Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Commodore Amiga - Walker

Commodore Amiga

When I first discovered this game, I was but a child still, a spotty teenager schoolboy who had managed to see the ED-209 scene from Robocop at some stage in my life, and thought how cool those big droids were.

So, the opportunity to BE one of these droids… well, that doesn’t come along very often. But when this game found its way from a friend at school to my grubby little paws, I inserted it into the floppy drive of my Amiga and was transported into a world of one massive ED-209, millions of bullets, and tiny human sprites getting splattered in a gory mess of blood and lead.

Sounds good? Oh, it is…I’m not quite sure about the whys and wherefores, but basically you seem to have got stuck in some kind of timewarp, and find yourself transported to different times and places around the world. Your opponents reflect the era and location, but all will succumb to the enormous amount of  firepower you have at your disposal. Twin Mini-Guns (you know the one, rotating barrels and a ridiculously high fire rate, made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator II) provide your arsenal, and with an unlimited supply of ammo (Realism? What’s that?) all you need to worry about is overheating.

Although bullets hit you pretty much instantly (as you would expect), the more powerful rounds can be avoided by simply walking backwards and forwards as they arc towards you. Trust me, you still have the ability to die if you take enough damage.

The control method was remarkably simple, and probably quite revolutionary for the time, but a combination of mouse and keyboard was the order of the day here. You only needed to walk forwards and backwards with the keys, but your heavy guns were aimed by mouse cursor, which was a great idea, and worked exceptionally well.

But, for the ultimate humiliation, when it came to the little soldiers, you could walk all over them, resulting in a satisfying squelch (imagine Duke Nukem’s shrink ray). It was the little touches like this that set this game apart from an already crowded genre, and remains great fun to play even today.

New version, please. On the Wii. I’d buy that for a dollar. (Wow, I waited a whole 5 paragraphs for the final Robocop reference. Self-control or what?)

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