|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
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|Game Type:||Action Shooter||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||November 1998||Dual Shock/Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Bruce Willis in another video game?? First we had Die Hard Trilogy (which really didn't have Bruce) and now Apocalypse. Where will it end?? Seriously though, getting Bruce to star as the main character AND to add his voice-overs was an act of brilliance on the part of the game designers. Bruce is immediately recognized as an international action star and placing him in an action video game is the perfect match. Apocalypse is set in a dark and violent future where science and religion have become the world's dominant cultural forces...each offering their own ideas of salvation and spiritual freedom. A false prophet known only as the Reverend arrives on the scene and corrupts stolen nanotechnology to bring into being the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each awaits orders from the Reverend to destroy mankind. You play the hero, Trey Kincade and must stop the Four Horsemen and the Reverend at all costs. Good luck...your gonna need it!
Apocalypse is a 3rd person action shooter that plays out like a good action movie.
Apocalypse features solid textures for the characters and smooth, fluid animation from beginning to end. Bruce Willis was motion-captured and then his movements transferred to the character you play on the screen. Movement is very realistic and lifelike as a result and does wonders for adding a certain depth to the gameplay. The special effects though really shine. Apocalypse has some really awesome lighting and particle effects that positively bring the action to life...and wait until you get a glimpse of the water effects...wow! All of the various color hues used for the special effects seem to literally jump off the screen at you in a wonderful smattering of light-sourching. I also liked the fact the almost everything on the screen can be blown apart...resulting in shards of fragmented destruction raining down onto the playing field. Superb CG FMV's are used at the start of the game to set up the storyline and also at the beginning of each new level to give players a bit of background before jumping into the fray.
Sounds and Effects
The music is loud and rowdy, just right for the atmosphere of this title. The soundtrack totally kicks ass and never lets up throughout the entire game. Talk about getting you into the game, with musicians like Poe, Gearwhore, Cirrus, System of a Down and Snot setting up the score, the music is sure to keep gamers energized from start to finish. The sound effects sizzle and add just enough punch to make it count. And then of course, there's Bruce Willis' voice chiming in at all the right times with his wise ass remarks and comments. The little verbal quips can tend to get a bit redundant after a spell, but I thought they added a nice touch of humor during the gameplay and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Coming up with a great 3rd person action game must be tough. Hell, it has taken well over two years to bring Apocalypse from conception to reality and time isn't always a proper indication of quality. Standing back and watching the changes that took place from the time the creation of this game was announced until the time it was actually completed, I am somewhat stunned it was finished it all. Thank heavens for small miracles.... Apocalypse has you standing squarely in the shoes of one Trey Kincade, who is portrayed by none other than, mega-star Bruce Willis. Your role is a rather simple one...to guide Trey around various levels, destroy everything in site and ultimately confront and defeat the evil Reverend. Getting there may not be so simple though, you see that in addition to all of the whack jobs he has running after you, bent on your destruction, he has also assembled the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. These henchmen are the boss characters that you will face in the game and provide a very good workout to those that venture far enough into to the action to face them. The game starts you off busting out of a prison located deep in the sewers of the city. From here you must battle your way to the surface, facing all sorts of opposition on the way. The player control is nice and tight and reacts quickly to your commands, so playing the game does not become an effort in futility. To move Trey around the screen you can choose to use either the digital of analog control button. Shooting is accomplished by pressing the corresponding buttons for up, down, left and right. So, to fire straight up you would press the "triangle" button, for down or behind you press the "X". Firing can be done on the run, which is nice because standing still may end up getting you wasted. Control is a little weird at first and may take some getting used to, but after a bit of practice this somewhat different method works like a charm. Shoulder buttons are used to crouch, jump, change weapons and deploy smart bombs. Even the vibration feature is nicely implemented into the game...vibrating each time you fire off your weapon or get hit. The camera tracking is wonderful in the game as well, following Trey from an over the back perspective throughout much of the action. I cannot recall ever getting into a situation where the camera set me at a disadvantage. This is a good thing, because with all the sweeping passageways to negotiate and areas to jump onto, a bad camera would have made things unplayable. The level designs keep things moving along...always enticing players to haul ass and progress further into the game. Things start up at a nice enough pace, allowing players to adjust to the controls and get used to the subtle nuances of the gameplay. Each level though ramps up a bit in difficulty, forcing you to not only use the skills you learned earlier in the game but also to adjust your style. Some levels are just straight ahead balls to wall killing while other require players to negotiate zip lines, moving platforms and all kinds of different jumps and climbing maneuvers. I really enjoyed playing Apocalypse mostly because it has a perfect blend of action, dead-on controls and sweet camera tracking. I never became frustrated because the game cheated me, when I got my ass blown up it was my fault and I generally knew what to do the next time so that it wouldn't happen again. The level designs are creative and engaging and keep things flowing at a rather frenetic pace. If you are looking for a game that will give you non-stop action, look no further than Apocalypse it surely delivers.
Value for Money
There are a lot of levels in the game and all of them are challenging and well designed. There is also a great deal of diversity between the levels, forcing players to use different strategies and method to make it out alive. The only drawback is that the replay value may be a bit on the iffy side. You will probably want to play the game through at least once, maybe even twice to relive the experience but truth be told, once you are finished, there isn't much reason to go back and play it again. Of course it will definitely be one of those titles that you will pull out to show off to your friends, if for nothing else than to get a good laugh out of the wise cracking Willis. Signing him up for this game was a good move on Activision's part to be sure.
this style of gameplay is nothing new and has been done a few times
before, most memorably with the game "ONE", but Apocalypse has
taken this design and player presentation and perfected it. The game
plays out like a non-stop action picture with death and destruction
around each and every corner.
The graphics, while not the absolute best ever seen on a Playstation game, are rock solid and attractive with enough special effects to make things intense. The sound effects and music totally kick ass and having the voice of Bruce chiming in throughout the game is like icing on the cake.
This is one of those titles that once you pop it in, you will find it hard to stop playing. The gameplay sucks you in and the action will keep you coming back for more. The game jams...check it out for yourself you'll be glad you did!