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A.P.I Review: Apocalypse
Developer: Neversoft OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Activision 1 Player
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


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!   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


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 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

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. 
GRAPHICS: 18/20 Certainly 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!
SOUND: 9/10
VALUE: 16/20


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