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Cryo Interactive



Electronic Arts

1 Player

Game Type

Arcade Shoot-em-up

Mem. Card

Review Date

July 1997

Setting the Scene

Nixon climbs into his red flying Ford Eastwood car for what he thought would be a typical working day. In theory, his employment entails using androids as killing machines against the socially undesirable. In reality, anyone who represents a threat to his megalomaniac boss Willeford, will eventually find themselves on the wrong end of an android's tracking system. Officially a tax collector, Nixon is in fact one of these android killers.
Nixon had finished the previous day in a blood bath, the usual ending to a good days work. However, that evening his self-correcting memory did not activate and today he found himself in the unusual circumstances of remembering yesterdays horrendous events.
Scheming with Barbara, another android killer, Nixon has decided that enough was enough and has resolved to destroy Willeford and his bloody company once and for all.
Willeford reigns over everything by means of a huge computer, the Neuro Tower, which Nixon intends to infiltrate with a virus. To create the virus he will need the assistance of the engineer who designed the computers defence system. He is presently imprisoned on a Santa Catalina island construction site.
Release the engineer, create the virus and destroy Willeford's empire. Sounds like a busy day ahead for Nixon.


Hard Boiled is an arcade-style 3D racing and shooting game. The player controls Nixon's flying car and engages in fighting off waves of various enemies. The scenery is in perpetual, albeit controlled , movement. The general trajectory is fixed by the scenery with horizontal and vertical freedom within an area twice the size of the screen.


The opening sequence reaches the criterion expected from a Playstation game and sets the standard for the blast ahead. The in-game graphics are very good with each mission set in a different atmosphere. The first level is set at dawn, the second in daylight with a storm brewing, the third in a bright crystal core, the fourth on the streets at night and the final mission set indoors in a darkened tunnel.
The game moves quite quickly (unless you keep your finger on the brake) and there is no sign of any pop up whatsoever. The enemies vary in appearance from mechanical bulldogs to killer cranes while the black jetcopters blend in nicely with the backgrounds to keep you ever alert. These may not be the best graphics seen on the Playstation but they are a long way from the worst.

Sounds and Effects

The CD quality soundtrack pumps out a techno style music that compliments the action and helps keep the adrenalin high until the level is complete.
The sound effects are also quite good with lasers zapping, rockets whooshing and explosions reverbarating around the room. It is a little difficult to recollect many more sounds due to the fact that because the action is so frantic you become oblivious to the sounds.


The game opens with your vehicle set at the centre of the screen and you must manoeuvre you way around a hazardous course blasting enemies that stand in your path. A certain amount of the scenery is interactive as crates that block your route can be blasted to reveal hidden power ups and weapons. This is done by using one of the three available fire buttons, laser fire, missile launch or the activation of a special weapon. You may decide to avoid these obstacles by simply guiding your vehicle around or over them as your vehicle is capable of moving left, right, up and down. You are restricted to movement either side when travelling in the confines of a tunnel but when the action moves outside to a more open environment you may veer to one side by as much as twice the width of the screen, giving the game a real 3D feel to it.
There are two views available, in-car and behind car and although you are constantly moving forward you may quickly adjust your speed by using the boost or the brake. Throughout each level you will come across red spiral objects. Entering them will thrust your craft forward at extreme speeds with a short burst of turbo power.
There is a small energy bar constantly displayed on screen that can be topped up by flying through a floating health capsule. Other on-screen information includes the number of homing missiles collected and the type of special weapon available.
Hard Boiled has three difficulty modes of which only the first two missions are available on Easy setting. Before each mission you will be given a target number of Radioactive signs (Nukes) to collect. If you collect enough Nukes then you will be granted access to an end of mission stage where you can collect further bonuses to extend your energy bar. In these tunnels your speed begins slowly but gradually gathers momentum to reach an incredible level. End of level bosses must be defeated at the end of missions two and five.
The game is set in a Blade Runner style Los Angeles in the violent town of Burbank, which Willeford owns. Nixon's plan is divided into five separate missions beginning on the island of Santa Catalina. Each mission is set in five completely different environments with the first being staged on a busy construction site. This level offers multiple branches giving a choice to fly either inside the pipelines or outside among the attacking bulldozers, trucks and giant construction robots.
Venice Beach is set among the harbors and docks and is probably the best level of the game. You are allowed to explore the dock area for Nukes, blasting explosive drum barriers apart to reveal new routes, avoiding the swinging cargo of giant cranes as they load the waiting ships while counter-attacking the swooping helicopters. If the action gets a little too hot you can always head out to sea over the harbor and take on a few gunboats. When your energy becomes dangerously low you may take a short cut through the quieter environment of the tunnels where health and weapons may be collected, but watch out for those flying hovercraft.
The Sea Cleaner is a tunnel level that is jam packed with crab-like robots, metal sea horses and circular laser contraptions. Rapid fire all the way.
Downtown LA takes you out into the streets for a dog-fight with police vehicles and Willeford's own defence vehicles. The action is fast and furious as you fly between blocks of high rise skyscrapers, ducking and diving past crossing fly-overs before entering the tunnel sections for a welcome breather. This level is all about survival.
The final mission returns to a tunnel setting for The Neuro Tower where dog like robots fire missiles from at ground level and laser armed robots shoot from above. Succeed and you will face a final battle against Willeford.

Value for Money

With only five missions available, Hard Boiled is a little short on lastability but it depends whether you are after quality or quantity. What's there is good and you will play your favorite missions a couple of times due to the fact that there are alternate routes to discover.
If your a fan of arcade shoot-em-ups then Hard Boiled is definately worth checking out but if you prefer your shooting games Doom style then I would recommend you try before you buy.





I thought the 3D enviroment gave the game that little extra, but because you are constantly moving forward I really felt that I was missing out on exploring the levels further. Arcade shoot-em-ups have come a long way since the days of Space Invaders and Galaxians and Hard Boiled proves this with a splendid mix of graphics and gameplay. Much better than X2 but not quite as good as Tunnel B1.











This game isn't trying to be a DooM clone, the aim of the game is simply to blast your way to the end of each level, nothing more. I loved this game from the very first game I played and kept coming back to it again and again. The 3D effect works very well and the speed of the action is just about right. The soundtrack is awesome - in true wipeout style. This game will be perfect for fans of the old shoot-em-ups who have longed for a good next-gen 3D-blaster.








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