Game Over Online ~ Sentinel Returns

GameOver Game Reviews - Sentinel Returns (c) Psygnosis, Reviewed by - Rebellion

Game & Publisher Sentinel Returns (c) Psygnosis
System Requirements P133, 16MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 74%
Date Published Monday, August 3rd, 1998 at 10:38 AM

Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Sentinel was an early 1980's strategy game that became a classic, although I've never seen it or had an opportunity to play it, I'll take Psygnosis' word. The original had a sparse surreal environment and this new sequel uses modern technology to bring the idea and theme of its predecessor alive. It creates a haunting and freakish world with good use of Glide. The 3D graphics allow for a much more eerie theme and immerse the gamer in levels that seem to fall out of a Dali-esque environment.

The Game is based on a basic idea. It's called "King of the Hill." The Sentinel's on top of the hill and you aren't. And of course that's where the Sentinel wants you, at the bottom. You use boulders and trees to place your robots around the board so you can work your way up to the top. Energy is crucial in the game for building your units, so you'll be required to "absorb" your units and objects on the playing field to continue building.

Graphics 14/20

It's got decent 3D Glide support. Nothing REAL spectacular but it's decent. The skies are real creepy looking supposedly based on the four elements, fire, water, air, and earth. The intro is done in Glide and it looks pretty wild. The graphics aren't rendered as good as many of the 3D style games out right now, but they're still not terrible. I liked how the lighting followed the mouse cursor and the environments did create the eerie atomsphere to set the game. The software rendering could have been much better.

Sound 12/15

Well the music must be CD Audio. It says it's done by John Carpenter who did the soundtracks to movies such as Halloween, but unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to hear the CD-Audio. The in game sound effects are good, but there's not a whole lot of them. If the music's as good as I think it is, it should greatly enhance the mood of the game.

Gameplay 23/30

This game is NOT easy. It took me most of an afternoon just to figure out how to play the game. Once I grasped the concept, the game was still challenging. The AI is pretty good, you don't get a lot of time to plot where you want to move next. The mouse sensitivity, by default, was way too slow for my tastes, so you'll probably want to crank it up so you can whip around faster before you get absorbed. It takes skill and some quick wits too.

Fun Factor 14/20

It's somewhat complicated, takes practice to even get used to it, and it's semi-repetitive. It's probably not a good choice for the average gamer, since it requires a bit of quick wit and mouse skill. You need to be quick, manage your resources, and make your way up the hill. Trust me, it's a bit harder than it sounds.

Multiplayer 3/5

Can't say a whole lot other than it's weird. It supports up to 4 players and the goal is to make it up the hill first and take out the sentinel. It's somewhat laggy on a modem as well.

Overall Impression 8/10

The game is very unique. You're not going to find anything like it around. It's different. It's fresh. It's probably worth a try IF you've got time to figure out how it works. If you don't, don't bother. The atmosphere is cool and the challenge is there. It's not spectacular and the graphics aren't superb, but it has its own character.


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