I Managed To Learn A Fair Amount about Blam! Machinehead just from looking at the press release. Not only has the female lead character got enormous mammaries, the game's also got fabulous "eye-popping strip scenes". (Er, I think you'll find that's eyepopping FMV and comic-strip cut-scenes - Ed.) Also, in an amazing new twist on the old Cyberspace theme, you'll come across terminals that allow you to "play the game during penetration". You even get to "strap Dr Stride half-naked to..." (That's enough - Ed.) Spoilsport!
Anyway, you're probably now under the impression that Blam! Machinehead is some kind of top-shelf pervy sex game. Well, it's not actually. I've just made you think it is by messing around with the press release. What we are in fact dealing with here is...
Another 3D shoot 'em up
It's a shoot 'em up it's in 3D and while the heroine has got enormous breasts and there are some inoffensive sexual innuendoes in the cut-scenes, the game is aimed at players aged 14 and above who are particularly fond of going round shooting things up in a three-dimensional environment.
You play Dr Kimberley Stride, a female scientist whose assistant has playfully strapped her to a nuclear missile and then sent her rocketing off towards the Machinehead a deadly virus which has wiped out the majority of the world's population. Your objective is to get to the heart of the virus and blow it up but before you get there, you'll have to negotiate several danger zones and kill various weird and wonderful beasties.
The game is played out over four missions, with each one offering several areas to explore. As you'd expect, your task is to fly about and shoot everything (Machinehead is essentially a 3D kill-fest). but Core have gone to great lengths to include strategic elements to ensure that it will appeal to pc gamers as much as the 'we love games that you kill people in' brigade who play console titles. This has been achieved by including levels that allow players to change the actual game map by accessing Cyberspace terminals. This is a rather neato idea that lets you do things like mend bridges that are broken by finding a Cyberspace key logging on to a terminal, and 'dragging' the bridge back into the real world. The levels are well designed too with each mission having wildly different areas which perfectly set the scene for your shooting up enjoyment.
You may find this hard to believe just from looking at the screenshots (er, all the screens look a bit similar), but this is down to the fact that the game is still at an early stage of development, and we could only get shots of the first level. The finished version will have several different terrain types to traverse, among which you'll find a petrified forest, a swamp, a futuristic city, a mountain and even a grassy meadow.
Then to add to alt the tension, your progress will be constantly hindered by your wayward assistant Orville (the Geek) who will take every single opportunity to make life as difficult for you as possible. Consequently, you will have submissions to complete in which you will have to carry out whatever dastardly tasks Orville cares to dream up for you.
Although we've seen only a portion of the game so far, Blam? Machinehead looks as though it may just get hit the right balance between fast and furious gameplay and taxing strategy sections. Blam! Machinehead is set for a May release, so we're all keeping our fingers crossed that with a bit of luck we'll have it for review in our next issue.