SegaSoft's forthcoming 3D shooter is nothing if not ambitious: Players control one of eight world-class anti-terrorist operatives in action-packed missions that slowly uncover a global conspiracy. You choose from Hollywood-style characters like an ex-NSA agent, a French assassin, a wily hacker, a beefy demolitions expert, and a beautiful Russian agent in single- or multiplayer games (networked through SegaSoft's Heat.net service, of course). With a choice of weaponry and agent on each mission, multiple camera views, and a mouse-controlled crosshair for precision kill shots, Vigilance looks to offer deeper, more methodical combat than its trigger-happy, corridor-crawling brethren.
A 3D accelerator card certainly makes Vigilance's polygonal realm look great, but the game's AnyWorld 3D engine delivers the goods even without one on board. The environments are admirably detailed in an attempt to enhance the game's realism. Although the game has suffered delays and there's still more work to be done, Vigilance is moving forward, slowly but surely.
In the all-too-near future, acts of terrorism plague the world more and more frequently. Only one strike force can defend humanity from this rising tide of violence: the Special Intelligence Operations Network (SION).
SION recruits the best operatives from the world’s most elite intelligence agencies. SION’s operatives have been selected to complement each other’s strengths rather than duplicate them. Where one is a computer genius, another is an expert in biomechanical engineering. Demolition specialists join forces with masters of reconnaissance. SION is second to none in the anti-terrorist vanguard.
Despite this tremendous team, terrorism continues to mushroom. Some are beginning to suspect that these seemingly random acts of violence might be part of a larger conspiracy. Are these incidents simply isolated acts, or is there some connection?
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
After reading the storyline and listening to the opening dialogue on the CD, I was pumped and ready to play a game that would test my skills at a 3D shooter and have a great plot. Well, I am sad to say that Vigilance only hit on one of those elements, and I really was hoping it would be the 3D shooter part. Sorry, it was the plot that made me want to keep trying to play the game.
The gameplay can be downright frustrating if you do not have a computer that can handle this game. I played it on a computer with a AMD K6-2 333Mhz, 96 MB RAM, Diamond Monster Fusion video card (Voodoo Banshee chipset), and a 32X CD-ROM drive, and the game still would bog down to a crawl whenever there was any action at all. I tried everything in my power to squeeze a few frames per second out of my system, but the game just would creep along. Even at the lowest resolution with the details set to low, it was still choppy. As I write this review, it is rumored that SegaSoft is working on a patch for the game that will fix some performance problems, but it would have been nice to have the problems fixed before shipping it in the first place.
Enough whining about performance issues; let's get to the meat and potatoes of the game. I did like the fact that there are eight agents to choose from, and they all have their own qualities that can help you out in a pinch. There are also twelve training levels and twelve actual missions to complete. With a total of 24 levels to play and your choice of eight different characters to choose from, that gives you a bunch of different ways to play the game over and over (you do the math).
The game also boasts three different camera angles to choose from: third person, third person removed, and first person. The game takes on a whole different perspective when you try to play the different levels in the different views.
If you like weapons, Vigilance should impress you with its arsenal. You have over thirty different weapons that are scattered throughout the levels for your shooting pleasure. I found that some weapons looked cool and sprayed a lot of bullets everywhere, but didn’t have the killing power to take down a fly. One thing that I did like, and that I think that every shooter needs to include, is the reload button. We all know that there is not a clip made in the world that can hold 200 rounds of ammo for a 9mm pistol. It adds more realism to the game and makes you think twice before stepping into a room full of guys.
Room For Improvement
Some of the levels can be quite long, and there is not a save game option while playing them. There is nothing worse than battling with a level for 45 minutes, getting to the last room and being killed by a little guard who was posted just inside the door.
The graphics for this game are above average (if your computer can handle it). I did notice that there was a recurring phenomenon of blood floating in the middle of doorways and people disappearing into walls after you shot them. I know that SegaSoft is looking at this problem (I hope) and will fix these with the patch. (hint)
Vigilance supports up to sixteen players in multiplayer LAN games and also on the HEAT network. I didn’t get a chance to try it online because I don’t have a LAN, and with the performance problems I had I probably would get my butt spanked anyway.
Windows 95 or better, Pentium 133 with graphics accelerator or Pentium 166 without, 32 MEG RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, Direct X 5.0 or higher
The manual that comes with the game fits in the CD case and has all the information that you need to get started. It doesn’t get in-depth about anything and gives you the basics. I guess that is why they put the training missions in the game.
_Vigilance _had potential about one and a half years ago, but it never kept up with the times. If this game had been released back then, it might have had a pretty good success rate. But the quality of rival games on the market right now means they are going to eat this game for lunch.