Review by Ofisil
"Lives up to the second half of its name"
Slave Zero is a Shooter developed and released by Atari. When it first came out it was supposed to be a new classic. It looked cool since it was full of giant mechs and took place in a large futuristic metropolis. But things, especially in the videogame industry are not always what they seem to be.
Some centuries in the future there is a large megacity that is controlled by SOVKhan, an evil warlord. SOVKhan has started to create the so-called Slaves, giant biomechanical cyborgs that are very powerful. If he succeeds in developing a large amount of those Slaves the world won't be able to resist to the attacks of SOVKhan. You are a member of a secret resistance group and in order to defeat SOVKhan you steal one of the Slaves and permanently become one with it. Although quite a promising plot, the way it goes on while playing the game is very bad. It has that Anime feel but that's not enough. There is even a oriental old man who plays the role of your advisor and says typical comic-style stuff like Ch'an embrace the power of the Slave, become one with it and things like that that don't help the plot at all. The rest characters are comic like too, (especially the main villain who behaves like a Japanese Dracula!), and offer nothing to the scenario.
For ten minutes the game looks very cool. There is a small variety of giant Mechs, (from simple cyborgs to titanic tank robots), that all look good and animate very good. Especially Slave Zero, (your cyborg), has a very good and smooth animation. He runs and the ground trembles, he jumps, he slams the ground and he grabs cars with style!. Bosses look even better and can be 5 times larger than you! The city itself has a very dark atmosphere and has amazing scale, (it seems like it reaches the outer space). For example Slave Zero is taller than a 5 floor building and some of the cities buildings are 20 times larger than you!!! Now the bad stuff all structures are just cubes with simple and sometimes bad textures and the sky dome is in fact a very bad quality cube. The cyborgs have very simple textures and are colored in such a way that they blend into the surrounding area and small details like cars and pedestrians look like taken from a much older game.
The best thing about Slave Zero's sound is the way guns sound, especially when you upgrade them they sound very powerful and capable of insane destruction. Voice acting isn't bad but it is a bit cheesy, (especially the main villain's). Techno music accompanies you and is very, very, very repetitive and boring.
Shoot, shoot, shoot, this is what this game is all about. 90% of the game is strafing in order to avoid enemy hits and endless shooting towards everything that moves. You can slam the ground or grab and throw a car but you might never use those abilities. Each stage includes a small briefing and from there on you just go from point A to point B and shoot some stuff along the way. All levels are extremely linear and only have 2-3 secret areas, which offer weapon upgrades a little sooner than usual. Excellent Boss fights that require more strategic play rather than the usual brainless shooting. There are 3 defense missions where you defend your base, escort the rebels to their escape and defend stolen Slave exoskeletons, these along with the boss fights are the best parts of the game, other than that, it is very booooooring!!!
Slave Zero can use three weapons. A rocket launcher, a machinegun and an energy weapon. You can find upgrades for all of these, making them more powerful and a bit different. For example the energy gun can be upgraded to a railgun, and the rocket launcher can shoot homing missiles. One very bad thing about the shooting section is the bad collision detection. Sometimes you shoot a missile straight onto an enemy and the missile explodes in an invisible wall!
The game is extremely small, 4 hours at most. It is challenging but doesn't require great skill, just have your eyes open and use your ammo carefully. It is linear, repetitive and after finishing be sure that you won't give it another look.
-Great boss fights
-Bad weapon collision detection
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I wanted to like this game. It looked promising but had some major flaws that made it a very bad game. I don't mind the bad plot, music or level design, the thing I hate most in a game is bad gameplay and the repetitive gameplay Slave Zero offers is very bad.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/02/07
Game Release: Slave Zero (US, 10/31/99)
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