a game by Psygnosis
Wolfenstein 3D started a trend-a trend so big that it is still going strong today. First-person perspective action games are so popular that it seems like every company is putting one out. Not content to be left behind, Psygnosis makes their mark on the genre with the release of Codename: Tenka.
Tenka is a lone resistance fighter, who decides to take on an evil corporation that has been turning peaceful citizens into cold-blooded soldiers. Simple story, isn't it? Tenka embodies more than just simple hack-and-slash action.
The levels are split up into different missions, with some being just blasting your way through, and others having set objectives. In others, you'll find yourself scouring the floor for memory chips or other special items.
Codename: Tenka's graphics have a dark ambience that fits the game very well. Each level's graphics are meticulously crafted to look as realistic as possible. From smoke billowing through the halls to ice encrusted along the walls, every bit of the game feels like you're really there. The game's areas include an abandoned hotel being used as a genetics laboratory, a cold storage locker, sewers and a number of construction zones. To make the game even more realistic, the graphic elements are light-sourced and shaded.
Tenka can run, jump and crawl his way through each level, and strafe left and right On a circle too] to shoot at enemies. The arsenal of weapons that can be picked up is huge. When fired, some of the more elaborate guns produce special graphical effects that are stunning to witness. When a weapon is fired, the hallways light up and you can see the enemies for a split second.
The enemies are an assortment of robots and mutants who are running loose around the levels or guarding the sinister corporation's evil deeds. There are three classes of enemies: Bionoids,
Robots and Genetics. Bionoids are mutated humans who have bionic alterations that make them very difficult to defeat. Robots wander the floors of the game looking for intruders, and when they find you, looks out for their firepower! Genetics are failed experiments that have an organic, gruesome appearance to them. The dark environment fits the designs of the enemies well in this kind of game.
A unique feature of the game is the laser sighting of Tenka's polymorphic gun. When you run into an enemy, you'll see the laser sighting follow its movements. This gives the player a realistic feel and makes targeting enemies a lot easier in the darkest of areas.
What Tenka will have to overcome with gamers is the feeling that first-person perspective games have grown old. Introducing a new game in the genre means having to come up with something new, something that gamers can't get anywhere else or on their PCs. Psygnosis has worked long and hard to make sure that Codename: Tenka is more than just your average Doom or Quake clone. With a huge amount of levels, Tenka is sure to keep gamers busy for a long time to come.
The only thing holding it back is that what made this genre so popular on the PC is the ability to deathmatch against a human opponent. The lack of this feature has somewhat hurt other similar games when they have made the move to the PS.
Tenka looks like a game that will hold its own against the best of them, but the final assessment will have to be made by gamers as to whether or not it is worth picking up the controller to play. The graphics look fantastic, so if the gameplay is there, Psygnosis will have another hit. The only question that remains is will it be seen as a clone or an original game.
MANUFACTURER - Psygnosis THEME - Shooting NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
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There are two things that bug me about Codename: Tenka. First, it's a first-person game that doesn't have any memorable features that really set it apart from others. The graphic effects are incredible but sometimes almost too dark. It seems like there were only slight variations in gameplay in the different levels. The story line is strange in a good way but the voice-acting during the cinemas is very poor. The story line does go well with the progression of the levels. The enemies are well-animated and really weird (again in a good way). It's definitely one to rent but unfortunately it probably will get lost in the shuffle of Doomish games.
Codename: Tenka is one of the most uninspiring titles that I have played recently. I can't see a draw for this game at all. I did like the enemies; they are sly and swift. That gives Tenka the slight bit of excitement that Doom games need. But the problems are plentiful. First, the levels almost all look alike-dark and repetitive. You might find yourself retracing your steps often as you try to figure out where you are. Second, the wall textures aren't all properly connected. Nothing destroys the immersive feeling of a 3-D game quicker than seeing seams everywhere. And what's up with the bowling sound you get when you pick up icons?
Codename: Tenka earns points for being a true 3-D first-person shooter-and it's a pretty snazzy-looking one at that. But then it loses points for being a little on the dull side. As I wandered around the game's dark, stark hallways, I got kinda bored. Hie levels just don't pack the puzzles or personality of an Id-inspired shooter. They do look pretty dam nice, though-even better than Alien Trilogy's environments. Most objects and walls lack hard angles, so everything has a rounded, more natural look. The lighting effects are way-cool, too. It is the enemies, though, that truly stand out. The spider-head bad guys will give you nightmares.
When you take a look at the typical first-person shooter, you'll quickly notice the only games that truly provide a pleasurable and memorable experience are the ones that have many traps, puzzles and flocks of enemies swarming at you. Codename Tenka contains very little of any of these important features, and even the walls look synthetic. Nothing stands out as being important to the game but shoot, shoot, shoot. The cinemas, while cheesy, do stay consistent with the plot line, a small bonus for a small game. I do think, however, that this game is a good step for Psygnosis to stretch their 3-D muscles.