Apocalypse

a game by Activision
Genre: Action
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 6.1/10, based on 6 reviews, 12 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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Overview

Ready to blow a couple of man-sized holes into some rowdy enemies? Apocalypse lets you do just that. Starring as Bruce Willis, you gleefully try to stop the four horsemen and prevent the world from ending. The original game concept was for Bruce to be your point man, but they soon realized that people wanted to be Bruce, not have him as a partner.

This dark world where religion and science have melded is beautifully rendered, but also has some gore and violence, so parents, be warned if you're strict about this sort of thing. There is also a smidge of mild language that some parents might be offended with, although I doubt too many will take offense.

Gameplay

The graphics is the initial thing that catches everyone's attention and makes this game worth buying. Let's talk about the gameplay first, though. Apocalypse supports analog controllers and vibrations. If you have a Dual Shock controller, you're in for a real treat because the developers did an incredible job of utilizing them both.

I played the game first, using the standard controller that the PlayStation shipped with, and found myself having to learn a new way of playing a third-person shoot-'em-up. I'm used to games like Doom, where you shoot straight ahead and if you want to blast someone on your side, you need to turn your body. The way the controls are set up is more like MechWarrior, where you can turn your torso and shoot independently of the direction you're running. Wow, was I soon in love! This makes the game a lot more enjoyable because even as you're dancing around deadly bullets heading your way, you can still keep a steady stream of fire at the enemy. The analog control makes this feature even better, because you can shoot diagonally with ease and get rid of pesky opponents. Every time you fire or land from a jump, you feel a vibration that makes you subconsciously feel more involved with the game. Have I mentioned the graphics are absolutely unbelievable?

The game also boasts some incredibly fun guns. There are homing missiles that are great if you want to kill some enemies without much effort, but by far the best is the flamethrower. I suppose it's a little twisted, but when you shoot some of the enemies with the flames they glow orange-red for about 30 seconds and scream with pain. If you cheered when you saw body parts fly in games like Doom and Quake, then I have a sneaky suspicion this will be your gun of choice. You also start with some bombs that kill all the enemies visible on the screen; this can be a real blessing in tight spots.

Now for some of the drawbacks to this game. First, it's a one-person only game, which is a real bummer because it would be fun for two people to ham it up and blast through a couple of levels together. Second, you can only save after you've completed a level. It would be a lot nicer if you could save at any point of the game and be restored to the last checkpoint you visited. On the plus side, though, even if you save with one life left and no ammo, loading the game will start you off with full lives, health and ammo.

Graphics/Audio

I've mentioned the graphics three or four times, and with good reason. They captured Bruce Willis' body movements and facial features, and incorporated them into the game using a new technology that will soon be used in movies. The main character's movements are so lifelike that it would make other PSX characters green with envy if they knew about him. The bullets glow with a green and red translucent light that is a delight to watch, and the developers were kind enough to add some eye candy in the form of additional scenery graphics taking place while running around.

The part where Activision stumbled a bit was in the sound department. I believe it's because they originally captured a lot of the sound bytes with Bruce as the point man. So when they decided to make him playable as the main character, they had to scrap a majority of what they had collected. Obviously they weren't able to bring him back in to do some more, because the phrases and words he uses are pretty limited and after a while they start to get on your nerves. You can only hear him proclaim, "I'm gonna open up a can of whoop ass" or "suck on this" before you want to throttle him yourself. The background music they play is enjoyable, though, so don't completely turn the volume down.

Bottom Line

Activision scored a winner with this title, and it's a game you'll want in your collection. The graphics are the best I've seen in a PSX game, bar none. If they'd done a better job on the sound, this probably would have scored a 100, but don't let that stop you from checking this incredible game out.

Download Apocalypse

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Yeah, the game has been on its way for a long time and yeah it has changed drastically since we ran coverage on it eons ago, but sometimes things like this happen. What matters is Apocalypse is really on its way, it looks great and it plays like a 32-Bit version of Smash TV. Plus it has some graphical and gameplay elements similar to One. In short, Apocalypse is all about nonstop action.

The story places you as Trey Kincade (Bruce Willis). You must destroy the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the evil Reverend to save all of humanity. Sounds like a movie, doesn't it? Well, there are some cinematic sequences-around 10 minutes of them--that mesh right into the game and star both Willis and rock-star Poe.

There are eight huge levels and four Bosses, one of which is Poe (she transforms into one of the Four Horsemen...er, in this case she's a Horsewoman). The rooftop level is a good example of one of the large levels in the game--it should take around a half-hour to make your way through it. That's from point A to point B. For an action game, this is pretty impressive. Think of a 30-minute long Contra level...wow. Enemies are scattered all over the various levels. Some shoot, some simply run after you and others are in vehicles attacking from above. Luckily you have a lot of weapons to use. Most are standard action game stock, like flamethrowers, rocket launchers and such, but they all look really cool with nice effects.

You don't have to battle through Apocalypse's dark, urban landscapes on your own. This Activision shooter pairs players with a computer-controlled, tough-talkin' partner who will follow your lead and cover your back as you face off against countless enemies. This wingman frequently interacts with the player, too, thus giving the game an almost "buddy-picture" feel.

The two gun-totin' dudes blast their way through a huge, texture-mapped world of mile-high skyscrapers and futuristic, multilevel ruins. Players will have to leap over chasms, dash across narrow walkways and seek cover behind structures-all the while dodging and blasting bad guys. Fortunately, players can pull off a variety of moves-such as forward and sideway rolls-to evade enemy fire. Ultimately, players will confront and defeat the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who roam the urban landscape while waiting for their sign to destroy the world.

Apocalypse is being developed by many of the artists, designers and producers of Activision's immensely successful PC games MechWarrior 2l and Spycraft: The Great Game. This epic action game is still early in development, but Activision is already eager to show off its graphics and revolutionary buddy system. If these screen shots are any indication, Apocalypse could be the best shooter of next year.

Apocalypse already had a cool story and novel, buddy-picture feel. Now it has a star. Activision has signed A-list action hero Bruce Willis to lend his voice and motion-captured movements to the game. Willis will serve as the player's "virtual partner," who will wise crack (several movies' worth of his dialogue have already been recorded] and take out bad guys with his very big gun. Activision officials are still tight-lipped about their deal with Willis, other than to say it's worth seven figures and Willis now owns stock in the company. Apocalypse is set in a dark and violent future, when science and technology are competing forces.

A false prophet called the Reverend has used stolen nanotechnology to create the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These henchmen roam the Earth, enlisting evil followers, until the Reverend gives the signal to wipe out humanity. You and your partner (Bruce] must stop them at all costs. Apocalypse is a 3-D. side-scrolling game that will be made up of at least eight levels, including sewers. Blade fluwier-inspired cities and graveyards. Al in the game is supposed to be top-notch, especially for Willis' character and the computer-controlled game camera.

Action hero Bruce Willis-clad in a skin-tight bodysuit and covered with glittering sensors-looked a little silly stomping around the padded floor of House of Moves, a film studio in Venice. Calif. He looked a little ticked off. too. Wham! He kicked aside a 6-foot-tall pad held upright by two studio workers. Striding atop the downed pad. he worked the barrel of his hefty rifle-dick-dick. "Light 'em up!" Willis said, low and menacing.

And then the scene was over. But don't look for this surreal few seconds of action in The Fifth Element, Die Hard A or any of Willis' other forthcoming celluloid exploits. Willis was acting for Activision-for a cut-scene in their PlayStation shooter Apocalypse (due in October)-making him arguably the biggest star ever to appear in a video game. And Willis "appears" in the game in every way. no doubt about it. Activision captured his likeness through cyberscanning, a process that uses lasers to map every wart and wrinkle of a person's face. His movements were motion-captured (hence the bodysuit and sensors]. And several hours' worth of his dialogue were recorded to give Willis' charac-ter-your virtual sidekick in the game-plenty of sarcastic wisecracks, sage advice and other in-game commentary.

But how-and why-did Activision nab Willis for this 3-D shooter? The search for a star began last year, shortly after Activision coders built Apocalypse's game engine in January. Activision considered several big-wig stars-and even talked briefly with Hollywood heavyweight Arnold Schwarzenegger-before finally approaching Willis with the invitation to become a video game hero. Willis, no stranger to strange roles, expressed immediate interest. Activision showed him several potential game story lines and asked which ones captured his imagination.

He chose the Apocalypse plot. After negotiating a deal reportedly worth seven figures (Activision's still tight-lipped about the specifics), Willis was in the studio perfecting his video game persona.

Willis plays Trey, a nanotechnologist who recruits you in his battle against a false prophet named the Reverend. Unfortunately, the Reverend is also a wiz at nanotechnology (the science of really tiny machines, by the way), and he uses his skills to create the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse-or. at least, Activision's version of the Four Horsemen-Plague, Death. War and the Beast. This goon squad, each of whom maintains a human persona and holds a prominent position in society, roams the Earth, rallying followers for the Reverend, awaiting his command to unleash all heck on the populous.

It's a quirky plot, sure, and one that Activision believes demanded a quirky actor such as Willis from the get-go. "Bruce is not your heroic everyman, like Arnold." said Apocalypse Producer Michael Kirby. "He has a certain quality, more than just his great sense of humor, that other action stars.

People say:

5

Considering the game's troubled, delay-ridden history, I wasn't really sure what to expect of Apocalypse. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised--at least at the beginning. Apocalypse's first few levels whip along at an explosive, rapid-fire pace and work extremely well with the Robotron-style control scheme (for which you'll need the Dual Shock to fully appreciate). The rooftop level at the game's midpoint is easily the best stage, with lots of crates and structures to blast apart (this level will certainly appease every gamer's desire to blow stuff up). Then the whole thing turns to crap. Later levels become way too platform intensive--especially for a game that likes to shift camera angles when you least expect it. Heck, the developers seemed to even anticipate players making a frustrating amount of misjudged leaps, because you often find extra lives at the beginning of tricky platform bits. It's the final stage that really hurt this game's score. Platforms here are atrociously narrow and unforgiving and don't work well with the too-touchy analog control. The Bruce Willis stuff is not a big draw, either. His motion-captured appearance in the cinemas is stiff and downright creepy, and his wisecracks are too repetitive. I imagine they had to cut many of Willis' lines when his role switched from second banana to star character.

7

Contrary to Crispin's feelings on Apocalypse, I thought the game was quite good. Granted it may have some camera problems and a few strange graphic glitches, but I enjoyed how it conveyed the action-very much like Smash TV thanks to its controls--while also providing a fairly interesting story line. Like One, Apocalypse still gives that uneasy feeling when near a ledge (since it's so easy to fall and die) but all in all I tike this game.

6

It's all carried off with class, but underneath all the gloss, Apocalypse is a simple shooter with an identity crisis. Gameptay dramatically swings between frenetic action and hypersensitive platform game precision. Often you get caught by still being in "blasting" mode when you should be treading more carefully. As you progress, this gets increasingly frustrating, especially when the erratic camera system conspires against you too.

7

As a 3D, run-around-and-shoot-stuff type game, Apocalypse isn't bad. Decent control and functional camera angles keep things exciting. The story line is as evil as the title would allude even with the screwy voice work. Early on, the levels are fairly creative with a good balance of enemies and obstacles to overcome. But in the later stages, things become disjunct and "platformy," and the game loses its personality.

In Apocalypse, the ultra-violent action game starring Bruce Willis, you must kill! kill! kill! your way through 11 intense levels riddled with bloodthirsty thugs, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and an evil villain named the Reverend. As the adventure progresses, you collect awesome new weapons like flamethrowers and smart bombs to devastate virtually everything on screen as you run, climb, and blast your way through city streets, swamps, and rooftops. Apocalypse features an extremely fast frame rate, cool video walls in the background playing the latest songs from Poe, and even a bunch of smart-ass comments from Willis. So far, it looks like Apocalypse will be worth the vait for gamers itchin' to pull Willis's trigger.

Activision's futuristic action/shooter has undergone quite a few changes since our last preview: The biggest change is the elimination of the 'buddy system," as you are now in full control of a motion-captured (and one-liner uttering) Bruce Willis. Also starring rocker, Poe, Apocalypse could be a number-one action title.

In Apocalypse, a man known as the Reverend uses the powers of religion and science to summon the Four Horsemen: Death, Plague, War, and The Beast. The creatures walk the Earth, disguised in human form and collecting followers as they wait for the Reverend's signal to annihilate the planet. Only you have the power to see through their disguises, battle the bad guys, and save the world from destruction.

Fighting at your side is gaming's first "virtual buddy," Trey Kincaid, who's played by action star Bruce Willis. Trey helps you punch, shoot, and wisecrack your way through 15 chaotic levels (plus a surprise ending). Apocalypse already looks like one of the most unique 3D action/adventures coming to the PlayStation.

Bruce Willis stars as your gun-crazed partner in this hell-nieets-earth 3D action/shooter that ups the ante of video game violence.

They Call Him Bruce

Although it's only a single-player game, Die Hard bad-boy Bruce Willis fights at your side while spouting smart-ass comments throughout your battles. Bruno was transported into the video game world through the use of cyber-scanning and motion-capture techniques that enabled Activision to create a stunning replica of the star. Fluid movements include running while firing your gun in any direction, ducking for cover behind a barrier, diving, jumping, and rolling away from danger.

The game camera tracks the action closely, zooming in and out as needed, and even provides an overhead view as you leap from rooftop to rooftop in one of the first levels. Although it's still early in development, Apocalypse looks like another blockbuster hit for both Willis and Activision.

Last Two Men Standing

In your mission to save humanity from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, you and your virtual partner, Trey Kincaid (played by Bruce Willis), blow away bad guys using a wealth of weapons from flamethrowers to laser guns. You even acquire a spear gun that lifts enemies off the ground and sticks them to the wall. The villians are just as ruthless, however, as one flying creature demonstrates by grabbing you by the head, crushing your skull, then rapidly firing bullets into your face. Apocalypse is obviously pressing for a Mature rating, so squeamish gamers beware.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.TheApocalypse is upon I us--and it packs enough explosive gun-blazing action to blow your PlayStation to bits! (If it doesn't overheat first) Diehard shooting fans, it's time to step into Bruce Willis's cyberstar shoes, get strapped, and save the world.

Last Man Standing

Playing as Bruce Willis character Trey Kincaid, you must blast your way through II terrifying stages, defeat the Four Horsemen (no, not Ric Flair--die biblical creeps!), and stop the sinister Reverend from destroying the Earth.Throughout each level, you amass an arsenal of weapons including flamethrowers, smart bombs, and lasers in order to decapitate, kill, and destroy virtually everything and everyone in your path.

The gameplay is reminiscent of One as you basically run around, jump from platform to platform, and shoot hundreds of enemies trying to smoke your heroic ass. Controlling your character is tight as Apocalypse uses Robotron gun controls (four main buttons that each shoot in a different direction), giving you pretty precise aim and extreme speed when you change firing directions.

One downer, though, is Apocalypses computer-controlled camera. It zooms in and out depending on the situation, but doesn't always give you the best view of the action. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith just to see if there's a platform around, which will occasionally--and very frustratingly--cost you a life.

Bruce 3:16

Apocalypses dynamite graphics feature burning skies, colorful lava explosions, and an awesomely rendered Bruce Willis character model.The game even includes giant movie walls scattered throughout the city that showcase some of the latest alternative music videos.

On the sound side, Bruce wisecracks his way through each level with smart-ass remarks that are sometimes funny, sometimes annoying. His comments are seldom helpful during gameplay, but you gotta love saying "Suck on this!" after detonating a smart bomb and killing everyone on screen.

Judgment Day

If your trigger finger's itchin' for non-stop action, Apocalypse is just the game you've been praying for.The end of the world has never looked so good.

ProTips:

  • In the Graveyard, stop walking almost immediately when crossing the first bridge. After shooting your enemies, blast the wooded area to your left Jump into the green ooze where the bats are flying out to pick up an extra life.
  • When the ground starts to open up fn front of you, It's g better to stop and run backward than risk moving forward.
  • When multiple enemies attack, run backward while firing a special weapon (the flamethrower cooks 'em nice!) to keep a safe distance.
  • To defeat Plague, first jump over the laser beams while continuously firing at the boss, then jump to the two platforms on each side of you for added health and fire power. When the two platforms collapse, jump to the main stage. Run away from Plague in a clockwise motion while shooting behind you. Use smart bombs to finish the job.
  • You don't need to kill everyone in the level to get through it If you're low on health, run forward as fast as possible while shooting to the sides and In front of you until you reach a health power-up or a check point

Graphics

Apocalypse's gloomy graphics set a frighteningly eerie mood, while the massive explosions and bursts of gunfire will keep your eyes frantically trying to capture everything on screen.

Control

Responsive character and shooting controls are brought down by a seriously bugged-out camera. Sometimes what you're looking for is right next to you and you don't even know it!

Sound

Bruce Willis's sound bites are cool and fians of the movie star will especially enjoy his sarcastic style, but his repetitiveness starts to jab at your nerves about halfway through the game.

Fun Factor

Although a two-player option would've been the bomb, Apocalypse still blasts gamers with enough challenging shoot-em-up action to warrant a purchase.

While you're at it, forget about Bruce Willis, too, because Apocalypse stands on its own run-n-gun gameplay pretty damn well. An overhaul is what Apocalypse needed, and that's just what it got.

Whatchu Talkin Bout Willis

That's not to say that Activision hasn't been hyping the appearance of The Bruce in its game. Press releases flew the day he was announced as a key player, and so did the rumors-Bruce was buying Activision. Bruce was taking over creative control of the game, Bruce was divorcing Demi Moore...oops.

In fact, Bruce was employed as a mouthpiece for the game, lending his snarling, smart ass quipping abilities to help an otherwise unformed, nebulous title, whose early versions featured very rudimentary two-man gameplay and little else. In 1997, the unveiling of Apocalypse at E3 revealed little improvement. Spotty graphics, poor control, and an overzealous marketing campaign (complete with "Meet Bruce'" interview parties) made many gamers at the show nervous. The general reaction in the industry? Bruce had better keep his day job.

Smoking Guns

And Activision knew it. It revamped the game almost immediately after that show, ditching the gimmicky two-man gameplay (see sidebar, "Bruce Nukem and the Rebirth of Apocalypse") while adding detailed cinematics and trigger-happy action.

Apocalypse reloaded to become a 3D action/adventure dream, with Bruce basically running through areas and gunning down the bad guys. The multiple-view 360-degree gameplay also features plenty of jumping, climbing, and scaling walls. As a butt-whupping clone of One (a similarly blazing blast-em-up), Apocalypse possesses lightning speed, control that's been minimized to appeal to twitch gamers, and a look that went from dark, mysterious, and foreboding to fast, explosive, and...foreboding.

Excuse

All during the game's hiatus, Activision was planning another media strategy: Less is more. Magazines and consumers saw and heard less during the game's Phoenix-like rebirth. Meanwhile, programmers tooled away and relearned the advantages of the PlayStation, which they found to be more powerful than they had previously thought.

The benefits of the PlayStation included spooling the CD, so the CD is sending information while you're still playing the game, thereby offsetting load time and making for a fast-paced environment. They also found a way to run full-motion video sequences while the action is hot: Bruce can now run past a bank of TV monitors that are playing a music video and nothing on the screen slows down.

Why is video so important? When you're selling a game to a youth-oriented market, image is king. And Activision made another important contribution to that theory up front by signing Goth queen, Poe, to not only provide music and input to the game, but also to actually appear as one of the bosses. The Poe video that Activision created using computer-generated (CG) rendered cinema scenes from the game should be appearing on MTV soon.

Where There's a Willis, Theres a Way

The time Apocalypse spent in the shop will translate to some superior gaming this November. CamePro scored a three-level demo, and its speedy gameplay, vastly improved graphics, and non-stop action were impressive. Luckily for Activision, Apocalypse wasn't the end of the world that some industry insiders thought it would be.

Snapshots and Media

Playstation Screenshots