Codename Tenka

a game by Psygnosis

Platforms: PlaystationPSX

Genre: Shooting Games

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

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Codename Tenka Downloads

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People say:


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.

reggie posted a review


In the past, fans of first-person shooters would take whatever scraps the developers would throw them and swallow every last piece, loving every tasty bite. Nowadays, the scraps have turned to a full menu of choices. In other words, there are enough first-person games out there that people can now afford to be more choosy and more critical. This means that the developers had better bring something new or better to the party, or suffer an early trip to the bargain bin.

Codename: Tenka definitely does add some new flavor to this market, but also sticks out some of the traditional aspects. All your favorite killing machines are here, with some new ones to boot. Tons of very creative enemies and an incredibly cool feature that gives you laser sighting on your guns makes Tenka good, but the overwhelming darkness and levels that all look similar keep it from being great.


Codename: Tenka is a first-person shooter that follows most of the cliches. For example, you spend a majority of your time in dark corridors. Then you run into a door. Some doors require a colored key, while others open automatically. If you don't have the correct color key, turn around and go find it. When you do finally open the door, you may find a room full of enemies or more corridors. I am oversimplifying things a bit, but the point I am try to make is that the basics are the same as most other games of this type on the market.

As I said above, a game has to bring something new to the party. Tenka has some pretty cool features that make it more than just a walk-and-blast-athon. For example, you are not limited to just walking. You can run, jump, crouch and strafe. Each of these attributes opens up a new dimension for the first-person shooter. One of the things that sticks out is the crouching. This means that you must now study walls down low for secret passageways that can only be entered from a crouch. Also, grates can be blown away to access other areas that would not be accessible in an upright position. This gives the developer a whole new dimension to work with.

Another thing that gives the game a breath of fresh air is the effects. Talk about realistic explosions. I would have to say that the explosions in this game rank up there as some of the best around. Another very cool effect that the game has is the laser sighting on your gun. There is no more guesswork on your aim. Just point your laser sights at the enemy and start blasting. If that is not enough help, you will have a targeting box that appears around enemies when they are in range and in your sights. I'm sure some of you are thinking that there would be no challenge left. Don't worry, it is still plenty challenging.

The final thing that makes Tenka unique is the puzzle solving. It is not always a "shoot to the end of each level" situation. Well, there are the blast-your-way-through missions, but there are also times where you have to do some thinking. At first, this just made me mad. I remember thinking that since I had already killed all the freaking enemies, I should get to advance to the next level. I hated the fact that I had to figure something out. I don't want to mislead you into thinking that the puzzles are unsolvable, though. If you pay attention to the little intro video, it pretty much tells you what you need to do to go on. I think this is just a nice touch that gives the game something different.

After reading everything above, you are probably wondering why this game didn't get a higher score. Well, not everything is perfect. For one, the levels all pretty much look and feel the same. This wouldn't be bad if I really liked the way the levels look and feel. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The levels are all way too dark. I don't mind the occasional venture into the unknown, but this goes a bit too far. Also, since it is so dark, it is difficult to locate some of the items necessary to finish levels. For example, at one point I was stuck in a room with an obvious exit door. I was unable to figure out how to open the door, until I finally resorted to scanning every inch of the walls and ceiling, waiting for the targeting box to flash to show that I had a target in my sights. I don't think the box that needs to be destroyed to open the door was intended to be that difficult to locate. The game was just so dark it was almost impossible to see.


The graphics are too dark. I think that the developers did themselves a disservice by doing this. The reason a lot of these games are dark is to hide graphical shortcomings. On occasions when the lighting is good enough, the graphics are quite impressive. There is almost no break-up, even when you are right on top of a wall or enemy. The 3D levels do look good most of the time, and I think the sloping ramps give a great feeling of depth. I know that lighting, and lack thereof, is used to create an atmosphere. I will concede that you do have a very creepy atmosphere, but I just wish someone would hit a light switch every so often and let us see what we are up against.

Bottom Line

Codename: Tenka is a pretty decent game. If you are a fan of this type of game, you could definitely do worse. I think that the developers have shortchanged themselves by making everything so dark all the time. I don't mind mood lighting, but this went a bit too far. I like some of the unique aspects this game did have to offer and did find myself getting a bit addicted. One word of advice: do not play this game if your television gets any amount of glare from lights. Trust me.

reggie posted a review
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