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Asheron's Call marks Microsoft's entry into the realm of massively multiplayer, online role playing games. In keeping with the current level of technology available to the gamer Asheron's Call is designed to take advantage of high spec PCs with its gorgeous graphics and third person view point.
Of course, being an online game a modem is essential. Once your plugged into the net (and have payed your monthly subscription) you will be catapulted into a world of goblins, magic and beasties. You get to create your character, select character class and skills, spend points to improve certain areas and then explore the world. The third person viewpoint makes it quite unlike any other online RPG.
Microsoft have developed an intriguing socila system to underline how important interaction between players is. An experienced player can adopt a beginner as a vassal. It is in their interest to aid their vassal as the better they do the more experience the senior partner gets. A patron should advise their vassal (or even vassals, you can have as many as you can handle) and even help out with equipment. A player can not have more than one patron, so a new gamer should choose carefully. But as a vassal gets more experienced (and that success reflecting on their patron) they can have vassals of their own, giving the game a nice feudal structure with certain characters becoming powerful due to their vassal links.
Magic also plays an important part in Asheron's Call, however Microsoft depart from the norm here by making the easier spells weaker the more they are cast. This keeps characters constantly searching for newer and better magics, giving players something to search for.
Asheron's Call will also have a persistent world quite unlike any other. The world will be constantly changing, however instead of this being only due to players actions, the odd event will be added to keep everyone on their toes. For example, in the US version a giant mist engulfed the land. Players could either ignore it and try to get on with their lives or investigate. Such worldwide events are constantly being added to Asheron's Call giving the game a sense of vastness and outside forces - infact, in this way it resembles a table top RPG much more closely than other games of its type with a great unseen power shaping the world.
This complex and highly rated graphic adventure comes from Revolution Software, authors of Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky. It begins innocently enough with George Stobbard, an American in Paris, sipping coffee outside a street cafe. His eye is caught by a macabre looking clown who dances past playing an eerie tune on his accordion. The clown enters the cafe and a few moments later, a huge blast explodes the cafe front clear away. Miraculously George is unhurt and stumbles to his feet. Through the smoke and dust he sees the clown running away, clutching a briefcase to his chest. Grateful for his life, George vows to avenge the violent actions of the clown and so becomes embroiled in a bizarre and sinister adventure that has roots casting back to the mysterious medieval order of The Knights Templars.
George sets off in search of a medieval manuscript which was created by the Knights Templar and holds the keys to their missing treasures and secrets. But on his way he encounters a group of megalomaniac Fascists and a frightening plot to re-shape the world. Our hero soon realises that he has become drawn into a sinister conspiracy and races against time to uncover and harness the legendary power of the Templar Knights.
Broken Sword represents a considerable advance in every aspect of adventure gaming and incorporates stunning graphics, advanced sprite movement, plus a compelling, sophisticated and original storyline steeped in historical legend and folk lore. It uses high-resolution graphics with smooth scrolling layers that offer a cinematic feel. Advanced sprite animation and manipulation allows for a wide variety of viewing angles which enhances the cinematic style of the game. The sprite cell animation has been created by a team of animators who've made ten classical cartoon sequences and given sprites both life and individual character. The very atmospheric soundtrack comes from Barrington Pheloung who's composed scores for films like Truly, Madly, Deeply and Nostradamus as well as the Inspector Morse TV series.
Buy this game of football league management and you'll undoubtedly be purchasing one of the best and most realistic computer sports simulations ever written. However, you'll also be losing your free time, hobbies, friends, partners, spouse (delete as applicable) and getting bloodshot eyes, wrinkles, worry lines and dodgy mouse fingers into the bargain. Why? Because the best football management game has undergone a radical transformation into something so wonderful, something so comprehensive and sexy you'll forget about all the insignificant things in life such as eating, drinking and sleeping in favour of masterminding Scunthorpe Town's rise to Premier League champions. It's sad, obsessive, unhealthy but oh so addictive as you try to guide your favourite team to league and cup glory or manage the national squad.
It's hard to know where to start when eulogising CM2 because you inevitably forget to mention something that's totally cool about this game - there are just so many cool things for football fans to get excited about here. To begin with CM2 has every player from every major football team in England, Scotland and Europe - we mean every player. So, if for some reason you want to sign veteran inside left Carlos Archie Bell, last heard of languishing in the Spanish second division, all you have to do is type in his name and he's found. You can search on names, clubs, types of players, certain skill parameters, prices, contracts, inside leg measurements - anything. Each player has a full playing history, age, a contract and wage level plus loads of physical stat's and skill attributes.
The game interface is ultra user-friendly and there's no need to back up through the last six screens you used just to get to the main menu. You can check out game results, watch match reports, see how individual players fared, click on a name to see his stat's and make a bid. It's as easy as that. Club negotiations now take time to resolve. You can argue over fees, trade players, arrange contracts with bonuses schemes and clauses and if you manage to agree terms with a club, the player takes a few days to think things over.
Every match that's played generates stat's on player performances, goals, bookings, injuries and incidents. For each player you can check up on the amount of possession they had, things such as tackles made, tackles won, shots, passes and time in possession. It goes on, believe me. You can view your players and squad according to position, fitness and morale, bookings, goals, assists or anything else you can think of. Using a very Windows-like environment, this is all very easy to get to grips with. Formations and tactics have been updated too so you can adopt the traditional 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 if you like, or by dragging individual player icons around the screen you can plop guys all over the pitch thus enabling you to emulate Terry Venables' Christmas tree formation. Perform well enough as a club coach there's a chance you'll get to manage the national squad, though with all the league teams to choose from you'll probably have your hands full trying to get out of the third division or winning the European Cup for some time.
There's just so much detail in this game it's a train-spotter's dream and there's even in-game match commentary from Clive Tyldesley. Championship Manager was good, the '95 season update was better, but this is the best. If you want to manage the football team of your dreams and you're not worried about becoming a social retard, months of enjoyment await you.
Requires 486 SX with 8 Mb RAM, SVGA, mouse, all major sound boards and 20 Mb hard drive space
Civilization 2 is a classic game. Regularly voted amongst the best of all time it is unparalleled in its field. Test of Time is less a sequel (Microprose are defiantly calling it Civilization 2) and more of an update, bringing new graphics and some stonking gameplay updates to an already perfect formula.
First the cosmetic updates. Test of Time displays its world in full 16-bit colour. There are new animations for the units which are particularly effective in the science fiction and fantasy games. Oh yes, Test of Time boasts more than just a normal game of Civ.
As well as Civilization 2 as we all know and love it you can choose from an extended version of the original game, or Science Fiction, Fantasy and Midgard games. This works very nicely because the major improvement is the ability to play on several different maps simulataneously. For example, in the extended original the game doesn't end with the colonisation of Alpha Centauri. You have to play on Alpha Centauri whilst keeping your Earth bound Empire afloat as well. You can move units between the two but so can your opponents. You might find that your Earth enemies have made it to Alpha Centauri before you and so you'll have a fight on your hands here as well.
The multiple planes aspect is brought to its best use in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi games. The Sci-Fi game has you taking over a Solar System and carefully juggling Empires on each of the different planets. In the Fantasy game you have four 'Planes' representing each of the four elements. Each plane is radically different amd require different approaches. Developing a strategy to cope with this is all part of what makes the Civilization games so much fun.
The technologies and Wonders are different for each setting although they do not take very long to get used to. A city in the clouds may be spectacular but you still need to feed your people and keep them happy.
Civilization 2 is a great game so how could Test of Time fail? It doesn't; in fact, the additions make it even more playable (no mean feat as the long term playability of Civ 2 is legendary). Perfection perfected.
Sudden Strike was a fantastic real-time strategy game - great looking, involving and most importantly, great fun. Now CDV are unleashing their new game Cossacks onto the unsuspecting public. Can their new baby conquer the market, then the world?
Cossacks is played much in the same vein as Sudden Strike - it's a real-time strategy game but essentially without the complicated resource management that slows down other games. Cossacks is extremely easy to play and is still very easy to get hooked on. Perhaps Cossacks' best feature is the way it allows you to control an unprecedented 8000 units in both the single and multi-player maps - controllable right down to every individual soldier. The game allows you to take control of some of the greatest battles known to man throughout the 16th and 18th centuries - 85 of them, to be precise. Wars in the game include the Thirty Years War (which thankfully doesn't take thirty years to play), the English revolution and the war for Spanish succession. Each country that took part in each war is represented properly - for example, each country has the corresponding landscape and has the correct military styles and manoeuvres - just like their real-life troops. Countries to control in the game include: Algeria, Austria, England, France, Netherlands, Piemonte, Poland, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Venice and more. You may also come up against other parties in the game, ie. you might find yourself defending your precious land against dastardly pirates - the game provides a complete world in which you play, it's just up to you to conquer it.
Maintaining your fine country is not just a matter of war though, you must make sure your economy is also thriving. Making sure your people have enough resources should be high at the top of your list, otherwise they won't want to fight. Troops in the game are split into different sections: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy. Therefore, each nation has the full ability to launch a full-scale war across Land or Sea.
Another cool feature in Cossacks is the way that you can team up with foreign mercenaries thanks to your diplomatic centre for a much needed boost. There are also countless strategic tactics for waging war on your opponent and it is possible to plan each and every attack precisely - down to every soldier. Cossacks utilises great real world physics, for example, hills slow land troops down, waves ravage your naval attacks, fog closes in on your beleagured troops and shots can ricochét off rocky terrain risking injury to your soldiers.
CDV have gone to great lengths to make Cossacks something special - the whole game just feels so polished. The visuals alone warrant a purchase, with thousands of soldiers moving on screen at once and explosions left right and centre. As far as real-time strategy games go, Cossacks deserves to be right up there with the best of them.
EA Sports have an impressive track record with sports simulations and Cricket World Cup 99 looks set to be to cricket what Fifa 99 was to football.
England team members Adam and Ben Hollioake were used for motion capture. The 3D graphics are amazing. EA Sports have aimed to make it better than TV. It features all of the camera angles you would get from TV coverage, such as aerial cam and stump cam. But the 3D environment gives viewpoints that are impossible on TV.
Every single participant in this years World Cup are in the game. EA Sports supplied up to the minute statistics and current performance ratings on all the players, ensuring the games accuracy.
One of the most exciting aspects of this game is the support given to it over the Internet. EA Sports have introduced a 'Live' on-line system, making sure that even after the game has been released statistics and information can be accessed to keep the game up to date. Simply download the files from the EA Sports web site and the game is up to date. You can also play on-line or over a network . EA Sports also hosted events and competitions to test your mettle.
There are two major game modes for you to select from, depending on your gaming preference. You can either play a more 'arcadey' style of cricket for instant accessibility, or delve into management and take advantage of the games tactical database.
With real-time weather, bad light, real player injuries and many other touches, Cricket World Cup 99 is a must for cricket fans everywhere.
John McLane is back! The maverick cop with a wise-crack for every occasion returns in the sequel to one of the best all-action, arcade style games.
Die Hard Trilogy 2 takes everything that made its predecessor great and adds to it. The different gaming styles of the first game remain but they are linked by a cohesive story and cinematic scenes. During the course of the game you will indulge in some third-person style adventuring, some high-octane extreme driving and some gun-game style shooting. Each style is an excellent example of the genre with the third-person section offering much more in the way of puzzle solving than the similar section in the original game.
But don't worry action fans - the Die Hard name means big explosions, big guns and villainous terrorists. Las Vegas is the target this time as a consortium of international terrorists hold the city to ransom, threatening to turn it into a huge crater in the middle of the Nevada desert. If there is one man that can stop them it's John McLane.
The game flips between the different sections depending on what is happening in the story. For example, you might be playing in third-person when you reach the end of the level to see a bad guy jumping into a car and driving off. Now it's time for a car chase. Each section is as polished and slick as you would expect, in fact they are often better than many full games. The PlayStation version really pushes the console's performance with graphics that show how far the PlayStation has come. The PC version, of course, looks as good as you would expect it to being as old a game as it is.
Enemy AI has been completely overhauled, as has their animation. They now have five different damage areas so that when you shoot them you had better make sure they stay down; there is nothing worse than being killed by a terrorist you only shot in the leg the first time.
Die Hard Trilogy 2 expands on the action packed first installment without loosing any of the excitement. it's as good as being in a Hollywood spectacular.
So put on your vest and get your cheeky smirk ready, it's time to go to Vegas! Yippie-ki-yay!
Desert Strike combines all the fun and excitement of an innovative shoot-'em-up with a real campaign feel and has already shipped over 500,000 units worldwide across a multitude of computer formats before this version arrived. In case you didn't know what it's all about, here's yor briefing for the op'.
The location is the Middle East, a potentially explosive mixture of races, religions and conflicting political ideas. The area has been made even more unstable by the sudden emergence of General Kilbaba, a madman whose armies have swept into a tiny neighbouring Emirate and are now holding it prisoner. A deadly arsenal of chemical and nuclear weapons are at his disposal and so the President has chosen you to fly a series of pre-emptive missions in an Apache attack helicopter with the aim of neutralising the threat with extreme-prejudice (that means destroy anything that moves).
The game uses a 3/4 top down perspective combining the best elements of simulations and action games. You must fly your helicopter across the 3D terrrain achieving a series of sub-missions within each scenario. So, once you've taken off you must first neutralise a series of radar stations and defensive missile batteries, then it's on to strafe some airfields, then you have to attack a power station and so on. You have a very useful selection of maps and data screens that can be accessed at ny time so you can refresh your memory as to the mission objectives and order, you can get information on each sort of target and use maps not only to help you locate the next target, but also find useful items such as fuel, ammunition and armour. This satellite data is vital for planning attacks.
There are several co-pilots you can choose to help you, each with different abilities and specialist skills. Some are good fliers, some are cool under fire and some are crack shots. There are 4 seperate campaigns containing a total of 30 missions, culminating with an assault on a boat containing General Kilbaba. Your helicopter is armed with three different weapons - a mini-gun, Hydra missiles and Hellfire missiles. The mini-gun is useful for taking out troops, tents or things that don't shoot back like buildings, Hydra missiles are an inter-mediate weapon and Hydra's are the most powerful, useful for taking our dangerous targets like SAM units in one hit. Your helicopter has a limited number of armour points which can be replenished by finding hidden armour dumps. Fuel and ammunition must also be replenished or you'll be in trouble.
Your helicopter is equipped with a winch which activtes automatically when you hover above the right sort of target. This can be used to collect supplies, rescue freed POW's or agents that have been working behind enemy lines. In fact, while you're blowing up nuclear reactors, oil fields and SCUD launchers, you'll often have to sidetrack to rescue friendly people from prison camps and drop them off back at base. As you patrol this real-time world you'll come across enemy soldiers armed with rocket launchers, jeeps driving down roads and tanks on the move.
'Expendable' is a word you'll often find bandied about by military fat cats, pretty much in the same way as the now infamous 'collateral damage' is i.e. as a polite euphemism. I guess they think it sounds more warm and toasty than "hey, we don't care if you die - just so long as the job gets done", or something. Funny how it never seems to crop up in any of the recruitment literature though ain't it. It's a sentiment however that's apparently still alive and well in the 25th century too.
Man's insatiable curiosity has always been humanities greatest strength but conversely also our greatest weakness as well. By pushing ever further into the depths of space and terraforming suitable planets, man has solved many social and economic problems back on Earth, and hugely expanded our knowledge of the Universe too. But - you knew there had to be a but in there somewhere - our very industriousness has also brought us to the attention of some alien nasty types called the Charva, who seem rather partial to man's newly terraformed planets. Unsurprisingly, war soon commences.
The powers that be back on Earth have come up with a plan though. They have milked (if you'll excuse the pun) the cream of the human warrior gene pool to provide the seeds for hundreds of soldiers artificially grown in tanks aboard huge motherships, which are then sent to planets that have been overrun by the Charva. These 'expendables' are perfect killing machines, without emotion or morals, and interested only in the thrill of the hunt. It is your job to guide them into battle.
Those of you familiar with Rage's earlier title 'Incoming' (and if not, why not?) will know of their reputation for making games with simply luscious visuals, and they haven't let you down with Expendable - the graphics are truly jaw dropping. The explosions, sorry the word 'explosions' is just too inadequate, the pyrotechnic displays (much better) in Expendable are the best you'll see in any PC game yet released. Rage has also opted for a slightly less than top down viewing perspective, with the camera moving dynamically as events demand, giving the game that trendy cinematic feel.
The action in Expendable has a very arcade like flavour, with the emphasis very much on 'action'. While there are simple puzzles and items to collect, it's the wave after wave, of somewhat aggressive Charva charging at you that always grabs your attention; did I mention there's a time limit for each level too? If by some misfortune you don't finish the level within the allotted time, the Mothership, which is parked conveniently in orbit, will then come down and unleash the Armageddon weapon, completely destroying the planet AND you with it. Phew, talk about pressure!
If ever there was a massively multi-player on-line role playing game beauty pageant Everquest would win. Closer in look to one of the top first person shooters (for its time) than other RPG games, it is graphically superior to anything else in the genre. And the way it plays is pretty darned good as well.
The first thing you'll have to do when you first load up the game and log on to the playing server (this is an Internet only game, remember) is create your character. There is a large array of character types available for you so that you can create a truly individual character. There are all the races you would expect in a fanatasy RPG (elf, dwarf, troll, etc) and many character classes to choose from. Fancy being an elven necromancer? Then Everquest is for you.
Each race/character class has their own home town where you start the game. As you progress through the early levels you will probably not stray very far from this town - the big wild world is dangerous. But rest assured once you are strong enough to handle it there is a vast world to explore.
One of things that everquest stresses is cooperation. Player killing is allowed only on certain servers so you don't have to fear getting bullied by a long term player. You will also find the going much easier if you join or form an adventuring group. Monsters are much less fierce when you're in a group and the help you can give each other will make progressing to higher levels easier. It also adds a strong personal element when you are adventuring alongside friends. The interaction between your group will give you as much pleasure as anything the game itself can throw at you. Everquest is a game that you will find eating away at your time until you look up and find that its the next day. It is a sign of its quality that a 'one last half hour explore' easily turns into an all night quest for a lost artefact.
There is a well defined skill tree and if you choose to specialise in a trade you can earn plenty of money selling your wares. As this is a game with no real objective other than enjoying yourself, you can pass a pleasant hour learning to become a tailor and making clothes to sell at market. Of course, there is also plenty of fighting for those that want it.
In spite of the excellent graphics the developers have done everything in their power to dispell that dreaded lag, that can effect on-line games.
If you want something that will transport you away to a fantasy world, and will enfold you in its grip, then you'll be a lucky person to find something better than Everquest (well, except World of Warcraft)
Ride 'em high cowboys! And of course cowgirls - this is one real-time strategy game that is riding into town, shooting from the hip and getting the girl. Time to swap your line dancing and Dolly Parton records for showdowns and banditos! Time to join John Cooper and his posse.
You play John Cooper, a square-jawed hero, who is a nomadic bounty hunter - a sheriff he ain't. His first task is to track down and free the other members of your outlawed gang. Doc McCoy is a sharp shooting, rooting tooting cowboy who has gas tubes and a keen gun skills. Kate O'Hara is notorious card shark who knows how to get her way by flashing her garter and using her mirror trick. Sanchez, nicknamed Grizzy, is the muscle of the gang who is also the leader of some Mexican gangsters. Having Samuel Williams on your side means you have an explosives expert to call upon and last but not least is Mia Yung who is an angelic little feisty fighter with guile and a monkey friend called Mr Leonne to help her out. What a team and together you get to explore 25 of the Wildest of the West mission and all its dustbowl backdrops, canal filled, gun slinging, bullet flying... yes you get the picture.
The feel to the game is great. Comparisons to Commandos 2 can be justified as Desperados uses the 'squad-based strategy' technique, but with one radical departure - there is no set way of completing missions. Each level is highly detailed and set with beautifully rendered graphics. Take a walk through the cities and you can hang out in saloons, shops, stables, blacksmiths, churches and even barbers' shops. On your lasooing travels you will swan (or horse?) into ranches, cotton field, canyons, gold mines, waterfalls and camps, all accompanied by authentic background music.
Your enemies have the added advantage of improved hearing so they take note of your movements and of the noise you make. Running everywhere isn't always the best way to kill a man. If you wish to take someone down, then sneaking up behind them quietly and then quietly stabbing them is the best tactic. It's these subtle elements that add to the overall gaming pleasure.
Desperados will get you slapping your thighs with joy as the gameplay is a big enough challenge for the more hardened of gamers and easy enough to learn for all you Clint hopefuls. Grab your guns, grab your ten gallon hat and get riding! Yeeeeeeeeehhhaaaaawww!
The origins of Descent 3 go back to Nineteen Ninety-five, when games developer Parallax took the gaming community by storm with its groundbreaking title Descent, closely followed a year later by the obligatory sequel - Descent II. After bated breath Outrage (scion of the mighty Parallax) has delivered the next chapter in the saga, and it's better than ever before!
The storyline in Descent 3 begins where the end of Descent II left off. The warp core has malfunctioned in your Pyro-GX fighter, causing you to be put in emergency stasis while your now derelict craft drifts through the vastness of space, getting ever closer to the blast-furnace heat of a nearby sun. Thankfully you're spared a nasty roasting by the crew of a rebel PTMC mining ship who need your help in exposing the illegal, not to mention highly dangerous, experiments of the PTMC Corporation. Which, if you remember, were responsible for all the mayhem in the first two games.
Outrage has sensibly opted to keep the trademark gameplay of the original two titles - scooting around in small, dark, twisty tunnels in a ship that can move up, down, left, right, forwards, backwards, bank left/right, while blasting some rather vicious, virus infected flying robots - while giving the series some Nineteen Ninety-nine style gloss:
The new proprietary Fusion 3D engine adds something special to the game graphics, providing some inviting mirrored surfaces, bilinear filtered textures, coloured lighting, and for the first time in the Descent series, the chance to leave the claustrophobia of the dark, snaking tunnels behind and venture outside. EAX support adds cream to some superb sound effects - rockets fire with a deep whoosh, explosions burst with a meaty rumble and lasers positively sizzle through the air. And the strangely mesmerising soundtrack of fused techno/trance beats adds a beautiful counterpoint to the often frenzied gameplay.
Each of the fifteen single-player levels have a unique look and feel to them, and are so large and sprawling that each has to be broken down into separate subtasks. These tasks range from the usual finding of keys and opening of doors to searching for info on missing scientists, taking out perimeter defences, infiltrating prisons and rushing through tunnels before being splatted by oncoming trains. But whatever the task, you can be assured of some fiendishly clever robots lurking round corners and waiting behind doors, just ready to pounce! Each robot class though, has its own unique AI forcing you to adapt your tactics accordingly; careful thought rather than blind charging about is often required.
The levels themselves are so big that navigating around them can be a bit of a nightmare, and with all the dark snaking tunnels and small easily missed entrances it's so very easy to get completely turned around. So to save any unnecessary flying about your ship is equipped with a guidebot, who like a faithful hound, will lead you to your next goal, dropping signal flares to guide the way. And if you get left behind it will even make its way back, giving an encouraging beep as it leads the way again.
Multiplay gamers have good reason to be ecstatic too. Outrage has provided some of the most complete, out of the box, multiplayer action around. Nine different modes over fifteen separate levels have been added to the single player game, including such memorable antics as Monsterball, Deathmatch, Co-operative and Capture the flag.
Outrage has proved that sequels don't have to be rushed, boring clones of the original. But with a little thought, imagination and some damned hard work, can actually remain faithful to the scope and vision of the original while at the same time pushing the game forward into new unexplored territory.
Since the original Delta Force burst onto the scene all those years ago, the average shooter had to sit down and have a bit of a re-think - simple blasting just wasn't enough anymore. The much-anticipated sequel improved on the original in every way possible. So what can Delta Force: Land Warrior give us that we haven't already seen?
Here's what. The graphics and enemy Articifical Intelligence have been overhauled and radically improved, now your enemy is just as smart as you! If you've never played a smart shooter before and you are fed on mindless blasters, then Delta Force: Land Warrior will come as a bit of a culture shock. Rather than belting round arena's killing aliens, Delta Force: Land Warrior puts you in charge of the most advanced strike team ever assembled.
Sound daunting? Well, the difficulty level in Delta Force: Land Warrior is set just right, it allows you to enter the game and learn the moves, but it makes you learn the way the game plays and challenges your skills. You would expect it to be pretty difficult, after all, Delta Force: Land Warrior uses the same game engine that was used to train the US Army elite Land Warrior soldiers! The environments in the game are absolutely huge - never before will you have seen such expansive levels laid out before you. As well as being huge, all of the levels are diverse - they range from massive outdoor facilities to snow-covered mountains to the insides of pyramids.
You can choose your crack squad from a motley bunch, all with suitably rough and tough names like 'Gas Can' and 'Snakebite'. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, so choose carefully, or the weakest link could blow the whole mission. Choose your weapons from a huge arsenal, including machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, anything the real army use is in here.
Perhaps Delta Force: Land Warrior's main selling point is the strength of both the single-player and the multi-player missions. The single-player missions are something to behold. Other games push single-player modes aside but Delta Force has always embraced them like an old friend. Overall, Delta Force: Land Warrior is a totally immersive, hugely entertaining game that will fit nicely into anyone's collection.
Dark Colony is a game of sci-fi strategy and warfare in the mould of Command and Conquer. The time is the future and resources are getting short on Earth. The only way to meet the ever increasing need for fuel and minerals is to set up colonies and mine fresh resources. An expedition leaves for Mars to colonise it and mine a precious gas called Petra-7. However, the Grey aliens living there are none too happy about the human intrusion and decide to start a war over the matter. However, sixty million years ago Mars was inhabited by a powerful civilization of which some powerful artifacts and buildings still remain and possession of these is likely to have a key effect in the outcome of things.
The aim of the game is to build bases, mine minerals, make money, build fighting units, explore and kill the enemy, pretty much in that order. There are four main types of building which can be constructed and two of these can later be upgraded. Your fighting units include standard infantry, heavy assault and artillery units are available. There's an air unit too, plus you can play the game from the side of humans or the Alien greys - the former fighting better during the day, the latter at night. The numerous alien artifacts that can be recovered from the long dead civilization are quite good and help bring some variety to the game. The graphics are also nicely done with colours becoming faded gray and the units viewing radius decreasing at night time. The Artificial Intelligence of the computer is pretty good and it plays a hard game, full of aggression.
Dark Colony has high-res 3D rendered sprites, awesome translucent lighting effects, explosions and blood. Line of sight means there's terrain you can hide in, there are multiple move modes (move, assault, waypoint), and you can select units by type and group. There are in-depth campaign scenarios for both the Humans and the Greys, up to eight players can play using the Network/Internet. IPX, TCP/IP support.
McRae's dominance of the 1998 season was excellent news for Codemaster's official video game of the Subaru driver - Colin McRae Rally for PC. Already highly praised in the games press from early code demonstrations, Codemasters grabbed support for the title with a £2million European marketing campaign.
Colin McRae Rally was set to become the most realistic, thrilling and wholly playable rally game with the game engine based upon Codemaster's very own highly successful TOCA Touring Cars. You get to drive at speeds of 160mph and take your car to the edge of its handling ability. The game is a gruelling world rally championship, where you have to battle against the elements in 48 different stages, over 8 countries. All 12 world rally cars with full set up options have been reproduced, using telemetry data for accurate reproductions of power and handling - these include the Subaru, Impreza WRC 98, Toyota, Corolla WRC, Ford, Escort WTC, Renault Megane, VW Golf GTi, Mitsubishi, Lancer E4, Seat Ibiza kit Car Evo2 and Skoda Felicia.
Achieve winning times to drive point-to-point stages, as well as super-special stages across the toughest terrains and tracks around the world. Compete in Individual Stages, 8 International Rallies or the entire Championship. Take handling to the edge with the brilliant car physics which allow you to perform manoeuvres such as power slides. You can also get dirty with a system that allows mud, snow and water to change cars appearance. Collisions result in damage to car body & handling on impact but there are car set-up and repair options so you can get back into the race as soon as possible. There are thrilling night driving stages, a multitude of surfaces to master including ice, snow, gravel, tarmac and mud, plus you get a choice of five views including 'Head Cam' from right inside the car.
When you get tired of playing alone you can compete against a friend using the 2 player split screens, 5 racing views, new Super Special Stages and best of all Colin McRae himself is on hand to tutor and grade drivers at the Rally School. Colin McRae's co-driver, Nicky Grist, also provides co-driver commentary and directions throughout the game.