Terminator: Future Shock - PC, 15/2/96
Terminator: Future Shock - PC
As Dark Forces proved, if you're really going to make the most of an action movie licence you got to make it a 3D shoot 'em up "garbo".
You may think that's a glib statement to make, but then you're not pilled-up Jacobites, like what we are.
Future Shock takes as its cue the post-apocalypse battle sequences from the Terminator films. It takes them and it smashes them into your bosoms.
Like Dark Forces, Terminator: Future Shock features a progressive storyline.
It begins with you newly-escaped from a forced labour camp, and climaxes with an assault on the Terminator HQ, Skynet.
Your missions in the radioactive wastelends of Los Angeles 2015 encompass trips in air and land things, as well as dragging your face through rubble-strewn streets.
3D shooters rely on their atmosphere - more so when based on a film.
Though set in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange, Terminator: Future Shock creates easily the most evocative "real world" 3D environment yet.
From petrol stations to a brewery, to chilling mass graves, there's very little repetition of the scenery. Everything has been convincingly constructed - even the Hollywood sign.
Eat THAT, so-called Planet of the Apes.
Such is the oppressive atmosphere that Terminator: Future Shock generates, you'll often choose to flee rather than face an enemy endoskeleton.
A sequence near the beginning, set inside a hotel - replete with crackling fires and gaping holes - is probably the most terrifying set-piece ever devised for a game.
The exhilaration and subsequent distress upon reaching the roof, only to be confronted by two HK flying machines, make our cuticles calcify.
To begin with, Terminator: Future Shock's enemies are spaced mercifully apart, and the game is all the better for it.
However, due to the overall vastness of the stages and some tricky pseudo-platform moments, it's one of the toughest games of its genre.
Even so, at no point do you feel you're being treated unfairly. Once the control has been mastered, all mess-ups are your own stupid fault.
Whether it's the familarity of the film setting, or just the sheer design brilliance of developers Bethesda, Terminator: Future Shock could be described as a real interactive movie.
Forget limited FMV, we'd rather play this or Dark Forces than any poxed-up Psychic Detective or 11th Hour tat.
Go anywhere, do anything - this truly immersive experience heralds the future of games. And that.
Terminator: Future Shock - PC - by Virgin
Uppers: Perfect movie environment
Downers: One-player mode still shallow
Overall: 93% - Shockingly good joke
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