As the sequel to Kileak: The DNA Imperative, Epidemic has received a complete makeover. Sleek, detailed backgrounds provide the perfect environment for smooth, rendered enemies and the polished cinematics are almost Hollywood-quality.
The one problem with Epidemic, as it was with Kileak, is the lack of exciting enemies. Most of the robotic miscreants look like flying appliances, and there aren't great, gory deaths like the kind twitch gamers are used to from shooters like Final Doom, Powerslave, and Duke Nukem.
However, this game does throw some interesting puzzles and intricate levels at you, giving the clear impression that it's a thinking man's shooter. Epidemic may spread through the ranks and become a killer.
Usually when there's an epidemic around, people start getting paranoid. They see doctors and do all sorts of crazy things. PlayStation owners may not be so frightened, though, when that epidemic turns out to be a sequel to Kileak: DNA Imperative.
Epidemic is set in the future where a deadly virus is killing everything in its path-everything on Earth. The entire population has to go underground to escape. An underground city, Neural City, is constructed for the fleeing inhabitants. The entire metropolis' environment is controlled by the supercomputer. Sirus.
The organization behind the Sirus computer and Neural City is the Byflos Group. The owner, Michael Byflos, is the fifth most powerful leader of the Byflos dynasty. Basically, it was Byflos who saved the entire human race from extinction. He knows it, therefore he uses that to bring the population to their knees. He makes them think that if it wasn't for Byflos, they wouldn't even be alive.
This futuristic setting seems to be a paradise, since nothing else is left, but there is evil behind Byflos. Population control becomes more than just a way of protecting the population. DNA stealing and the manufacturing of a superior race is the Byflos objective. Byflos is trying to make the entire race believe that the manufacturing of DNA is the wave of the future and is the way to preserve the human existence. Because of this, a resistance group is formed and battle against Byflos and the entire Byflos administration so the people of Earth will be freed from oppression.
The game features advanced 3-D rendered graphics that are enhanced over Kileak. The version of Epidemic played was early, so those enhancements may not have been implemented fully yet Besides all of the enemies in the game, the overhead map also features a 3-D feel along with health and energy status bars. On the sound side, all-new FX and music is used (so it won't be like playing through Kileak again-at least from a sound standpoint). The enemy camera and security droids sound the alarms if you don't kill them in time, giving a real feeling of pressure.
During play, gamers will face a whole array of enemies-each with his/her own movement pattern-better Al and weapon types. Some of them are rather dinky, like the flying bots on the first level, to some of the bigger mech-type crafts later on. Although this is an action game, there is a fair amount of strategy in the game. Players shouldn't be fooled by the Doom look of the game. Ammo is not infinite and there is a specific way to through the level due to key cards and door accesses.
The game is also filled with a good number of secrets. While searching around in the various levels, gamers can find plenty of secret rooms and special power-ups. This way repeat plays won't be uneventful and pointless.
Now gamers won't have to worry when they hear about an epidemic on TV. While everyone else is going nuts, gamers will just sit back, relax and say, "Don't worry about it.Jt's just a game."
- MANUFACTURER - Sony Comp. Ent.
- DIFFICULTY - Moderate
- THEME - Action
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
From what EGM saw of Epidemic, this title looks like another first-person game reminiscent of Doom. The main difference we saw? No imps or flaming skulls flying around here; only robot orbs and other mechanized jollies. The radar system used in Epidemic is very nice. The player being mostly nuts and bolts himself/herself, a little destruction of the evil side of the robot spectrum should be fun. The run mode is a unique touch; being able to fly across the screen ambushing little spheres before they caueven get a shot off the sci-fi theme Epidemic looks interesting. More to come later.
- MANUFACTURER - Sony Comp Ent.
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1