When A Cat slips a dead pigeon into your mouth as you sleep, you've no choice but to thank the cat for what is frankly an ill thought-out gift. Them's the rules. Similarly, if you're handed a free tactical FPS you've no choice but to listen to the funny voice acting and think "Well at least they're trying" as you fumble for the volume control.
Derelict is a System Shock 2-aping tactical shooter, pitching you into an abandoned space station where demons and mutants have torn through the station and left pieces of astronaut strewn about the corridors, cargo bays and toilets. You control one of a unit of five marines, from the communications officer through to a medic and engineer.
Basic commands can be issued, so you've got your 'stop' and 'go here' orders where you'd expect them. The number keys flip you between your men, with the ultimate aim being to keep them in tactically aware positions. That is, have them all facing down different corridors while a single marine unlocks a door, hacks a terminal, blasts through some debris, or heals his colleagues. As easy as that may sound, the unending flurry of demons (naked demons, nobody ever stops to wonder why demons don't wear clothes) makes Derelict a terribly difficult game. They've got spawn points, the buggers, temporal anomalies from which they spew. It's these rifts that you've got to make sure never to turn your back on.
In a shocking example of under-funding, only the communications officer has the necessary equipment to locate the enemy on his HUD map, making him the most valuable member of the team. Otherwise, our old friend the Aliens-style proximity detector emits faster and faster bleeps as the demonic hellmen come at you from the dark. Derelict is a surprisingly scary game, the single-mindedness of the enemy AI (that uncanny desire to run straight at you, and to hell with trivial things like gunfire) adding to the terror. The music plays its part too, all ominous and edgy.
And you've got to love amateur voicework, which earnestly attempt to give the marines display disparate personalities through accents. It's not easy for a bunch of unpaid actors to put together terrified screams, whelps and shouting matches on a shoestring budget, and considering how technically impressive Derelict is, we can't complain. Well, we could, but then we'd be dicks.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP