|a game by||Inscape|
|Editor Rating:||4/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.0/10 - 2 votes|
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In this first-person weapons combat game, you play as Jack Butcher, a member of an elite group of government assassins. Something's gone terribly wrong during your current assignment, and now you're in for the fight of your life. Assassin melds first-person gunplay with dramatic cut scenes, high-res rendered 3D environments, and an unusual army of enemies created with motion-capture technology. The dark business of assassination never looked so good.
Download Assassin 2015
After the success of 3D first-person shooters such as Duke Nukem 3D and Quake, there have been a rush of new entries in this category on the software shelves this Christmas season. Most seem to be inferior imitations of what is already out there, presumably imagining that game players will indiscriminately purchase anything in this area because of an insatiable lust for further carnage.
Assassin 2015 is one of the latest of this type of offering, and unfortunately it is by no means among the best. The storyline, at least, offers some promise. Jack Butcher, a covert operations agent, is called upon to assassinate Dr. Jaques Arnoud, the head of a high-tech cartel planning to overthrow the government of the United States. Within the lengthy introduction to the game, Butcher executes this mission within the MicroKomm building, the site of the largest manufacturer of computer hardware and software in the world. Immediately afterwards, Butcher is detected by a sentry "droid," and then the whole game centers on Butcher attempting to fight his way out of the building, overcoming innumerable obstacles. Outside the building, Butcher's ally Jett Jones (whose voice is provided by well-known actress Adrienne Barbeau) provides useful hints and warnings to Butcher as he progresses through the building from the safety of her evacuation hovercraft. Although this plot is trite, at least it is somewhat different from the other 3D first-person shooters, and at least it finally gets away from the satanic/demonic overtones that most unnecessarily insist on emphasizing.
The game supports the use of a combination of keyboard and mouse (the keyboard to move around and open doors and the mouse to target enemies and shoot), the keyboard alone, or a joystick/gamepad. None of the control devices really work in a satisfactory manner as implemented in the game: the movement needed is too subtle for a joystick, and the keyboard/mouse combination proves quite awkward because of the number of different actions one has to execute simultaneously in order to survive. Because of this problem-as well as the number of the large number of enemies you confront at any particular moment and the need for multiple hits in order to kill most of them-the game is exceedingly challenging even at the lowest level of difficulty. On might say for many users, even for experienced gamers, Assassin 2015 quickly becomes an exercise in frustration. Compounding these troublesome issues, the game does not permit the user to save a game at any point desired, and instead implements a lame auto-save function that only operates at certain predetermined points. No multiplayer or network options are available.
The graphics in the game are acceptable -- colorful and relatively detailed at the highest resolution supported -- but certainly not outstanding. The numerous status bars on the screen are not particularly well-designed or easy to read. After successfully overcoming a hoard of adversaries, a video clip of the last one being killed is automatically replayed. Rather than enhancing gameplay, this feature slows it down, particularly because even on the most powerful computers Assassin 2015 is occasionally jerky and slow (even with 50 megabytes of the game installed on the hard disk).
The music in the game is quite appealing and clear, but certainly not innovative, and the sound effects are nothing special. One small bug in the game (when I called Inscape they had no way to resolve it) is that on my test computer every time I exited the game, my system digital (.WAV) sound level under Windows 95 had been turned way down (even though I left the game sound settings at their default levels).
The minimal requirements for this game are Windows 95, 486-66 DX CPU, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, video support for 256 colors at 640 by 480 pixels, 8-bit sound card, and 50 MB hard disk space. A powerful Pentium computer is really a must here, as this game stretches even the most powerful system to its limits.
The documentation for the game is minimal. The "readme" file on the CD and the brief "survival guide" that serves as the printed user manual provide only bare-bones information with little of the flair that makes this kind of game background really interesting or essential.
Overall, there is little in Assassin 2015 to recommend it over its many competitors. Blue Sky Software, the company that developed it, and Inscape both need to realize that slapping together a 3D first-person shooter clone with no distinguishing features in today's crowded market is not going to succeed.