Ill come clean... even though Im a complete and utter Star Wars nutter, I didnt really like Rebel Assault very much. Im sorry, I know it was dead popular and I know it looks very pretty and all, but it just didnt really get me going... it was far too simplistic and linear. The thing is though, lots of other people thought that it was an exceptionally smart game and proceeded to buy it by the bucket-load, making it one of the most successful cd games of all time. People are partial to a pretty game... and thats why Cyberia from Interplay is also going to cause one hell of a fuss when it is released next month.
At its basic level, Cyberia is really nothing more than an extremely elaborate, prerendered, 3D-shoot em-up with the occasional walk-around-the- oh so pretty-backgrounds adventure bits thrown in for good measure. Add to this a stirring sound track, provided courtesy of Thomas Dolby, and loads of speech and we have what I believe is called a multimedia experience.
Whats all this then?
As we have come to expect these days, there is a suitably cyberpunky/futuristic storyline to go with all of these fancy graphics. The year is 2027 and in true sci-fi style the world is pretty much stuffed. The global economy has collapsed and there are now a mere four billion people kicking around the planet. Most of the worlds governments have collapsed and as a result pretty much everything is ruled by highly-organized criminal cartels.
Now, as you would expect, the pockets of world-order that remain are somewhat pissed off about the decline of civilization and as a result they have established the FWA: Free World Alliance. Unfortunately, though, theyre a bit crappy and need a seriously good kick up the backside if they are actually going to make any kind of impact on the cartels. Surprise surprise, this is where you come in...
You are Zak, a cyberpunk/hacker/flash-git who knows just about everything there is to know about nanotechnology, cybernetics, fighter piloting and martial arts. You also, probably, have the sexual capacity of a rutting rhino and an amazing ability to pull wimmin (but it doesn't actually mention that in the press release). You are, in fact, a miracle of intelligence and physical ability - the sort of bloke that doesnt exist anywhere except in crap sci-fi movies and computer games. Unfortunately, although youre a super chap, you are also in prison for hacking into the world central bank. (See, youre not that clever - you went and got caught.) In return for your release you are charged with retrieving a top-secret military vehicle known as Cyberia which will apparently sort everything out. The only problem is that the vehicle is hidden deep within a guarded complex... and the cartels know about it.
What follows is a combination of extremely flash-looking, pre-rendered shooty bits and 3D-pseudo-A!one In the Dark like bits (except much, much simpler and pre-rendered 30-Studio style rather than polygons).
From what weve seen, not only does it look drop-dead gorgeous (just check out the screen shots) but its also H-U-G-E. There are loads of different levels to blast your way through and what would seem to be hour upon hour of gameplay.
I dont know if youve played many of these pre-rendered things before but if theres one thing thats wrong with them its the fact they move so unnaturally. The graphics seem to pan around with pin-point accuracy and only succeed, therefore, in leaving the player feeling totally detached and not really part of the whole setting. Cyberia is certainly different, though; the way in which the camera (for want of a better word) moves around is very natural indeed and it behaves very much in the same way as the human eye. The viewpoint moves in such a way that it leads into the action and bobs around as though you really are inside a high-performance fighter craft. Add to this the fact that all of this gorgeous-looking action is accompanied by some of the best sound effects Ive ever heard in a computer game, and you have a very, er, real experience.
Oh yes. Id also like to mention that theres a deep, rumbley-rumbley noise that throbs away in the background that you just have to hear - its smart. You know the sound they have on the Dolby Surround or thx bits at the cinema where they have lots of throbbing noises? Well the sounds in Cyberia are a bit like that.
Interplay assures us that Cyberia will be available in time for Christmas this year, as it is hoping that this will be one of the big games for the season. As we go to press there are a number of plans for the product including a separate release of the Thomas Dolby sound track as a proper audio cd that may well also include a playable demo of the game.
Some gamers out there might recognize the name Cyberia from reading about it in computer magazines. Interplay had a serious hit on its hands earlier this year with this futuristic action R.PG and before you know it, you'll be able to take part in the action on your Sega Saturn.
The year is 2027 and it's five years after the global economic collapse (what took it so long?).You are Zak, a hacker who's about to pay the ultimate debt for his crimes: he's on death row, awaiting execution. As if that weren't a heavy enough load to bear, you must travel through cyberspace to the secret installation known as Cyberia. There you must find a secret weapon, a weapon so powerful it might just usher in the end of the world. Great. Not only are you about to get fried for "information crime" you have to save the world too.
Cyberia is a combination of straight-ahead role playing and arcade action. As Zak, you must interact with other characters in a dangerous future world as well as fly combat missions.
Interplay has done a fine job porting over its PC game, so Saturn owners should prepare themselves: We've seen the future and it looks really grim (but grim in a cool, next-generation-videogame-system kind of way).
Interplay is currently working on a highly graphic flight/war game for the 3DO. While a lot of details are still sketchy, from these pictures, it looks like Cyberia could be a great game. Tune to EGM in the near future for more info on this upcoming soft.
Part shooter, and part puzzler, Cyberia is all adventure. Although this PC port looks super cool, it lacks replayability.
Cold Climate, Cool Hand
You assume the role of Zack, a futuristic tough guy whose mission is to infiltrate a base known as Cyberia. The multigenre gameplay includes cockpit shooting similiar to Starblade, pistol dueling while exploring on foot, and puzzle solving in the spirit of Myst.
The intense environment often leads to instant death, but unlimited continues help you beat the game. The puzzles are only a mystery once, though, and one play-through would be enough for most gamers.
Exploring with Zack is a slow process. The directional controls are initially confusing and annoying. Also, during the cockpit sequences, you can lose track of your cross hair in the flashy firefights.
Graphically, this almost fully rendered game delivers crisp character images and breathtaking backgrounds. The flat explosions, however, don't quite fit with the rendered look.
With little music, the game's subtle background effects really enhance the overall sonic experience. You hear such nuances as the hum of an engine inside the base.
If you want shooting or adventure, stick to basics like Doom or Gex. In a tundra of genre-specific games, however, Cyberia comes in like a heat wave for the renaissance gamer who wants a little bit of everything.
- The Ice Canyon Is tough, so memorize the attack sequence and pre-position your gun.
- To open the complex door (on the Easy Puzzle setting), flick up the first and then the fourth switch.
- To go straight to the flight levels, deny Gia the smooch. If you want a tough shootout first, though, plant one on her.
Adventure games are a flighty genre. It's part of their style to be a little slower than games in other genres, with better thought-out content. As a result, adventures that aren't designed well tend to act like a strong dose of Nyquil, putting you to sleep faster than a presidential speech.
I'm happy to say, though, that Interplay has managed to rise above the tedium that so many adventures contain to create Cyberia, a compelling interactive movie that'll keep you glued to your cushion. Cvberia has you going through all the motions, much like Burn: Cycle or Lost Eden, but here there's pizazz. The graphics and sound are fantastic, really putting the zap on you early in the game. On top of that, Cyberia mixes up the format to add spice. Switch from walking around and exploring, to hopping into the seat of a cannon in order to blast enemies out of the sky.
The interface is quite easy, using only a couple of buttons, and not allowing you to stray too far from the direction you should be going; Cyberia pulls you along through the story, but you don't mind, because the ride is so enjoyable. If you're into games like D's Diner and Burn: Cycle, Cyberia will be a treat you won't want to miss.
Snapshots and Media
- Cyberia 2
- G-Police Weapons of Justice
- Space Ace
- Star Wars Arcade 32X
- Star Wars: Rebel Strike
- Final Doom
- Myst III: Exile
- Cosmic Spacehead
- Grim Fandango
- Heart Of The Alien
- Mansion Of Hidden Souls
- Mutant Virus
- Night Trap
- Rise Of The Dragon
- The Adventures Of Willy Beamish
- Aleste - Full Metal Fighter Ellinor