Delta V

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a game by Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PC
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Futuristic Racing Games
Delta V
Delta V
Delta V
Delta V

The year is 2306 and you are a Netrunner for the Black Sun Corporation, one of the five largest Mega-Corporations in the world. In order for the corporation to maintain its predominance, it requires vast amounts of data. What data Black Sun does not already have, it secretly steals from those who do. The key to these covert actions are the Netrunners. These cybernetically-enhanced individuals navigate cyberspace, penetrating corporate data defence systems by using cunning guile or force.

To put this in 20th century norm-speak, you're like one of those people who hover about in the high street with clip boards, and, on seeing an unsuspecting victim, pounces on him, asks him four squillion stupid questions about what kind of toothpaste they use and jots it all down ready for input into some huge junk mail database - the guile bit. As for the force bit, I suppose you could say this was like one clip-boarder attempting to knock the proverbial stuffing out of a rival in order to get his or her hands on their bulging clipboard, thereby saving themselves a lot of groundwork.

Basically, it's a question of who dares wins. If you consider yourself to be big'n'tough enough then it's easier to smash the hell out of your rivals and steal their data, if you're a bit chicken, you'd better just concentrate on flying your extremely fast Trace ship and settle for getting your own data.

Just give me credits

After what can only be described as a gratuitously spectacular intro sequence, you have to log into the mainframe and register as a Netrunner. The whole aim of the game is not only to "survive" as the mainframe so clearly states, but also to amass as many credits as you can by volunteering your services for various different missions, be they data grabbing raids or acting as defenders of the Black Sun network.

The more dangerous the mission, the more money you receive if you manage to complete it successfully. You are also rewarded for knocking out enemy corporation property such as gun turrets, and for fancy shooting. Ejecting from your ship will cost you 10,000 credits, but then new ships are expensive and life is cheap when you work for the Black Sun Corporation. As you become more proficient and your wealth increases, you can upgrade your Trace and buy various addons, thereby making it even more invincible, allowing you to make even more money. Quite what you're supposed to do with all this money is never made clear. You could, I suppose, give it all up and set up a home for retired Netrunn-ers, or maybe you'll just want out and retire to a little cottage in Frinton-on-Sea.

Fight them in the trenches

Each corporation (there are five in all) operates within the Globalnet: a massive network of data-carrying tunnels through which the Netrunners must fly in order to extract data. The tunnels or trenches are not actually solid, but rather a form of energy on which the data and your Trace flows. Outside the trenches, the energy is dispelled into heat which can damage your Trace, consequently you are advised to stay low in the trenches in order to gain maximum velocity and avoid overheating. Skimming over the surface of the trench will give you maximum velocity, however, dipping too low into the energy field will cause your Trace to overheat.

As a result, you have to fly your Trace as low as possible through the tunnel to reach maximum speed, avoiding the various obstacles, whilst shooting out gun turrets, enemy ships and gathering as much data as possible. Simple really!

Go greased lightnin'

The immediate attraction of Delta V is the terrific speed at which your Trace zooms down the data grids. Even on the trainer levels, you will find yourself stretched to the limit as you attempt to negotiate the many different trenches successfully. All the backgrounds are beautifully drawn, whilst the screen scrolls at an amazing rate, making the gameplay very smooth and fast. For those with less ninja-type machines, you can select to have the backgrounds and texture maps switched off to speed up the scrolling, although you'd be best advised to keep them on until you get used to controlling your ninja craft.

There are two views from which to choose from: either looking out from the Trace, which allows you to keep an eye on your controls and target system, or the more difficult external view, where you sit behind your Trace and watch it twist and turn as you wrestle with the controls. You can toggle your view at any time during a mission, a feature you'll be thankful of when attempting to handle your super fast ship.

Road to nowhere

As well as the usual cockpit controls which indicate your energy level, armour strength, heat and radar etc., you also have an ai warning device called artemis (Automated Ranging & Targeting Electronics Multiple Interface Sensors) that constantly reminds you of your ship's status. Although its intentions are no doubt honourable, the constant ringing of the word "Critical - Critical - CRITICAL!" in your ears as you attempt to wrestle your ship from the arms of destruction is a bit of an unwanted distraction to say the least (a bit like the drum roll in Bullseye when you're going for the jackpot) and you find yourself giving up just to shut the blessed thing up!

It's all quite entertaining for the first few missions once you get nearer to mastering the ship's controls. You get to build up the spec, of your ship by buying better lazers, missiles, armour and power packs, bank loads of credits, save your games and develop your swashbuckling space cadet. And then, well you do it all again.

Although it all looks quite spectacular, and the speed at which the thing flies along is impressive, the missions are all pretty similar and there's not that much in the way of depth in terms of gameplay.

Once you've built up a mass of credits and have bought the best add-ons for your ship. there really is little else to do. No other planets to explore, no special missions, no special baddies. It's not as though it's all really easy - it isn't. In fact, getting used to the speed and the controls of your Trace takes time. It's just that once you've reached a certain level, there really is not that much to play for. It's all very pretty to look at, but a little too samey to keep you coming back for more.

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System requirements:

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

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