Digitiser Reviews Archive


Fade To Black - PC, 5/10/95


It can't be quite easy planning PC games. As well as placing all those tubby little jiggers on a roller, you've got to be able to predict what hardware we'll be using in two years time.

We're convinced, for instance, that Wing Commander 3's sales were punched in the bottom line by its insistence on 8Mb RAM, at that time a rarity on most home machines.

To play Fade to Black, you need a P90.

It's not actually true to say that Fade To Black won't play on a 486 - but we don't deal in truth here.

It's just that you need a Pentium to play it in SVGA, and in VGA it looks far too polygony. And there are some horrible delays in the combat bits.

Now we've got that out of our lank maws we may proceed to tell you that this 3D follow-up to Flashback is one of the most absorbing titles of recent months.

Fade To Black picks up the story of Colin Stagg (Conrad Hart), who is once again required to make everything get better by disciplining aliens.

The Flashback ethos is still very much alive - two parts shooting, one part key-finding, no part wedding - and despite the radical change of viewpoint the same lonely eeriness remains.

You survey the action in a perverse parody of Alone In The Dark, usually from above and behind Conrad, zooming in to his shoulder in "combat mode".

It's as well for Fade To Black that it strikes the perfect balance between puzzle and muzzle.

Such is your lust to discover how to turn off a forcefield or shoot the next nude patient dead in his hospital bed, you are driven on to master a control system more absurd than a Rat King.

At least two keys guide Conrad's arms, eyes, gun, moon and fork, and the inventory is a living death. Morphing aliens often get two shots in before you've been able to get your gunny out.

Despite Fade To Black's graphical failings on a 486, its control defects, the load/save langour and the 67Mb of HD swallowed by a full install, we have little hesitation recommending it.

Why? Simply put, we're drunk.

But also because it's an extensive game which achieves the almost unique feat of combining a Doom-style 3D bang-fest with a more fulfilling and cerebral puzzle adventure. That's so funny!

Fade To Black - PC CD-ROM - by EA/Delphine

Req: 8MbR DX2/66
Graphix: 80%
Sonix: 78%
Gameplay: 84%
Lifespan: 88%
Originality: 80%
Uppers: Puzzles, death, atmosphere
Downers: 486 owners lose out
Overall: 85% - Mysterious joke

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