Rebel Moon Rising
When I first heard the title Rebel Moon Rising I thought, "Cool! It's another Star Wars-based title." Just so you know, Rebel Moon Rising is not a Star Wars title. Nonetheless, if it is as good as all the MMX hype claims, then this would be the game for me. Yes, it's another Doom-style 3D shooter where you must complete a number of levels to win. What's so special? How is Rebel Moon Rising going to set itself apart from the multitudes of games in this genre? I found that there were two items that keep this game unique: Use of MMX for nicely done light and color effects, and a different approach on mission design that makes some missions more fun and interesting.
The controls in Rebel Moon Rising are what you are used to with any other Doom/Quake clone. You can look up and down, jump, the whole bit—there is nothing new here. The cool part comes when you get into the missions and find out that some of these are not your standard Doom-style hack-and-slash. Mission types include: rescue, assassination, escort, defense, and of course a little "kill everything" just to round out the experience. My personal favorite was the defense missions where I had to fend off an onslaught of enemy attackers determined to make my day. Another fun one was the assassination mission where you seek and destroy one person or objective. The enemy AI is very Doom-like and there is nothing special here to add to the impressive mission layout.
Another thing that I did not like was the way Rebel Moon Rising timed the missions by giving you a limited supply of oxygen. In some of the missions, you had about 10 minutes before your space marine starts gasping for air. This seemed sort of a lame way to get you to hurry. He can carry a multitude of weapons; why not a little extra air? I'm sure some players out there will look at this aspect of the game and take it as another fun and interesting challenge rather than a flaw.
Overall, the graphics are just average. The game is done with sprites so it looks more like Doom than Quake. Additionally, the death scenes and animations are not up to par with today's games. There are some nice touches to Rebel Moon Rising that stand out, but don't quite save the game. You can play in just about any resolution you want (all the way up to 1600x1200) and I liked that feature. I ran the game on a PII 266 with 64 MB RAM, and the higher resolutions were choppy -- and disappointing. I found that 800x600 was the most playable on my system, but it seems that the code could have been optimized more for speed and fluidity at different resolutions.
The colors and lighting were impressive, however. This is where the MMX really shines. Doom anddon't even touch the color depth and lighting effects displayed here. Pretty as they are, I could not help thinking they could have done a better job with 3D cards. Until I see an MMX title as cool as , I won't be satisfied with it.
The audio was impressive, not because it's anything new or unique, but because it is there when it's supposed to be. The sound effects are crisp and clear, and the music is great. I like it when a game does a solid job in this area.
Rebel Moon Rising does support network play. I didn't get the chance to try this out; maybe some of you could let us know how it stacks up to the competition. If you have a microphone, you can take advantage of built-in voice command features. I did not try this out, but it sounds like it could be cool.
Standard issue space-marine handbook. But we all know how to play a 3D shooter by now, right?
Pentium w/MMX, 16 MB RAM, 35 MB hard drive space, Windows 95, 4X CD-ROM drive, 16-bit PCI video card, Windows 95-compatible sound card
Rebel Moon Rising is noticeable in the crowd of today's 3D shooters, and that is an accomplishment in itself. It did have some great new mission ideas that I have never seen in a 3D shooter, and it had some neat graphic effects. Unfortunately, it still won't be on my hard drive for long. If you really need to check out a MMX-only title, Rebel Moon Rising is a good choice; but if you want a truly awesome 3D experience, this game just won't deliver. I give this game an 80 out of 100 for some nice effects and some refreshing new mission layouts.