Iron Angel of the Apocalypse


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 4

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 3

There's something you need when you play a video game you may not think about: Instant gratification. For the English challenged, it basically means you need something to immediately draw you in and keep you playing (or in the arcades, keep you pumping quarters, or nowadays $5 bills). That's something "Iron Angel of the Apocalypse" fails miserably at. In fact, no matter how long you play, you'll find no form of gratification.

There's a huge backstory here, helped along by tons of video. All it really boils down to is there's a scientist going nuts to create some all powerful killing machine on the top floor of a high rise building. You have to stop it. Since the only things in this building are long, boring, drab corridors, a mad scientist, and killer robots, why doesn't someone just blow it up?

This is first-person shooter when the genre was experiencing growing pains. It's labeled on the back of the box as an "Action Role-Playing Movie." No, you're reading that right and no, it doesn't make sense. All this is is a lame FPS with absolutely no substance whatsoever. It commits the cardinal sins of being horribly boring, slow, and repetitive.

To try and spice things up, all of the video content is really well done (subtitled from the import version) and there are some video messages that lead you along. If you make it far enough, the videos offer clues to get you through the game. You'll first have to make it through the initial floors against robots that don't even shoot back at you. See why instant gratification is so important now? Most of your time is spent searching for elevators to take you to higher floors. Each elevator can only take you to a few specific floors making the whole process far too infuriating to be worth your time.

Actually, there is some challenge to those initial stages. See, the frame rate is so bad when even just one enemy (are they enemies if they don't shoot back?) gets on the screen, it makes targeting a disastrous affair. Top that with the fact that your character, whatever it's supposed to be, is ridiculously slow (you actually have to earn the ability to run), and you've got all the necessary requirements for frustration. It's strange too, because other 3DO games pump out far more detail, sport higher polygon counts, plus a bigger viewing area, and yet they run fine.

The music here is nothing short of monotonous. You're going to spend plenty of time in each level and you'll hear every track repeat at least twenty times. The marketers would have you believe otherwise, stating that the "powerful sound catches you up in the maelstrom of events." Liars. There's almost nothing to the sound effects other than standard gun/laser fire.

Of all the audacity, Synergy actually released a sequel. To call it a bit better isn't saying much compared to this. Also, whoever designed the box wasn't too bright, not only blatantly lying about the sound, but also putting the companies phone number on the back. Setting yourself up for hate mail is one thing; opening yourself up after producing a game like this is flat out stupid.


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Last updated: Sunday, March 20, 2005 08:56 AM