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Electronic Arts

1 Player

Game Type

Strategic shoot-em-up

Mem. Card

Review Date

Nov 1996

Setting the Scene

I have been eagerly anticipating the release of SOVIET STRIKE as I hold a fondness for shoot-em-ups involving strategy and planning. The three predecessors, Desert Strike, Jungle Strike and Urban Strike were phenomenally successful on the P.C with their challenging gameplay. The question is, would full use be make of the 32bit console, with the graphics and general feel of the game?
The Opening FMV could easily be a trailer viewed in your Cinema for a forthcoming blockbuster as it urgently reveals the plot and sets the scene.

Soviet strike is explained as a hypothetical collapse of democracy in the former Soviet Union. Your task will be to over-throw a dangerous communist movement, headed by an ex-KGB general known as the SHADOWMAN. This ruthless adversary plans to return his country to its former state, described as a separatist blood bath, ending in possible world domination.
Enter STRIKE FORCE, flying an advanced APACHE helicopter, you are allocated 40+ missions over varying landscapes, with the eventual aim to avert all-out war.


Mission based strategy game.


The unrealistic 16bit graphics of old, have been replaced with an impressive photo-realistic environment. A complete 3D world comprised of detailed building, ice capped mountains, beach surrounded oceans and desert wastelands.

Some of the additional details are brilliant. As you prepare to enter battle over the Black sea, your adrenaline is flowing as you face Battleships, Subs, Speed-Boats and Helicopters in a fight to the death. Just turn around and look on the beach - sunbathers lying under a parasol with a cool box perched by their side. I took a few pot-shots and one of the sunbathers jumped up and started running around panic-stricken. I blew his cool-box up and a voice came over the radio and told me off for wasting ammo.

Sounds and Effects

The sounds are excellent, from the whipping of the rotating Apache blades, to the explosive thunder as the missiles hit their targets. Even the enemy soldiers cry out convincingly as you down them with your chain-gun. Try picking one off on the dock edge and listen for the lasting scream as he falls until silenced by his demise. When attacking a heavily armored ZSU Tank, you here a voice call out "HA, HA, HI-HAM-HINDISTRUCTABLE" in broken Russian, just before you destroy him with your sidewinder.

The action is accompanied by some thrilling battle music as you get stuck into the enemy.


Leaving the helipad on Act One, Level One, you must use the first section to practice your maneuvers, as "handling your Chopper" is imperative to succeed ( Just as in real-life ). It is a bit confusing at first, as your first mission is thrust upon you immediately via a radio message and broken transmission. You must flip on the map option and study the layout.

This option is very informative if used correctly, as wandering into the unforeseen territories can only end one way - a "limp-chopper" - and your not going to progress through the game successfully flying blind. Once you have pin-pointed your target, you must fly swiftly and carefully to the given location as time is ticking away. You haven`t even got time for a few scraps on the way. succeed in your mission and you may return to enemy camps and blast them away to collect extra fuel and weapon power-ups. Any hostages rescued can be returned to the helipad in exchange for armor upgrades.

Proceed through the level rescuing hostages, operating reconnaissance mission and performing air-strikes and sabotage until all missions are complete. The constant video and audio updates add urgency to the gameplay and the forty plus missions are all very different, which should hold your attention throughout.

You commence each level with three lives and scrutinising the landscape and ruins will reveal bonus lives. You will also notice that the game course alters as your actions trigger-off different elements to the game.

SOVIET STRIKE entails five main theatres of war. The first is the snowy mountains of CRIMEA and then its off to the BLACK SEA. Act 3 is set in the CASPIAN DESSERT, followed by DRACULAS HOMELAND where chemical weapons are tested on the prisoners. Your final act is on the streets of MOSCOW and THE KREMLIN!

There are 16 different armored vehicles contained in Shadowlands forces. ZSU, T-55, PT-76, BTR-70, BROM-2 and BMP tank and troop carriers. The anti-aircraft are: SA-6SAM, LTAAA, HVYAAA and GASKIN. Scud and Skar rocket launchers, Trucks, Speed-Boats, Snow-Sleds, Hind-Helicopters and Submarines.

I`m trying my best not to the let this review turn into an instruction manual, but 50 percent of SOVIET STRIKE is actually learning the game and recognizing the enemy. Without this knowledge, you may give up too early and this excellent game will pass you by.

Value for Money

The success of the STRIKE series continues as this is the best by far. Soviet Strike is an ADVANCEMENT on the original, rather than a complete change. Photo-realistic graphics with a few humorous additions. The gameplay can be quite difficult but this adds to the lastability.





At last, game complete. The third level, set in the Desert, was a bitch. The second you leave base, all hell breaks loose as you scramble around the plains desperately attempting to stop the advancement of the enemy troops from three directions. The forth level was an enjoyable romp through the wastelands and the final level, set in the streets of Moscow, is a frantic race to complete a set of missions that are thrust on you , leaving little time to think and plan, but leaving you with a feeling of achievement when you succeed. I restarted the game from level one and enjoyed finding the hidden power ups and secrets, especially the Santa Claus hidden on the hills and the secret toilet (see the cheats section). Overall an excellent strategy game which I would highly recommend.











A great shoot-em-up that shows off the PSX graphics a treat. A couple of additional levels would have made this game a classic, but it still remains one of the best of its type








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