Review by AFriend

"Humans for Sublet"

The Good:
The world of Omikron is fantastic. People live in apartments, go grocery shopping, make out against walls, and attend strip shows. Random people walk around and bump you, do calisthenics and take breathers on benches. And the taxis look magnificent, they are these metallic beauties that reflect the world around them as they drive around. Oh, and everyone knows kung-fu.

The Bad:
The plot is linear and predictable. The first person shooter sequences are annoying. Once you get to the endgame (which is just a glorified shooting sequence) you too will understand the true meaning of pain. Half of the greatness of this game stems from the massive amount of detail put into sculpting a realistic world that appears to live and bustle. Hence you have random street activity and the like. The other half comes from the much hyped ability to take over other people's bodies. Of course, they don't let you reincarnate into just anyone. Otherwise, you could just take over the bodies of your enemies and commit suicide. Or you could also take over key members of the plot and accidently kill them. The hype goes onto say that when you are killed your soul takes over the body of the next person who touches you. What the hype does not explain is that there are key points in the plot when this is allowed to happen. I was under the misconception that you would never truly die and thought that if you kept killing yourself, you'd continuously find new people to be. Not so. In all the shooting sequences and a good number of fight scenes, when you die, you just start the level over with the same body. In fact, it is impossible to kill yourself. I kept throwing myself before cars and jumping off bridges and buildings but the game will only reduce your hit points until it reaches a pathetic level at which point you are invincible to your environment. This makes you totally useless should a fist fight or shoot out ensue, but the worst that can happen is you start the fight sequence over with more hit points. I take that back, when you take over certain people, you get access to their apartments. When you go to some of these apartments, a demon that looks suspiciously robotic will engage you in hand to hand combat. If you lose any of these fist fights you get a game over... no new body for you! So for a game that promises all this freedom, it's just not there.

The Ugly:
I'll make a small mention about the lip-synching, which just plain sucks. The characters might as well be glorified Teddy Ruxpins. But the faces do look good for the most part. Of course, they did put a lot of time into the lip-synching so I'll give them one gold star for effort. Also, the motion capture and keyframing for the animations are very well done. People look like they're doing what it is that they're doing and that deserves mention. Like I hinted at earlier, when you take over a body the body that you previously had dies. And though there are descriptions for all the bodies you can inhabit, the fact that they are disposable means that you don't really get to care for anyone in the world. You gain a small number of friends in this world (whom you obviously can't reincarnate into) but you don't really care about them either. There's simply not enough story and character development to get you to feel anything for the paper doll inhabitants of this facade of a world.

In the end, it was a good effort but simply not enough. I only got around 30 hours of gameplay out of this title and there's not very much you can do for sideplots besides rummaging through other people's apartments and attending the local fight club. Buy this game when it goes on sale, otherwise, go out and take a walk or something.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/21/99, Updated 11/21/99

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