Review by GavLuvsGA
"Superior to the original"
I got this game in a triple pack with the original, and Quake III: Arena, and I have to say right away that if you liked the original, you will love this one. Going from dark fantasy/horror into Terminator territory, this game almost seems epic.
Gameplay - 10/10
Somewhat more linear than the original one in the respect that you have to complete all the areas in a specified sequence, but in some respects even less linear in the fact that there is some backtracking, and you'll often find yourself revisiting old areas where you have opened up new sections.
Gameplay is similar - grab weapons and shoot down the enemies. You get items such as quad damage once again, but this time they can often be saved for when you most need them. This helps a lot as you can turn on quad damage when you come to a section that is giving you problems.
Enemies are inventive, ranging from simple footsoldiers to more advanced cyborgs. The giant tank guys (which I'm pretty sure are a direct rip from the Terminator movies) look impressive, but can actually be killed very easily. There are also bizarre parasitic creatures that try to infect you with viruses.
Another improvement is the vast range of items that you have to collect in the game. Instead of simply, "you got the gold/silver key", you have to collect items such as computer discs and insert them in the right places. On one level you have to even find the severed head of someone the aliens have killed so you can use it for a retina scan. All of this climaxes in an impressive fight that, unlike the original, you can't kill by pure chance.
The secret areas are also back, as well as a few nifty secret levels that are very fun to hunt down and play.
If there was one thing I could change, it would be the system for using items such as quad damage and the rebreather, because you have use various button keys to activate them, and they get activated straight away when you do so, so you might occasionally do it unintentionally; for example, the A key allows you to look down, and is located directly next to the Q key (to use Quad Damage), and I have frequently found myself getting angry and restarting areas because I hit the Q button ever so gently and wasted a Quad Damage; some sort of "Are you sure you want to use this item?" screen would maybe have helped.
Overall, gameplay is excellent and makes the original look almost mediocre by comparison.
Story - 6/10
Definitely the story makes somewhat more sense than the original, but it's still not especially clear. Here your character has to repel alien invaders and slowly make their way to the alien base to destroy the leader.
Graphics - 9/10
Now, these are nice. At first, you could be forgiven for thinking everything looks too generic and too similar to everything else, but after a while things get more interesting. There are some great enemy designs, and after a while, some incredibly gruesome and disturbing set pieces. For starters, there are the humans who have been driven insane from being inprisoned (even if you do free them, they just crawl around; they've suffered so much mental damage), people being sliced and diced by laser beams in the torture chambers and a factory that seems to be powered by human body parts.
Vastly better than the grainy appearance of the original.
Sound - 10/10
There is a very good reason why I gave this a 10, and it's not solely because of the cool background music. The sound effects whenever you go near the inprisoned solders who have been driven insane are chillingly effective and disturbing. Any time they appear, you can hear cries such "Kill me now" and more disturbingly still, what sounds to me like deranged laughter and even "baaaaa" (I won't even ask).
Lastability - 9/10
This game should last a fair amount of time, and it seems very long. Playing again to find secrets is fun, but to be honest, most of the secrets are easy to find on the first run through the game.
Buy this. This is a must for all shoot-em-up fans, and as I said before, if you liked the original, this will knock your socks off.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/05/05, Updated 06/26/06
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