Game Over Online ~ High Impact Paintball

GameOver Game Reviews - High Impact Paintball (c) Infogrames, Reviewed by - Nicky Dimes

Game & Publisher High Impact Paintball (c) Infogrames
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium II-266, 32MB Ram, 150MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 18%
Date Published Tuesday, August 22nd, 2000 at 09:37 PM

Divider Left By: Nicky Dimes Divider Right

After two absolutely dreadful representations of the sport (and I use that term loosely) of paintball, in the form of Extreme Paintbrawl and Extreme Paintbrawl II, WizardWorks is giving the pastime another shot with the release of High Impact Paintball. For the love of Pete, stop beating the dead horse!

One of the few things High Impact Paintball does right is bring the pastime back to its roots, incorporating classic outdoor arenas with popular styles of play. Gone are the battles in the alleys, warehouses and underground parking lots that populated the Extreme Paintbrawl series. Not that there's anything wrong with taking the sport outside of its boundaries, but you should at least do the sport justice by getting the more rudimentary aspects down pat.

High Impact Paintball offers three modes of play: Quick Play, Single Player, and Multiplayer. The Quick Play mode allows you climb into your gear and jump right into the action without worrying about setting up the options of a particular game. Quick Play defaults to the ever popular Capture the Flag variation, although once you begin a Single Player campaign, the Quick Play will default to the last variation you played in that campaign, whether that be Siege, Speedball, etc. In the Single Player mode, you'll have more control over the different features of each game. You can enter a Practice Field, or select from four other variations of paintball including Capture the Flag, Free for All, Siege and Speedball. Depending which of the variations you decide to partake in, you'll have the opportunity to select the arena, the playing conditions (including amount of fog), and the level of difficulty. If you select a variation in which you'll be teamed with other computer players, you can issue commands and formations to those individuals. You'll also have the opportunity to purchase more powerful equipment between each game. Cash is accumulated with respect to how many points you score during the each competition as well as whether or not you were on the winning team or not.

Arguably the most important mode of play in High Impact Paintball is the Multiplayer mode. We all love to beat up on computer opponents, but there's nothing better than fragging your friends. High Impact Paintball supports play over the Internet or LAN connection, and brings to the table all the variations found in the Single Player mode. Unfortunately, the Multiplayer mode suffers from the same issues that the Single Player mode encounters, so let's address those many problems.

Where does one begin? For starters, as a budget title, High Impact Paintball certainly comes with some hefty system requirements, especially considering this game doesn't exactly feature the latest in 3D technology. I can't quite figure out why this title is a power hog. Loading times, entering a game and moving from one menu to another, aren't too bad, but exiting an existing game can be an adventure. The menus themselves are relatively well designed, but the highlight/display text is horrendous. When you move the cursor over an existing option, a piece of text appears explaining what that option does. The problem with the text is that it's multi-coloured and takes up more of the screen than it should. It's hardly legible and unfortunately that exact same text is used to display the scores during games. I can't explain why they chose such a display text, let alone not touching it up during development.

You thought I was done? Oh no, there's plenty of other issues to discuss. One of the largest problems with High Impact Paintball is the lack of arenas in general. Each of the variations only comes with two courses to select from. This makes gameplay extremely repetitive after a few rounds. The arenas are all square and extremely petite. You can walk in one direction for maybe 20 seconds before you hit the border. The arenas are cluttered with buses, police cars and all sorts of other obstacles to hide behind, but the lack of variety in terms of the arenas themselves is none too appealing. And the AI, oh the AI. Computer opponents will do some of the strangest things on the battlefield. In some instances, I found it less than difficult to flank opponents into submission, as they don't seem to pay attention to anything other than what's directly in front of them. Sometimes I'd run right in front of them and they wouldn't even chase after me as I ran away. Allied AI is just as bad. While you can issue orders and formations to your comrades, once the heat of battle rears up, they either go berserk and do their own thing, or they stick too well to the plan, endangering themselves to fire. The AI on both ends aren't able to adapt to various situations well at all.

All these issues that I've discussed are not only present in Single Player mode, they're also present in Multiplayer mode. Whether it's the hefty system requirements, poor artificial intelligence, lack of arenas (4 variations x 2 arenas per = 8 arenas, give or take), horrendous text display or the graphics in general, they all rear their ugly head during play.

High Impact Paintball boasts 'all the fun, none of the pain', but isn't that what Paintball is all about? The fear of pain? The adrenaline rush that results? High Impact Paintball fails to bring that aspect to the table. There are way too many flaws in High Impact Paintball to recommend it to even the most enthusiastic Paintballers. Save your money for the real thing.


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