Who remembers those arcade classics like Asteroids? You know, the ones where you zoom around the screen destroying anything and everything in your way, until you either crash or get blown up? The games were simple in their concept, but for some reason you just couldn't seem to stop pumping quarters into the machine. Ah, the memories. Reflexive's newest title, Swarm, is trying to stir up those memories, but the question is: does it succeed, and if so, is it worth your money?
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
It is obvious what Swarm is attempting to accomplish with its interface and gameplay. It's going for fast and furious arcade action; nonstop shoot-'em-up, blast the aliens into a thousand pieces excitement. Unfortunately I didn't feel that it accomplished its goal. In my opinion the game didn't have enough dazzle. The action just didn't seem fast enough, and in a game like this that's very important.
The controls in _Swarm- are extremely easy to get the hang of. This is especially true if you're not used to playing a lot of sims. The controls are very simple; the game stick's directions correspond to those on the screen. You have a single firing button and a special attack button, and the goal of the game is to shoot the enemy as much as you possibly can. It's as simple as it sounds and, although it's challenging, there's really not very much to it. Eventually it gets old. I know what you're thinking; "If that's the case, then why didn't this game totally fail?" The answer is simple. This game does manage to recapture the addictive properties of its predecessors. Once you start playing, you'll find yourself wanting to move on; it's mysteriously mesmerizing.
The graphics in Swarm aren't anything to write home about; in fact, they're quite average. On the plus side, the system requirements aren't very high; conversely, the graphics are average at best. The ship isn't very detailed, nor is the enemy, and the explosions look more like firecrackers than deep space explosions. The game's atmosphere is also rather mundane. Swarm is definitely not a graphical advancement and doesn't really even take advantage of existing technologies like 3D support. It's a disappointment all the way around.
The audio is also a major letdown. The music sounds like MIDI and isn't up to par with recent sound efforts by other companies. The sound does manage to recapture the type of feeling you got when playing some of the aforementioned arcade classics, but part of "modernizing" a genre is advancing it and Swarm doesn't really succeed in this department.
Windows 95, Pentium 90 or better, 16 MB RAM, 40 MB hard drive space, mouse. Sound card recommended
If you're looking for an arcade-style game, you'll probably realize that there isn't a market overload going on these days and if you're a big fan of the genre, this is one of the few you'll run into. That being the case, I'd say that for diehard fans that Swarm is worth it, although there have been better. For everyone else, this certainly isn't the game that's going to make you a fan of the genre, so you'll probably want to pass this one up.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP