a game by SCi Games
Platform: PC
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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Quite what 'coming of age' means when applied to a shoot 'em up is slightly beyond me. Maybe it means it has to wander about in an ill-fitting suit among relatives it scarcely knows, in the hope of loading up with envelopes full of hard cash. Or perhaps we have to shut it in a dirty shed and starve it for three days, then circumcise it with a rusty cheese knife. More likely, it's just PR-speak for "We've done a shoot 'em up and unless we say something fancy about it, all the snobby pc owners who look down on console games will ignore it." After all, SWIV's been around in one form or another since back in the days when games looked like a digital watch gone wrong.

Don't panic, though - this isn't another one of those poxy 'retro' games that everyone who doesn't have to pay for the buggers gets so excited about, where you spend two grand on a Pentium and another 40 quid on top to play a game you could have had on a Spectrum six years ago. This one's been made all modern and 'with it'. Even the name means something different. It used to stand for Silk Worm IV, but not any more. The world moves on... And being a shoot 'em up, tradition demands that your mindless carnage be encapsulated within a ludicrous plot.

You are an ex-special forces soldier who's making a tidy living by churning out novels about your supposed deathdealing past, even though you were only a cook in the special forces and the only death-dealing you did was during that unfortunate salmonella accident. Somewhere in the world there's a civil war going on. And with the inevitability that must sometimes make you wish you didn't live in shoot 'em up land, your daughter is kidnapped by rebel troops -presumably in the hope that your cooking skills run in the family and they'll be able to use her as a chemical weapon. So, with a heartfelt sigh, off you go to win her back in your helicopter and jeep (known as Special Weapon Interdiction Vehicles so that the game can still be called SWIV).

The bare facts

And what you find is a full 3D landscape, somewhat reminiscent of the one in Magic Carpet. And a tactical shoot 'em up approach, somewhat reminiscent of Desert Strike (shoot the radars and you've more chance of sneaking about undetected; shoot certain objectives before certain power-ups appear, etc). Except that the action is about five times more hectic. There are four different landscapes, including Arctic, Lunar and Martian attack scenarios (that'll teach them to throw fossils at us). And a number of different ground-based vehicles, including skidoos and lunar buggies. And shitloads of weapons and power-ups to help you in what looks like being a bloody difficult task. We'll tell you all about it next month. If you're good.

Download SWIV 3D


System requirements:

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

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PC Screenshots

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