Steel Harbinger

a game by Mindscape
Genre: Adventure/RPG
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 6.9/10, based on 7 reviews
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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Alien chicks wearing thong-armor are always a welcome element in any sci-fi piece of work. Of course, Steel Harbinger isn't just a pretty face and a smile; it also packs a nice frightening storyline to go along with all the laser-blasting action.

The first thing to grab you is the freaky opening cinema sequence detailing the story of the invasion.The aliens storm the world and aren't shy about shedding human blood in their quest to turn the human race into half-metallic organisms.The plot's far from original, but entertaining gameplay is the more important factor in this adventure.

You have to perform a variety of tasks involving a lot of searching and evasion along the vast landscape. Steel controls well and, hopefully, its mission objectives will deliver the diversity needed for this type of game.

Download Steel Harbinger

Playstation

System requirements:

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

PSX

System requirements:

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

Game Reviews

It's hundreds of years in the future and strange objects are falling from the sky, sending forth metallic tendrils that invade organic matter. Only one part-human, part-alien girl can save the world in this unusual shooter. Steel Harbinger features a 3/4-overhead view, 3D graphics, and a 360-degree perspective.

The half-human, half-alien heroine walks the landscape and destroys alien invaders with weaponry that fires straight from her...body.

Steel Harbinger's ramping up for a blistering round of Loaded-style action on the PlayStation. The plot: Invading alien pods are converting everything they touch to metallic life forms, and you play as a young woman bent on stopping the invasion. Your converted arm serves as your means of destruction, and you collect a scathing array of weapons to attach to it. Fighting from a perspective that enables you to zoom in and out, you teleport to cities across the country and even the Moon to complete the nonlinear missions. With futuristic 3D graphics and a healthy helping of gore. Harbinger's well on the way to delivering a strategic yet adrenaline-packed splatterfest.

While far from perfect, Steel Harbinger has some notable qualities which almost make it a top offering in this genre.

You play as a scantily dad half-human, half-alien who is the only hope for a besieged Earth. The game is overhead shooter with the usual elements: weapons, enemies, and mission objectives. For variety, there are also different vehicles (like a hovercraft and tank) you can step into and control.

One of the best things about Harbinger is the huge size of the levels. Set in the rubble of various cities, they can be explored for hours.

The enemies range from visually stunning (giant worms) to ridiculous (dogs that shoot laser beams from their heads).

Cameplay is intense, but slowdown frequently creeps in when things get hectic. And the game can be annoyingly difficult: Sometimes you are swarmed by enemies and quickly blasted into oblivion. Laughable full-motion-video sequences serve only to interrupt the action.

Harbinger has some great things going for it, but the distracting videos and game-play flaws drag it down. It's definitely worth a look, but there are stronger offerings out there.

ProTips:

  • In the Moonbase stage, destroy the cannon towers by standing directly underneath them, then jumping up and firing. This is easier, and safer, than facing them head-on.
  • Water can be the deadliest enemy-fall into it and your life bar is emptied in seconds. Be especially careful when jumping between islands.
  • The stages are huge. One way to keep track of where you have been is to blast the trees.
  • Avoid firing shots into the distance and following them for cover; you could accidentally hit one of the human survivors.
  • In the Las Vegas stage, kill the alien-producing worms quickly: Anything they produce immediately attacks.
  • Giant menaces, like the centipede, can be used to your advantage. If one follows you, it destroys anything in its path--including enemy aliens!

Graphics

The graphics look a little chunky, but the FMV sequences are very clean. The explosions and carnage are on the tame side, though.

Sound

The music is moody and foreboding, a perfect accompaniment to the bombed-out cities; but the sound effects are weak, with tinny laser blasts and mild explosions.

Control

Your character is easy enough to master, but jumps are imprecise--especially in areas with small footholds.

Fun Factor

The enormous levels are fun to explore and at times require you to puzzle your way out.

People say:

6.5

I'm not sure what to think about this game. At first I thought It was being serious--the alien takeover and the father who desperately wants to save his dough-ter-but then the other video was Just plain silly. Sure, the acting In all of the FMV Is some of the worst I've seen In a long time, but the Idea of the game Is dramatic. There's plenty of blood and guts If that's what you're looking (or. The game Itself has decent control, although the jumping could be better. The graphics are also decent but still kind of rough. There are actual missions to complete so It's not all gore. Overall, SH Is just kind of a silly, bloody and average game.

7.5

Blg-boobed, flesh-eating zombie heroines? Works for me, Steel Harbinger Is one of the better mindless shoot-'em-ups out there. Hie graphics are really well done, and the animation Is as smooth as It needs to be, I didn't like the onslaught of enemies. It Is Impossible not to get hit by enemy fire often, but the game makes up for it by giving you plenty of health-ups (you can eat corpses for some energy recovery-you don't gel to see that everyday). The cinemas were extremely cheesy, though some parts were purposefully done so, giving us comic relief. Overall, it Is a nice, long game that should keep you busy.

8.0

SH has nearly all the qualities of an awesome action game: solid gameplay, great graphics, a cool plot and excellent sound effects. The only thing It lacks--and this sapped a full point from Its overall scone--Is good control. SH killed my hands. It's Just too dam difficult to make your character both walk and shoot the dozens of enemies that appear on screen. Still, you can play the game okay if you pause It every few minutes and shake out your sore hands. SH has 11 enormous levels and plenty of secrets. In fad, most levels will take you at least an hour to explore. You can drive cool vehicles--like tanks and ticks-too.

7.0

Let me start off by saying, I really like the star heroine. What a person to save the Earth. The story caught me by surprise as did the amount of sickness and gore in the stages. The action, although somewhat limited, Is still great fun. Running wild with projectile weapons and feeding off pieces of a carcass? You bet, And this Is only the start. As the game progresses so does the plot perfectly Interweaving the action to the story, something not seen very often in video games. SH however Is not entirely flawless, but fun for players who tike near-mindless destruction and mass gore. But keep in mind, this one Isn't for everyone.

We don't know where landscape came up with the game's name, but Steel Harbinger's plot is sure to sound familiar. Think Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a futuristic twist and you'll understand this 3D action/ad-venture game.

In Steel Harbinger, extraterrestrials are transforming humans into alien beings. Playing as a Punk woman whose arm can morph into various weapons, you must locate items and defeat the aliens.

Harbinger shakes up its linear platform-style play by allowing you to warp to locations.

Overview

Before I start this review, I must warn you that I may use the words "hooters" and "ass" quite frequently throughout the entire review. I apologize if this comes across as sexist or chauvinistic. I just want everyone to remember that most of the heroes in video games are big-biceped and barrel-chested males. I think it is only fair that when a game stars a female heroine, and the developers choose to dressed her very scantily, it should be O.K. to make reference to her hooters and ass (see, I started already). Others, like my girlfriend, find it completely demented to even notice the anatomy of a video game character. I guess I need therapy.

It is the year 2069 (I need therapy?) and the good old earth is under attack. Who is attacking the earth, you ask? Why, it's those nasty aliens again. The aliens are now dropping meteorites from above and upon impact, the meteorites release metallic tendrils that transform organic material, including plants, insects and animals, into deadly mutants. People are transformed into deadly mutants that will stop at nothing to kill everything.

Scattered throughout the vast worlds are survivors that have managed to hide from the attacks and mutants. These people are mostly unarmed and just hiding until someone comes to rescue them. The armed forces have also managed to send out special forces units to various areas throughout the country but they are out manned and outgunned.

Luckily, one of the pods malfunctioned on its way to the earth and some scientists managed to find the pod and try to study it for weaknesses. During the examinations, the pod comes alive and infects the head scientist's daughter. She has become hybrid, half human and half alien. The pod has not affected her brain, so there is only one option to save the earth. Send her in to the infected cities and stop the aliens.

Gameplay

Steel Harbinger places you right behind the G-string of Miranda, the half human, half alien fighting beauty. The basic object of Steel Harbinger is to explore different cities looking for various items and killing as many enemies as possible. Apparently, the standard military issue garment for half human, half alien warriors is a very revealing top and a G-string. Good thing that you play from behind the character perspective so you don't miss a single cheek shot.

Your first mission puts you deep in the heart of Kansas City. Your basic job is to kill everything infected, save everything not infected and collect weapons and credits along the way. There is no warming up, because you are thrown directly into one of the hottest areas in the country. After securing the area, you will move on to missions that go from Las Vegas to San Francisco and down to Los Angeles, then over to Nebraska. After some pretty fierce fighting, you make your way to Houston, Cape Canaveral, Washington and finally, the Moon.

All of the worlds are vast and difficult. This game does not have a difficulty setting, so everyone has to battle at the same level. It should take you quite a while to work your way through all of the different cities, save all the humans and kill all the aliens. Scattered throughout the cities are video phones. These phones are used by the scientists to relay any helpful information and data to you. The phones are free to use, but most of the time the information is pretty basic or the phone is just out of order. The first phone you see in each city is helpful because it tells you of your mission which usually goes something like "kill all of the enemies and activate the Satellite Net Node."

To help you along the way, you will find Telepads. The Telepads will teleport you to any city that you have the appropriate teleport card for and enough money to pay the fee. This adds to the objective of your missions. Between killing aliens and staying alive, you need to mix in searching for teleport cards and money. These are located throughout the world in various locations. Also, when you use the teleports, the camera zooms in on Miranda and we are graced with a close-up of her. She is nice enough to turn around completely so we get a full front and rear shot (insert your own hooters and ass comments here).

Steel Harbinger also has a ton of hidden power-ups and new weaponry. There never seems to be a shortage of ammunition located around the cities. One of the coolest parts of the game (besides the ...well, you know) is the way you increase your health after being damaged. There is the traditional health power vials scattered around but if you are running low and can't find a heath vial, just chomp on the remains of the enemies after you shoot them. That's right. Just pick up a limb and start munching away. As if that is not good enough, there is a little graphic on the bottom of the screen to let you know which part you are actually eating not to mention the lip smacking, chewing sounds.

In many of the cities, you will encounter secured areas. These areas are secured by palm print readers. This means that the gate will only unlock for the correct palm print. No problem. Just find the arm that has the correct hand on the end of it, remove the body it is attached to and bring it over to the reader and unlock the door. Cool!

Graphics

The graphics in Steel Harbinger are decent. I don't think you will find anything revolutionary, but you will find some pretty hard-core violence and some of the most revealing character shots around. The enemies are pretty original, ranging from the dogs with the lasers strapped to their muzzles to the giant centipede thing. The levels are all fairly dark and you will see some draw in, but it does not affect the gameplay. You have really good control over the camera angle during gameplay. I found it easiest to play with the camera zoomed out as far as possible so I could see around me. When the camera is zoomed up close, Miranda's, ummmm, special features are visible, but it is difficult to prepare for attacking enemies because they are on top of you before you can see them. There are some fairly cheesy FMV scenes and I don't understand why they scattered laser discs around that make you watch a FMV commercial for some futurist product.

Bottom Line

For a fairly mindless shooter, Steel Harbinger is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the vast cities and played for hours. The programmers definitely did not waste the Mature rating that the game received. The game has a good mix of blood and guts with some very unique and humorous features. I found myself apologizing to the innocent humans that I accidentally blew aways but had no hesitation in chomping on their arms or legs to replenish my health supply. Difficulty in the aiming of the gun and the almost impossibility in making accurate jumps was a bit annoying, but not overbearing. One last thing. I am not a psycho, and in real life I don't think chomping on arms would be cool. The G-String and hooters, on the other hand...

Snapshots and Media

Playstation Screenshots