of proficiency. Unless you find one of the abundant pick ups which ensures your having a large number of rockets for any fools you meet. All three of them. I was disgusted with this particular abundance. Very disgusted. Enough about the gameplay, lets talk graphics.

Graphics & Sounds 5/10
Here's the redeeming quality of the game. Well, not really. But thank God, its not at bad as it could be. The mech itself is pretty good looking, believable, despite the fact that all you see is its back. But its pretty well rendered, and the enemies while not up to snuff, are still pleasant to the eyes. All of them have the same voice apparently, and they don't know many phrases, but that would expecting too much from a game that touts itself as THE third-person shooter/platformer of its time. The bosses look pretty cool, they could strike fear in a lesser man, but their naive confidence got crushed by my dominance. (Gotta quote LL Cool J) Overall, nothing too spectacular here, but better than it could be. Then again, its not as good as it could be either.

Replayibility 4/10
Even the multiplayer sucks horribly. Its a first person shooter, in which you shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot at each other until one of you finally dies, and then as you walk off realizing that you've won, someone shoots you and by the time you turn around, you die. That's the extent of the multiplayer. Its not good. At all. And the game itself will make you want to stop playing it, much less start over after beating it/quitting/vomiting the first time. The only thing that saves this from being a 0 is the fact that they added a multiplayer. That alone gives it some replayibility, though not much.

Overall 4.4/10
Would I buy this game? Well, that's a loaded question since I did. However, I wouldn't have if I'd played it first. Of course, whatever floats your boat, or finds your lost remote.(I gotta quote OutKast) You might like this game. Go rent it to be sure, and then when you've made a decision, go with it. Of course, if you want to trust me (and who wouldn't), don't even touch this game. It will make you hate life, well, no it won't, but it will make you doubt that video games should be a part of it.

Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 05/13/03, Updated 05/13/03

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