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Game Over Online ~ Messiah

GameOver Game Reviews - Messiah (c) Interplay, Reviewed by - Jaguar

Game & Publisher Messiah (c) Interplay
System Requirements Pentium 233, 64MB Ram, 3D Accelerator, 250MB HD
Overall Rating 71%
Date Published Monday, May 1st, 2000 at 03:03 PM

Divider Left By: Jaguar Divider Right

Shiny, who delivered such classics as Earthworm Jim and MDK, bring us Messiah, a third-person action/adventure title. Those of us who like to keep up with all the gaming gossip and news will most probably have heard of Messiah some time ago. As is the trend in the computer gaming industry, Messiah was plagued by an overly long development time and therefore was delayed enough to cause frustration for those waiting for the game. To be brief, Messiah is an above average game, which has suffered from minor design issues, which in turn, cause major gameplay problems.

In Messiah, you play Bob, an angel sent down to a futuristic Earth to save humanity from doom. If you're thinking, "It's a just a glorified Quake-style plot," then you would be right. So as you can see, the storyline was definitely not a priority on the developer's minds. Aside from that, the premise of Messiah is quite original. As Bob, you are pretty useless, but you are able to possess anyone in the game's world and by controlling them you are able to perform various tasks.

Shiny has taken it into their own hands to create a graphics engine for Messiah and I must say they have done a superb job. From a technical stand point, the engine runs smoothly and allows many features to be implemented. The colours are vibrant and bright, although coloured lighting is overused in many areas. I was very impressed with all the models throughout the game. They were well designed and moved realistically. With such a high standard of 3D models, I was surprised to notice that the model of Bob seemed to be neglected and appeared below par. The stages have a good look and feel to them. The futuristic architecture is believable and is well implemented into the game. All in all, the graphics won't blow you away as we've seen it all before, but don't get me wrong, they still are damn good.

I have no complaints with Messiah in the sound department. The sound effects are used suitably and fit perfectly in the game. The voices are well done and as is the case throughout Messiah, there is an underlying humourous edge.

Messiah has the graphics and the sounds, but how does it play? Unfortunately, for a good deal of the time, not very well. Generally, the game presents itself as very dynamic as you can possess just about anyone who moves, yet the game is very linear. The "puzzles" are usually only solved with a specific character. The freedom, which you expect with this possession theory, does not exist. This, however, is not the largest problem. Trouble lies in the fact that you die too often. You die all the time and I feel like I'm spending most of the time saving and reloading. The futuristic world Shiny has created is obviously a dangerous world because certain death lies around every corner. I have no problem with a game being difficult or challenging, but in an action game like this, it kills the fluency of the gameplay. If you want to save and reload every 3,5 seconds, go play a realistic first-person simulation where you control real people and use realistic weapons. This shouldn't be the case in a game where you are a flying baby with angel wings. Unfortunately, Messiah has made itself a name of being a buggy game and you know there can only be problems when the largest link on the game's official web site is to the troubleshooting section.

On the brighter side, Messiah has some great aspects. The AI of the characters found in the game is of an excellent standard. They respond to the action around them accordingly, sometimes even surprising me. As I mentioned earlier, Shiny have made an extremely innovative game and it keeps you interested as you progress to new areas and get to use new characters. The interest, however, does not balance out the irritation experienced from the regularity of dying, therefore killing the fun. Since it is a very short game, maybe Shiny were trying to hide this fact by making you play longer.

In conclusion, I enjoyed playing Messiah, regardless of the above mentioned gameplay issues. Shiny have put together a good package and they should be proud of it. We can only expect good things to come from them in the future and let's hope they have learnt from their mistakes.

[ 17/20 ] Graphics
[ 13/15 ] Sound
[ 22/30 ] Gameplay
[ 12/20 ] Fun Factor
[ 00/05 ] Multiplayer
[ 07/10 ] Overall Impression


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