Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think deep thoughts. You know the sort of stuff: Why are we here? What purpose are we serving? What possible explanation can there be for Rory McGrath? Where did I leave my vibrating Noddy and Big Ears (joined at the feet, with special softee rubber hats)? And so on. And then the deep thinking all gets too much, and the fear of oblivion strikes, so that my fists clench so hard my knuckles fly off and shatter the bedside lamp - and I think, I'm going to go berserk for an hour or so.
Which is where games like SWIV come in. It was a great game on the Amiga (but very hard). It was a great game on the snes and Mega Drive (but very hard). And now it's a great game on the pc (but very hard). And it's got a new 3D look about it.
Whatever the reason for your outburst of violence, at some point you'll be using a jeep (or buggy-type thing), a rocket-firing skidoo, a heavily-armoured lunar landing vehicle, and a hovery space-jet sort of thing - and sometimes you'll be switching between them in the same level. As far as bare shoot 'em up facts go, it's got 18 levels, set in four different types of terrain, with shitloads of power-ups and weapon types. Tlte four different landscapes include Arctic, Lunar and Martian scenarios. And as I said, it's hard.
Basically, if you don't have the reflexes of a mongoose after six quadruple espressos, you may not get very far in SWIV. It starts off easily enough - you can take your time, line up your shots, look around and see where to go next. But a couple of levels in, it starts getting extremely hectic, and gets better (or worse, depending on your ability). The tactical shoot 'em up approach is rather reminiscent of Desert Strike (shoot the radars to have more chance of sneaking about undetected; achieve certain objectives to reveal certain extra power-ups; and so on.) Except that the action is ten times more hectic, and tactics go out the window when panic kicks in.
The action takes place in a full 3D landscape, reminiscent of the one in Magic Carpet, but the rising and falling levels, and the way your helicopter hugs the terrain, induces motion sickness at first. Then you get used to it. But then, after about half an hour, it comes back. The game should be sold with a free Puke-o-Bib.
It's not perfect. The auto-aiming device can show a marked preference for targeting trees as opposed to enemy vehicles (although this isn't as serious once the multi-directional mega-weapons start to make an appearance). And the 'realistic physics' on the buggies means, basically, they can get stuck on steep hills, which isn't much fun when three helicopters are blowing the shit out of you.
But despite these minor gripes, it's a good, full-on blast. And it's got some great in-game music - you can choose between the techno stuff or classical, with Night On A Bare Mountain and Ride Of The Valkyries (now known as Music For Chopper-Based Violence). Worth a look.
Download SWIV 3D
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode