Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri
It's the future, and you are a back-woodsman of rare charm in a not un-hippy like pair of dungarees, with 46 children and a wife with a bloke's name, who still does dirty stuff even after all these years (not that you can feel much after all those children). But you love each other, which is all that matters. You live on top of a mountain and your grandparents are so ugly and unremittingly cheerful that you make them sleep in the woodshed, and only allow them to come inside the house for Thanksgiving dinner. Hang on a minute... I seem to have got Terra Nova, the hot new game from Looking Glass Technology, mixed up with The Waltons, the feel-good, incest-based tv series from hell. That'll teach me to leave my 1975 copy of the Radio Times next to my press releases. Let's start again... The story so far: Planet earth is attempting to take over your planet (der-der, derder) and it's all controlled by a totally evil organisation dedicated to running everything else, called Hegemony. Which must surely set some kind of benchmark in the World Appropriate (But Unimaginative) Naming of Powerful Organisations Championships.
Like System Shock, Terra Nova provides a wide range of movement: you can walk and run. make little bunny hops in any direction and crouch down to make yourself a smaller target (or to go to the toiler during particularly frightening passages of a mission). You can look up or down, or from side to side. Looking down is handy for checking whether you've put your shoes on the right feet, and looking down while jetpacking high into the air is pretty darned cool, especially if you go to the toilet while you're up there. Looking up is handy for avoiding diarrhetic pigeons, and can also be used to lob a grenade over prodigious distances (as long as you're not using a target lock).
Obviously all this is going to be a whole lot easier if you have an extra hand and arm (ideally, attached to your body and fully functioning, but shop around outside butchers' dustbins for bargains). Perhaps this will be the first game designed exclusively for Siamese twins. A bit of a specialised market - vertical software, I think they call it.
Smile! You're on Candid Camera...
The scenery looks very much like the sort normally seen in one of the better flight sims, which is unsurprising given that these chaps were also responsible for Flight Unlimited. The game itself is like a sort of cross between a Mech title and System Shock, except that the suits you wear in this aren't 50 feet high. You have a few fancy tricks in your suit. too.
Among them are a number of hovering remote-controlled cameras called drones. These live on your back, and are launched from your suit and sent off to check out the lie of the land. The visuals are relayed directly to your helmet, and you can have them on one of the small screens, or your main view for more detail. (It's a shame you can't get these in the shops just yet - they're ideal for finding out exactly what your flat-mate gets up to in the bathroom when they make those peculiar noises late at night, after they think that everyone else has gone to bed.) Anyway, these handy little peeping-tom devices can be sent automatically to circle a particular location, or controlled manually, and you can even set the height at which they'll fly.
Missions made possible
Other handy helpmates for your missions include instant navigation markers, infra-red viewing filters and a rather disorientating 360 degree view mode, with mini screens showing the view to your left, right and rear. In real life this would see you keeling over and losing all four views as your helmet gradually filled with a rising tide of vomit, but in this you just shrug, because you're hard.
What more could you possibly want from a game? Well, apart, perhaps, from a section in the manual entitled "Using and Reading Your Helmet". Oh look, it's got that. too. Do you think you can you wait for the review? I can't. Sometimes life's just too exciting.
Download Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri Screenshots and Media
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