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Game Over Online ~ Recoil

GameOver Game Reviews - Recoil (c) Electronic Arts, Reviewed by - SNiPEZ

Game & Publisher Recoil (c) Electronic Arts
System Requirements P-166, 32MB Ram, Direct X 5.0+
Overall Rating 90%
Date Published Tuesday, December 15th, 1998 at 10:35 AM


Divider Left By: SNiPEZ Divider Right

Electronic Arts has a very prestigious place amongst large gaming companies: with games such as the Need for Speed series, they have published some of the greatest hits made to date. This 3D shooter is different than most EA games, but I started it up with an open mind and lot of popcorn... for what I heard is that it was a cinematic battle game. I soon found out that it is much, much more.

The game starts off with an easy to use, very basic interface, and although this usually foreshadows ease in the game this was not the case. Even though it took only a few seconds to customize, it took a while to get used to the in-game controls. Recoil is a new take on the 3D shooting genre, the genre in which I feel the most technological advances have been made, and is the most interesting. This game won't let you down if you are one of the crazed shooters, or even if you like a bit of strategy, closing a gap between genres allowing players from both sides equal opportunity to win. Although most of it is shooting anything that moves, there are complex missions, which you just can't shoot you way through -- I like the idea of accomplishing more than senseless killing. Combine the power of a tank, great graphics, great sound, and Recoil proves to be addictive.

Recoil sports both Glide (3dfx) and Software rendering. Although Glide is both faster and better-looking than DirectX, it forces people with nVidia chipsets to wait for a patch, or play in software. I have another computer with an old Voodoo 1, so I ripped it out and stuck it in my new one to play with Glide. Though software runs relatively fast even compared to Glide, I would recommend you have a card which does have Glide support. The enemies are not exactly really complex, but it's still fun watching gunners on the back of jeeps fly out screaming as you fire a mortar in their direction. There are some great lighting effects, especially explosions and other projectiles, also the shadows are quite complex and well implemented into the already quality graphics.

Using what I feel is an intricate, very worthy looking head up display, you can see information on the many weapons you have, download mission objectives and all other battle data. This is a very impressive feature, making you really feel like you're piloting the huge war machine. It was well worth the many hours that were probably spent recording speech and specs. The graphics make up for the less than perfect controls, though they are customizable, they are still hard to use and each time you "transform" you have to get used to a new set of controls. I like the idea of four different modes of play, but it was hard to get used to four different types of movement no matter how similar they are. I was using only keyboard and mouse so maybe with a joystick (fully supported) the controls will be bearable. The game is a great mixture because of the transforming: some levels you fly, some you swim, but you still get a big gun, plenty of weapons and a large variety of enemies. It is good that there is such variety, 3D shooters like Quake tend to get repetitive, and this brings again a new aspect to the genre. The mission layouts are amazing: while disabling a force field, you may receive another mission on the fly, with full speech and diagrams of the area. You become more involved with the missions and know that there is a "point" to blowing up everything.

This creation is classified as a 3D shooter, and it certainly lives up to that. With the amazing HUD you can even see what your turret is aiming at in a zoomed mode, enabling you to fire heavy artillery to units that haven't even discovered your presence yet. The Artificial Intelligence in Recoil is not as firmly incorporated as the rest of the game. It's the basic 3D shooter enemies you would expect: they run away, then shoot at you, then die or kill you. Even with the higher level of gameplay and difficulties, there is no change to the enemy's intelligence (except they can dodge your weapons better). Although single player is now becoming extinct, with amazing AI in games like Half-Life, Recoil doesn't even stand a chance.

Unfortunately this game is still a 3D shooter; I need to repeat this because of the different approach to the genre it takes. The majority of the gameplay is still shooting, but unlike most shooters, it's not senseless shooting. You do need to follow what I feel is a pretty solid story line, starting from the theft of the Vehicle and finishing with the total demise of the enemy. No matter how good you are at action games, you will enjoy the shift into a battle ready tank. As I have said before, this is no ordinary tank. It is the Battle Force Tank (BFT), a new unit with a new type of metal making it light and very maneuverable. It sports the ability of transforming from basic treads to a variety of modes of transportation. You need to hover over lava and dive beneath the waves, making the BTF an All Terrain Vehicle, with a twist. There are a variety of weapons and upgrades that you can choose from. In the end, the classic mortar became my favorite weapon to use.

Sound in the game is intense, from the awesome blasting 3D gunfire, to the incoming change of orders from command. With all these superb sound effects combined, it really makes you eager to blow up the enemies. When I died the first time I almost cried, then I remembered it's just a game. I admit I had my speakers cranked and subwoofer on, so that the explosions were shaking the wall, but the mood is definitely set with sound. Electronic Arts included A3D support, but seeing as I do not have a card with A3D, I'm sure that I only scraped the surface of the sound. Along with full stereo sound, there is a multitude of different explosive sounds. Even the bubbles as you are firing torpedoes under water make cool and totally unique sounds, it is not just the same firing sound repeated over and over again. It reminded me of the sound effects in Half-Life, since they vary depending on the conditions you are under. This is slowly becoming a feature that will be set in stone for all 3D shooters to come.

Overall, Recoil is a great grab for anyone who likes (guess what...) 3D shooters, but it's not just for the Quaker crew; I'm pretty sure if you have a mouse, or better yet, a joystick, you will enjoy it for hours. This game is addictive and I can see it having a nice future, if large servers sponsor the multiplayer. After this happens it will be much more global and a lot less lagged. I can't wait to fire mortars at people who are living halfway around the world. Recoil is one of the best kept secrets in the gaming industry, and certainly a candidate for game of the year.

 

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Rating
90%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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