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Developer Visual Concepts Options
Distributer ASC Games 1 Player
Game Type 3rd Person Shooter Memory Card
Review Date January 1998 Sony Dual Analog Controller Support
Screenshot No.1
Screenshot No.2
Screenshot No.3 
Setting the Scene
Picture this... all of a sudden you wake up. Your head is throbbing, you feel groggy. You raise you right hand to wipe the sweat off your face and try to push yourself up on your left arm only to discover that it has been replaced by a metallic monstrosity that appears to be some sort of weapon. You instantly snap awake and realize that you're in a vaguely familiar room in a ruined metropolis apartment. You have no idea how you got there though and who messed with your arm but you are starting to get pissed. Figuring the only way to get some answers is to look around and see what the heck happened, you decide to go out and investigate.

As you begin your journey you are attacked by unknown enemies and pursued by relentless hunters and bizarre machines of war. You have no idea why you are being attacked, but as you battle these foes you begin to realize that the more you destroy, the more powerful your new body becomes. With this knowledge you understand that there is only one emotion that will take you to where you need to go to find the answers and to save your suddenly altered life that emotion is RAGE!!

Look out world because John Cain is coming and he is seriously ticked off!

ONE is a 3rd person shooting extravaganza.
First off let me just say that ONE is a special effects graphics tour-de-force. The liberal use of transparencies and mind-blowing light sourcing are some of the best yet seen on any console. The explosions and resulting fires must be seen to be appreciated. They are really that good.

There are points in the games where the screen literally lights up with explosions and SFX enough to make your head spin. For the most part this is really, really sweet, BUT sometimes there is soooo much going on that you can actually lose the on-screen character that you are controlling in the melee. And since explosions occasionally remove the very floor you are walking on, losing sight of your character at that moment normally means a ticket to "Deadsville" for poor old John. Oh well, the price you sometimes pay for eye-candy!

Seriously though, it's not that bad and properly timing the explosions will have you through the heat in no time. The main character (John Cain) is very fluidly animated and texture mapped very well. There is never a problem identifying him in a crowd of bad guys.

The computer-controlled opponents are also very nicely detailed but are not quite animated to the extent that John is. I felt the animation in some parts for the enemies was a bit choppy, but overall it was quite satisfying.

The game itself is played out in the Playstation's Hi-Res mode, so everything is razor sharp and crystal clear. The graphics engine used in the game is easily one of the most powerful ever created and makes slowdown and pop-up just a bad memory, even during some very busy moments.

The graphics are truly beautiful to behold and really do wonders to immerse you in the whole gameplaying experience that is ONE. It seems the further you progress in the game the better it looks. It really is amazing. The weather effects are also brilliantly executed and add even more realism to this high-powered game.

Sounds and Effects
The sound effects and music have come a long way since the early beta's that we viewed for ONE. A full orchestral accompaniment is now present that keeps right up with the graphics engine and sets the proper tone throughout most of the game.

The music fits in splendidly and sets the mood well. Sound effects range from breaking glass, all sorts of explosions, machinery movements and all kinds of firepower. All are done in convincing fashion and add the proper amount of excitement at all the right moments.

There is even some voice communications that occurs between the opponents that can be all at once very humorous and intense. You also get occasional voice updates from your on-board computer telling you when you reach your maximum RAGE potential.

Right from the get go, ONE pulls no punches. It drops you smack dab into the middle of the action and never lets up from there. I was surprised that when the game started, I had to get moving fast and keep going to prevent myself from being wasted. That's pretty much the whole idea behind this game - KEEP MOVING OR DIE! ONE will certainly never be referred to as a game with slow spots. This is actually the premise behind the game. The more you move and the more enemies you destroy, the more RAGE John Cain acquires and the more powerful and lethal you become. Stop moving and your power or RAGE meter begins to deteriorate causing John to become little more than a slag heap in a destroyed and ravaged environment.

Pop in ONE and once it loads you will want to jump to the options menu. Here you have a few choices. Difficulty setting (you should start with easy, trust me) from easy to medium to hard (yikes!). Next is Audio, which is basically stereo or mono settings. You can now adjust the music, sound effects and voice volumes. My advice is to pump 'em all up. Next you have your controller configuration. Take this for what it's worth, but if you don't have the Sony dual analog pad by now, get it. The game plays and controls much better in the analog mode. Anyway, you can config your controller buttons at this point or use the defaults. Finally you get to calibrate the analog thumb pad. That's about it, now your ready to rock!

ONE features five harrowing stages of intense action and a kinda starter level. While this may at first seem to be a trivial number of levels to put into a game, you will be pleasantly surprised at the actual size of each level. They are enormous! Each stage is broken into several areas of varying environmental locales that must be traversed to reach the next stage. While running through each stage the scenery passes by and changes completely on the fly. The way this is being done is a handy little programming trick called asynchronous loading. This is basically a nice fancy word that means the data on the CD is being constantly streamed and loaded into/dumped from memory on the fly. The result of this technology is marvelous. In each stage there is absolutely no break in the action and multiple scenarios and environments can be loaded at will. The gives the gameplay a seamless thread that can get so intense you start getting the "white knuckle" syndrome on your controller.

Now what would any shooter be without some heavy-duty firepower. ONE starts the player out with a pretty lethal primary weapon - the Plasma Cannon - that just happens to be permanently anchored to John Cain's arm. Along the way you pick up special weapons such as a Pulse Laser Cannon, Homing Missile Launcher and a Flame Thrower (which by the way looks very cool). Other weapons are hidden about the game, but I don't want to spoil the fun of discovering them for you. Your weapons increase in the damage they can cause and accuracy as your Rage meter goes up, so it's important to keep shooting and destroying and killing everything in site, he he he.

You also have the option of using physical attacks on your enemies or objects. This can be helpful in defeating enemies that are in close proximity or for destroying specific objects and don't want stray weapon fire to happen. As with the weapons, the more Rage John Cain has the more devastating his attacks will be. Since there are no traditional power-ups to be found throughout the game your Rage becomes increasingly important to your survival. There are four basic states of Rage that affect our "hero". Rage increase as you attack and destroy objects and enemies, however each time you are hit your Rage Meter goes down. The basic states and their resulting effects are as follows: -
Green State: John is in a low State of Rage and is at his most vulnerable.
Yellow State: John is in a medium State of Rage. His weapon power, accuracy and firing rate is increased over green, but around average overall.
Red State: John is in an intense State of Rage: His weapon power, accuracy and firing rate is potent at this point and causes a good deal of damage.
Hyper State: Look out! John is at his maximum State of Rage at this point. Everything is maxed out and you can now execute a smart-bomb attack as well.

The game features great control, even in digital mode, but really shines in analog. At first you may find yourself getting killed quite often, but it's really all a matter of proper timing and watching your shadow while in mid-jump so you can pinpoint your landings. The starter level does a pretty good job of getting you used to controlling John on screen. There are a good number of moves to master and execute throughout the game. John can perform physical attacks, evasive rolls and acrobatic flips, as well as hanging, climbing and sliding moves in addition to his normal running around routine. Each of the moves is pretty simple to pull off and are used throughout the game so get used to using them!

At the end of each stage you are given your stats, which consist of the number of kills, the amount of objects destroyed, the total accumulated kills and objects destroyed at that point in the game and your rank.

ONE isn't a perfect shooter, but damn close. First of all the game is hard as hell, the beginning is so damn hard that it may turn a few people off. That would be a shame, because the beginning is not really indicative of the entire game. It mainly serves to get you familiar with the controls. Check points are littered about the game, but sometimes they may seem to be a bit too far apart. Nothing is more frustrating to me as a gamer than having to go back and redo areas of a game time and time again just because I make a stupid mistake or took a bad fall.

Overall though, I really enjoyed playing ONE and I certainly recommend the title. It's action packed to be sure and contains some of the finest graphics you've ever seen in a video game before. You just need to stick with it through the beginning stage and then you can settle back and really enjoy the show!

Value for Money
Well, ONE is a long game. The stages are immense and there is a lot to do and see (as long as you do it quickly and keep running!).
Unfortunately once you finish the game you don't have a lot of reason to go back and play it again. That is unless of course you wish to find all of the hidden weapons and get the maximum number of kills and objects destroyed in the game, but somehow I doubt it.
ONE is a lot of fun to play and is certainly a showcase titles that you can pull out to show your friends, but overall I would say the replay is around average.

GRAPHICS: Brilliant ONE was a long-awaited, much anticipated title for me and once I finally got the completed version I was certainly not disappointed. The game is like a non-stop, action packed roller coaster ride. I really liked the fact that instead of power-ups, to stay alive you must destroy and keep moving forward at all times!
The graphics are wonderful, utilizing some of the best transparencies and light-sourcing that I have ever seen in a home video game. Everything also moves very quickly about the screen with no slow-down. But hey, graphics certainly isn't the only thing that makes a game good, it's got to have playability and One has that through and through.
For 3rd person, action/shooter fans I can highly recommend this game, you will love it for everyone else, at the very least it deserves a rental. I'll bet a lot of you will want to add it to your library after you have played it.
SOUND: Very Good

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