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Game Over Online ~ Peacemaker

GameOver Game Reviews - Peacemaker (c) Jinxter, Reviewed by - Rebellion / Wolf /

Game & Publisher Peacemaker (c) Jinxter
System Requirements Pentium 100, 16MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 51%
Date Published Wednesday, June 23rd, 1999 at 07:47 PM


Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Back about a year ago, a small developer designed a game destined to glorify 3D accelerators and inspire a new level of arcade shooters. The developer was Rage and the game was Incoming. It was a simple game, but it had eyecandy galore and it was fun. Another unknown, Jinxter has put out a similar game in Peacemaker.

Loading it up for the first time, I went through the options so I could configure up the graphics and get ready to play. Graphics were no problem, although the lack of screen sizes was a disappointment, but then I moved on to setup my gamepad and was terribly upset that there’s NO WAY to set it up in the game. I hoped to myself that maybe there wouldn’t be a need to change up the settings. Unfortunately for me, I was wrong. Pressing to the right and left, strafes instead of turning which makes the control extremely difficult. The other buttons are laid out decently, but I can’t see anyone in their right mind switching strafe and turning controls around without giving anyway to change. Since you are flying a helicopter hybrid, you use the throttle to control your altitude. This is sort of a pain on my Gravis Xterminator, but other controllers might fare better.

The graphics themselves definitely take after Incoming. Jinxter tries to throw as much eyecandy in as possible. The airplanes are well modeled and you’ve got the standard 3D rendered explosions, but it really doesn’t do a lot to go beyond the “ho-hum I’ve seen that before” mentality. Ground targets seem to have had a little less effort put into them and come out looking blocky. It does allow you to change between views from a nose camera to two chase cameras. Some more views would have been nice, like a cockpit cam or a flyby cam. The HUD takes up a good portion of the screen, and although it’s somewhat annoying, it really doesn’t affect gameplay as much as I’d have thought.

Audio is pretty typical for this style of game. While all the effects are well done, there’s no 3D support which could have raised the entertainment level of the game. There’s a nice level of ingame speech and it doesn’t overdo anything. Peacemaker’s sound leaves no disappointments and delivers a good amount of quality.

The game itself is based around a special task force for combating terrorist organizations worldwide. They have been granted access to the top technology to combat the growth of quality arms among terrorists. You will be given a handful of helicopter-airplane hybrids loaded up with machine guns and missiles with which to combat the enemy forces. The missions are pretty varied, from escort missions, to base defense, to deep strikes, so mission repetition isn’t too bad. The variety of enemy units, as well as your own seems very limited though. Weapons are, at best, ill conceived. The machine gun isn’t powerful enough to make strafing a viable strategy. It does have an auto-aim but it only works on an up/down aspect, not side to side, which means that you’ll basically be stopping in front of your target to shoot at it. Missiles work fine, although they’re limited. The targetting system could have been redefined to target hostile enemies as priorities instead of the closest enemy target in front of you, like buildings. You do have limited defenses on your craft, but most of the time, you’ll be dodging fire.

Surprisingly, there’s no multiplayer, not even a split screen mode. Multiplayer probably wouldn’t be all that entertaining, but most games in this genre do feature some sort of multiplayer option. This, combined with the lack of other options, really gives the game a low replay value. It’s not going to reach out and suck you in, nor will it entertain you for too long. Missions seem to play rather slow, although, there are special levels that you can do if you complete the mission within a given time. These speed levels aren’t real easy to get to, so they don’t really add to the game’s play.

Incoming was a fast paced, white knuckled arcade flyer, while Peacemaker won’t even charge a nine-volt battery. It’s slow and tedious, with nothing to separate from the rest overflowing the bargain bins.

 

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Rating
51%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: Wolf Divider Right

In the world we live in today, games are released by the scores every month as developers push and crowd to get into that best selling Top 10 list. At one end of the spectrum you have the really great wonderful games, aka Battlezone, Command & Conquer, Dungeon Keeper. On the other end you get the really wonky horrible things that cower in the shadows and wallow in self-pity and shame. You would always need both the good and the bad games to balance things out, reach equilibrium. If you had only good games, then there would still be "bad" good games and "good" good games, (bear with me). Realising this fact that a reached equilibrium is a vital part of the games market, my argument would have to falter, stutter and die as soon as I booted up PeaceMaker.

Initial warning comes from the names "Jinxter" and "PBH Systems" which are the developer/publisher. Never having heard of either of them, caution was to be exercised. The launch menu started, which shows some picture of a chopper and a aircrafty looking thing that seem to have been the victim of a bizarre accident involving Paintbrush and the Blur tool... a good sign nonetheless. Closing my eyes and praying as I hit the "start game" button from the launch menu, the thing started up normally, not showing a hint of the horrors to come. The menu was some abhorred devils construction with lots of black and bright orange, which has a rather interesting effect on your eyes for the first three seconds, until your eyes get sore. Going into the options menu there was a disappointingly small amount of options and no way in which you could change your controls. Now, my opinion of games that don't allow you to remap your keys is that they should be taken out and shot. Remapping keys is vital to your successful mastering of any game, and without it you will feel helpless and afraid as your fingers reach areas they never knew existed before, or you have no clue as to what your controls might be and the game tries to lengthen its playing time with you smashing your keyboard around and screaming obscenities at it as you desperately try and find a "fire" or "run away" key.

As you start a new game, you are confronted with a screen full of garble. Storyline they call it I think. Now as a fact, none of these sort of games have ever managed to come up with a even the tiniest shred of plausible storyline to make an excuse for you flying around and managing to take out the whole army of some bad guy single-handedly. Therefore I feel its wrong to mark the game down for the lack of storyline, and just award it a few marks for the poor guy who drew the short straw, thought deeply for about 10 seconds about a storyline and even bothered to write a whole screen full of inspiriting text in the beginning.

Having bullied myself this far, I start my first mission, which is a handy training mission so I can get the hang of the controls. You have a choice from three different "hovercrafts". There are three factors, "Shield", "Payload" and "Mobility", all really self-explanatory. Each of these vehicles is strong in one of these areas and they do play rather different from each other. Still praying for some miracle to prove me wrong on all my instincts as the loading screen pops up; reality slaps me in the face as the arena appears before me. Having chosen some medium type hovercraft, I start facing the ass-end of my vehicle. Blue jet streams are blazing away and my hovercraft is happily obscuring the middle part of the screen from my vision. Remaining optimistic (I deserve a medal for this), I start moving about, only to notice that to my horror the controls are totally munted. Instead of having Left and Right as (here it comes) Left and Right, it has them as Strafe Left and Strafe Right. And it has the 7 and 9 Numpad keys assigned as Left and Right.

Coming back from your close examination of the keyboard layout, you'll have seen that those keys are rather annoyingly placed as turn left and right keys. Having made even the movement a cumbersome and irritating task, my optimism had taken a beating and I mentally prepared myself for things to come. I must note though, that just today I got my new joystick (MS 3D Sidewinder Precision Pro) and the game plays a bit better on it, but not by much. The rest of the training involves the player learning that all you got is a machinegun and some Hellfire missiles (though every missile in the game looks exactly like a Hellfire missile). This learning is continued as you find out that your machinegun is a completely useless stupid thing that couldn't hit a building from a meter away and your hellfire has low ammo and tends to sometimes randomly miss a target and decide the dirt right next to it is a more suitable as a target.

As you start your first mission, wiping out an enemy outpost, you and your amazingly stupid and idiotic wingman set off to blow every single blip, on your radar, away. Your amazingly stupid targeting system just loves to target completely utterly, useless little barn buildings rather than the big bad SAM armed tanks standing right next to it, having a jolly good time trying to blow you away. Continually hitting some "untarget" button, you prowl around and wait for it to finally target a bloody tank. Then you fire a Hellfire (which probably misses) and a second one (which should kill it). The graphics are really shoddy allround. Your hovercraft looks just above average (the chopper at least), but the enemy tanks, being smaller than a matchbox, are little brown boxes with a little match or something sticking out somewhere to discern it from a house. Fences are made of completely impenetrable iron that your bullets, which for all they may try, cannot possibly get through, and anything constructed of something stronger than wood seems immune to your machine gun as well. The missiles, which all look the same, just look completely boring, and your flares also look just like a missile, except that they drift upwards. Terrain consists of green grass and grey roads, and perhaps some brown/white mountains, that’s about it. Overall it creates the perfect vision of a completely and utterly boring arena.

The sound is really rather absent in this game, which isn't too bad because I would think any sound they *would* put in, would be as bad as the rest of the game. The few sounds you do have, like Machine gun fire and little warning bleeps, are just bland and boring as the rest of the game.

If you decide to ignore al this and continue on playing the game, (ignorant fool) you will find that an extremely boring and tedious 20 minutes later you will have FINALLY completed the first mission, only to find out the next 3 missions are incredibly simple and involve about 60 seconds of shooting up some choppers. Then it gets really hard again, but I doubt anybody will ever get that far though and not have run away screaming after trying to complete the first mission.

Overall it’s a shoddy little shoot 'em up game that gives you no fun whatsoever and creates a numb void of utter boredom from the time you play it.

 

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Rating
51%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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