Games and Internet
PC Alien vs Predator (Fox Interactive) £34.99
Fox Interactive have created what is essentially two and a half games in one. The first of these is the most familiar. As a Colonial Marine you must make your way to safety through Hadley’s Hope, the setting for Aliens, while fighting off the rnarauding hordes of slavering, double-mouthed abominations. This is straight run-and- shoot stuff and, although you are stripped of bonus weapons at the start of each level, it is great fun
The second, half-game involves assuming the role of the Predator, Your weapons, healing and inVisibiIty cloak are all new, but the game is pretty similar to the Marine levels, if requiring a little more in the way of stealth
However, when you choose the Alien option, everything changes dramatically. You may only have three weapons -- claw, raw and tail but yOu can run up walls, along ceilings and down pipes. Coupled with the Alien's strange fish-eye persr')ective, this can be mighty confusing but, with perseverance, the screaming of your prey will soon ring Joyfully in your ears
Alien Vs Predator is tough but remember Big Arnie’s advrce -- if it bleeds, we can kill it. (ID)
Austin Powers Operation: TrIVIa
Shake it baby, it's the Austin Powers trivra quiz. Question after question about popular culture from the last four decades, hosted and controlled by Austin and hrs bald nemesis Dr Evrl. The future of the human race depends on the Outcome.
This is the srllrest, most porntless piece of kitsch nonsense ever to grace a computer. The questions verge on the childish, only beaten in the puerrlrty stakes by the cheesy Jokes which pepper the experience, Most of the rounds are based on a fastest- finger-first scoring System and are rattled through at a frightening pace. The entire thing is over in twenty minutes, With the only option being to start all over again.
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THE US? 22 Jul—S Aug I999
PC Outcast (Infogrames) £39.99
Isn’t it always the way? Those foolhardy scientists create a probe, send it to another dimension and, before you know it, there is a rift in the space-time continuum threatening to engulf our planet. And who is the first person they call? You guessed it.
Although the overall plot to Outcast may sound tediously unimaginative, fear not. Every other aspect of the game is packed to bursting-point with originality and creativity. As Cutter Slade, ex- Navy Seal, you are volunteered to pass through the ominous black hole and save the day. However, arriving on the alien world of Adelpha you are greeted by the indigenous population as Ulukai, their prophesied saviour. What
follows is a complicated and beautifully realised story of the release of these aliens from bondage and the
prevention of Earth's destruction.
From the start you are dropped in at the deep end, learning the language, customs and history of Adelpha as you progress. And learn you must, for Adelpha is a complicated place. Thanks to the Al engine, GAIA, everything you do affects the environment. For example, in the first of Adelpha's six regions, the population farms a crop called ‘riss’ which goes to feed the oppressive soldiers. Now, you can take on the soldiers at any time but, with a little covert sabotage of the riss deliveries, the soldiers weaken, providing you
Brave new world: Outcast
with a welcome advantage. As well as drawing you deeper into the world, this omnipresent level of
interaction allows gamers to truly choose their own
style of play.
The graphics, which do not utilise 30 cards, are great and the music, played by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, is worthy of any cinematic epic. However it is the utterly involving gameplay which marks Outcast as a piece of genius. The feeling of taking part in — rather than following — the story really takes the breath away. Play Outcast today and watch a living, breathing world come to life on your PC. (Iain
Luckily, Austin Powers Operation Trivia is rip-roaring fun. The psychedelic inserts, relentless 'Oooh naughty!’ and 'Do you want it?’ quotes and rapid-fire questions make the game a not to play. There can be no better way to round off an evening at the pub wrth yOur mates, And wrth The Spy Who Shagged Me hitting our silver screens at the end of the month, get it now while the getting's good. You know you want to. Ooooh stOp it! (ID)
(GT Interactive) £34.99 ~ With a £1 million publicity campaign,
Two wheels good: Driver
invoIVing the unrnistc'ikable face of Huggy Bear, and the larger retail outlets dropping their prices like crazy, Driver is selling by the bucket-load Strange then that the game itself is rather average.
As an undercover cop you must infiltrate gangland by volunteering to be the bad guys’ driver. From bank raid getaways to transporting hot car‘s, yOu must travel across various cities at breakneck speed, av0iding your fellow cops, pedestrians and other cars as you go. And that’s it really. The missions are reminiscent of, if not as varied as, those in Grand Theft Auto and become very Similar very qurckly. The graphics vary wrldly between perfunctory and pleasingly clever, though the handling of the car is nigh on perfect.
What makes Driver different, however, are the replays. These can be directed and edited by you With the posrtion, angle and zoom of the cameras controlled through a Simple interface. This is great fun and a mission that takes two minutes to complete can take a couple of engrossmg hours to edit. Although not perfect, this option puts Driver a step up above its peers. A mish-mash of great ideas and 50-50 gameplay makes
, this a rather eccentric title. Try before
you buy. (ID)
Ape Escape Sony £34.99
What do you do when monkeys travel back in time to change the course of history? Why, you grab the nearest big net and follow them, that's what,
And so Ape Escape begins. You must race around 25 levels, spanning eight time zones, trying to catch those pesky primates. Depicted in bIocky, cartoon- style graphics, Ape Escape requires an analog controller to play, The left Joystick controls movement while the right is used to wreld the variety of weapons and gadgets reguired to complete the levels. This takes a while to get used to and never really feels natural. Not that this matters much as the game itself fails to draw yOu in.
The colourful characters and cheeky monkeys sprint and chatter round each level wrthout any obvrous arm. Most of the gadgets you are given feel gimmicky rather than essential, indeed, the entire game smacks of average ideas roughly sellotaped together. There are training rooms and mini- games to plough through, but wrthout infectious gameplay, there is no drive to complete anything. The garish colours and capering characters might appeal to the kids but, for the majority of players, Ape Escape erI fail to impress. (ID)