If most games are primarily an exercise in allowing you to vicariously perform feats you'd like to do in real life but can't, why are there so many games about stomping around inside a gigantic robot suit? Surely this can't be a particularly widespread fantasy? Presumably it's the sort of thing that appeals to the diminutive or under-endowed, or the sort of perverts who appear on Robot Wars. Look, if you really want to experience the heady thrill of a bulky inorganic exo-skeleton, just hurt yourself in front of a bus, then you too can spend the next nine months held together with so many metallic pins and plates, you won't be able to cross the room without generating more sparks than a fireworks display at a welder's convention.
Cuh. Anyway, Slave Zero may be yet another game starring a cast of giant robots, but at least it isn't as boring as MechWarrior (apologies to MechWarrior fans, but let's face it - MechWarrior is shit). Whereas most robo-combat games tend to be as slow and plodding as the lumbering mechs themselves, Slave Zero is nothing but an exercise in lightning fast, simple-minded arcade action, starring a cast of robots whose speed, grace and agility would put a Moldavian acrobat to shame.
It's a shoot 'em-up. A simple, brainless shoot 'em up. You (controlling the eponymous Slave Zero) spend the entire game stomping through a sprawling futuristic city, blowing the heck out of more or less everything you see - assault helicopters, tanks, gun turrets, other robots, and little armed men running around on the floor. As you progress, bigger and beefier weapons become available, until you find yourself packing the same kind of military firepower as, say, North Korea. You can jump, you can stomp up and down and you can even bend down and pluck Innocent civilians from ttie pavement and hurl them against buildings for a laugh.
Visually, it's not too bad, if a tad limited. Slave Zero is also available for Dreamcast, and it's hardly the best-looking title on that platform either (certainly the likes of Soul Calibur could have it for breakfast). It feels a bit like an upgraded PlayStation port, even if it isn't one. And that's more or less it really. There's nothing wrong with a mindless arcade game - heck, what else is multiplayer Quake III - but sadly Slave Zero's not a classic example of the genre.
The pace rarely lets up, it s original and all perfectly adequate - yet the game never really becomes truly exciting. Whether that's because it's hard to really relate to a 400ft robot, or simply because of the repetitive nature of the action is impossible to gauge, but there you have it: it's true. It's good enough for a quick lunchtime blast, but that's about all. Wait for the budget release, unless you're so loaded you just walk around buying things all day long, for the sheer fun of it. In which case buy ten. Sod it. Why not?
Download Slave Zero
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-12-26 Slave Zero game added.