For the Sega Saturn, Amok was tolerable only because the console did not offer many mech shooters. Still, it was mediocre and poor in almost every category thanks to the uninspiring gameplay, boring missions, and level design. Why then, was this game ported over to the PC? The PC has seen countless amounts of action shooters and mech games, a lot of which were spectacular. Amok does not come close to comparing and is still the lame game it was on the Saturn.
The premise is that two multimillion-dollar corporations have settled a peace agreement after many years of bloodshed and war. A division called "The Bureau" has hired you to blow them up because they do not profit from the peace agreement, but did better with war. Sound exciting? Thanks to the atrocious gameplay, it is not. Amok seems like a very limited world. There are only cities, tunnel systems, barren deserts, and a few oceans, all ruined by poorly rendered 3D graphics. Textures are downright appalling and horrible object models do not help. For the most part, detail in the land is 2D, a very anti-immersing experience, with object looking laughably unrealistic or just plain poor.
Then there is the action. You must watch mission briefs to know what building to raid or blow up, with unoriginal and unexciting mission objectives. Fortunately, there are only nine missions so you will not be spending too much time with Amok if you can get past the unbelievably difficult manner of fighting. All of the action takes place in third person with absolutely no in-vehicle view option, which would have made it easier to see and comprehend. Your vehicle starts every mission with a very stingy health level, a bad thing because your enemies inflict too much damage. Enabling auto aiming can help, but not much, and the few armor and health items available per mission do not help enough. You will die repeatedly, forced to replay missions until you know exactly what to do, exactly where each enemy is, etc. The difficulty is impossibly hard and causes disgust and frustration.
Amok is frankly a horrible game. There are no redeeming features to warrant you to try this game. It is completely uninspired, short, insanely difficult, and looks terrible. Unless you are looking for this, avoid Amok like the plague.
Graphics: There are only a few different types of environments in this game, riddled with repetitive texturing and poor 2D objects. Enemy and character animations are poor and the overall aesthetic beauty leaves little to be desired.
Sound: Although uninspired, the sound effects are not bad and get the job done.
Enjoyment: There is absolutely no enjoyment in Amok. The level design is horrible, textures and environments are repetitive, and the game is frustratingly difficult.
Replay Value: It will hold your interest for about ten minutes, far too unbearable to result in any sort of immersion.
Amok portrays a futuristic storyline on a planet which is identified in the manual as having the same name. There, two gigantic corporations, referred to by the acronyms NONLUN and AZTK, had previously been having an all-out war between them for forty-seven years. The war had involved all possible fronts and theaters, including operations in the air, on the surface of the land and sea, and beneath the water. Very recently, a weak peace accord had only just been reached. In the manual, the peace accord is described as being much like "a blanket covering the fire that smolders in the hearts of the people." The agreement is sufficiently unsteady that an influential mercenary company, known only as "the Bureau," has now decided to hire a capable battle walker pilot named Gert Staun to restart the war so they can continue to make large amounts of money by taking lucrative contracts from both sides. The player takes the role of Gert Staun.
Naturally "the Bureau" has placed a high priority on this, and they are funding it entirely on their own. Indeed, Gert Staun's battle walker, called the "Slambird" is explicitly said to be custom-modified. In particular, the Slambird can not only survive either on land or underwater, but it can transition between the two -- it can move, fight, and safely control its vertical position in either environment. These abilities are portrayed as costly and not standard to such vehicles in the universe where Amok takes place. The transformation of the Slambird between an underwater vehicle and a land vehicle is automatically scripted, however. The player has no power to control this transformation or alter the time when it happens. Instead, the player must get to the point when Staun will automatically bring the Slambird ashore to continue his attacks.
The object of this arcade-type game is to meet a series of objectives, and to do so in such a way that each side will blame the other. The game has a linear structure, based on levels that present tasks of increasing difficulty, and all sorts of hazards and targets are encountered. These include military bases, power generators, land mines, infantry, tanks, submarines -- even sharks and huge, aggressive birds. Infantry elements are poorly armored, so they can be killed by being run over. In one mission, the only way that the player will be able to get enough time to escape is to open with a surprise attack, slowing pursuit by destroying a parking facility full of unattended troop transport vehicles. Power-ups are scattered throughout the levels. The Slambird carries a variety of explosive devices and line-of-sight weapons. Some of the explosive weapons can bounce in a parabolic trajectory, and in addition there are two laser cannons that can fire rapidly an unlimited number of times. These cannons are useful in case no other weapons remain, and they can be used to create complex ripple fire, which can be used to cover an area that is surprisingly wide. When underwater, propellers are used, while torpedoes are automatically used instead of missiles.
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