Game Over Online ~ Eliminator

GameOver Game Reviews - Eliminator (c) Psygnosis, Reviewed by - Cyrus / Prolix /

Game & Publisher Eliminator (c) Psygnosis
System Requirements Pentium 133, 32 MB Ram, DirectX 6.1
Overall Rating 38%
Date Published Tuesday, February 9th, 1999 at 12:46 PM

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

Futuristic death racing. One of the few genres that hasn’t been totally played out. Wait, I must be thinking of something else. Eliminator is another death racing game that demonstrates what happens when a poor game company gets a hold of a copy of DirectX. (ouch! -Ed.) By saying this I mean poor graphics, scratchy sound, sloppy control and an unoriginal premise. Overall a bad game.

In Eliminator you are in a futuristic arena filled with obstacles such as robots, land mines and gun turrets. You are required to reach the finish line under a certain amount of time. You collect time bonuses by blowing up your enemies. As you progress through a level you enter several different arenas where you must kill everything before you may proceed. It gets old really fast.

The graphics are 3d accelerated, but it is hard to tell. The enemies look like sprites, and your ship is very poorly modeled. Hostile projectiles are nothing more then translucent triangles or rectangles, and aren’t very intimidating. The enemy models are also very poor and unoriginal. Most remember hovercrafts that have been seen in other games or the robots from Mechwarrior 2. The level design is uninspired and very repetitive. The textures are very boring, well drawn, but boring. It is possible to pick from several different resolutions and I found it runs quite well in 800x600. Overall the graphics are somewhat mushy and very unoriginal. I think that if a little bit more time had been spent on smoothing them out and livening up the projectiles and explosions this game would look a lot better.

The sound is somewhat scratchy and very quiet. Music is played straight from the CD and it stutters often on my computer. The default music volume is very loud which makes it hard to hear the sound. After I turned it down, I played for five minutes and turned it back up. The sound is just more of the same. The same annoying laser cannon blast and crackling of machine guns that has been in every game since soundcards were introduced. Overall a poor job.

The gameplay is like the sound and multiplayer; boring. As you race around the arena you collect new weapons and they, but always disappointing. The control is very poor and I think that this game has the first ever space ship that is able to circle-strafe. The enemy AI is very stupid causing this game to be very easy. The concept of fighting ships in an arena is pretty cool but it has been overdone and is poorly executed in this game. Overall I could find very little to say about the way this game plays due to its simplistic nature and lack of originality. Believe me, you’ve seen it all before.

Multiplay is supported through Microsoft DirectPlay which basically means that any connection under the sun is open for use. I found it to be relatively lag free but boring, and overall just more of the same. You just race around and do the same thing as the rest of the game. There really isn’t anything that gives it bite or makes it addictive.

Fun Factor & Overall Impression:
I normally don’t combine these two categories, but I felt it necessary due to my lack of things to say about this game. This game is not fun, it is just repetitive. I expected slightly better things from this game due to the high quality of games like it that have been recently released (i.e DethKarz). If you’re looking for car fighting and high quality graphics, get DethKarz. If your looking to increase the number of titles in your Psygnosis collection, pick this one up. Otherwise stay away.


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Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

In Eliminator, you assume the role of an escaping prisoner who is fed up with being used as a military guinea pig. The military is forcing you to fly new prototype ships, the only catch is you must complete missions with your life at stake. You must destroy hordes of robotic monsters in order to complete each mission. The last catch to your testing is the addition of a time bomb placed on your ship, if you do not complete the mission in under a set time, you die.

Direct3D is the display driver of choice for Eliminator, and my TNT card held up rather well running in 800x600. Unfortunately, Eliminator’s graphic engine didn’t put much strain on my TNT, due to the scanty graphics. Sporadically, I would notice a good special effect here and there, but for the most part Eliminator looks like something pulled out of ‘94-95. Eliminator is viewed via a chase cam behind the craft, and for the most part works very well with the game. The individual space ships are well done and don’t have any rough edges. However, that’s not saying too much, considering how unoriginal the spaceships are, ranging from a flying Frisbee to a fork shaped craft. Weapon effects are just about as poor as they come. Vulcan cannon gun shots are represented by triangular orange polygons, not too flashy. Rocket effects are ok, they emit a white trail of smoke when fired. I cannot say the same for explosion special effects, they consist of a few flat polygons colored orange with rough edges around them. The game tries to create a futuristic world feel to it, but doesn’t quite make me feel as though I am in a futuristic world. Grim backgrounds and drab colors are used to create more of an atmosphere, but don’t really help. If you’re after mind blowing D3D graphics, look elsewhere.

Controlling your craft is either done via joystick or keyboard. Personally I would have opted for mouse support, but Psygnosis did not include it. Attempting to play Eliminator on the keyboard can be a rather hellish task. Since several buttons are needed in order to accurately control the ship. After many configurations, I opted to bust out the old Gravis gamepad. Controls consist of accelerate, brake, raise targeting system up or down, primary weapons, and secondary weapons. One feature that really annoyed me about the game, was the fact that I had to slowly raise my targeting system up or down in order to destroy my enemies. By the time I raised the targeting system up, the enemy would be back on the ground again. An auto targeting system should be used, instead of having to do it manually. I also wound up doing a lot of accelerating and breaking, due to mines placed in straight-aways. For the most part control is average, I didn’t have many problems piloting my ship around corners or through twisting speed ways. Sound effects consist of a few rocket noises, some blips, and more cheesy blips and bloops. The sound effects definitely did not do it for me and I would expect sound effects like this from a 3rd rate company, but not from Pysgnosis.

The basic idea of the game is simple, blast the hell out of the robotic monsters. In order to advance to different places in the level you must destroy all the monsters in that area. A task that proves itself rather simple time after time. Off the box you are given a story, however, once you get into the game there is absolutely no story to be followed, just arcade action. The robotic creatures are pretty boring as well, they consist of mechs, spiders, flying diamond shaped purple things (technical terms), and other weird shaped creatures. Monster AI consists of running away then turning around and shooting or simple dive bomb attacks and flying away. To assist you various power-ups have been included in the levels. They consist of primary gun power-ups, rockets, dual rockets, time bonus’s, and health power-ups. The lack of weapon variety and originality is a real deterrent to replay value. If you're looking for a new multiplayer experience, look elsewhere. If Eliminator had more weapons, arena style deathmatches would have been at least somewhat amusing. TCP/IP and IPX connections are supported, with three entire deathmatch levels, this should grab your attention for about five minutes!

Anyone looking to cure a bit of that winter boredom should look elsewhere. Eliminator is nothing more that recycled garbage from the early nineties. Eliminator will be one of those games that passes silently into the night without an ounce of recognition from the gaming society.

Good: Honestly can’t think of anything positive to say about Eliminator
Bad: Dated graphics, inferior AI, bad multiplayer, bad targeting system, no originality, bland weapons, and poor environments.


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