Evil Core - Fallen Cities is a highly innovative and underrated 3D space shooter that combines elements from multiple genres into a fun experience. The comprehensive review at the Adrenaline Vault says it all:
"[Evil Core is] a refreshingly innovative combination of action, adventure, and strategy in an attractive and absorbing alien environment. As the first game from the Florida-based ABTS Intelligent Group, Evil Core is amazingly sophisticated and polished.
The background story in this game is quite complex. In the year 20,000 AD humans have long since moved away from the planet Earth to a mysterious planet called Malia, characterized by gorgeous sky views and secret underground passages. Malia is split into an Old Sector, composed of caves, mines, temples, and ruins known as the Fallen Cities; and a New Sector, with advanced technology including nuclear power, genetic engineering, and space stations. The New Sector is made up of three distinct cultures: the peaceful Bloblics, who have recently had to develop weapons for their own defense; the N'Leth, torn apart by civil war; and the Marcs, the most menacing group, who are using their advanced technology, chemical weaponry, and a genetically enhanced army to try to gain total control of the planet. You play the role of Vein Black, and as the game begins there are a series of devastating attacks from an unknown source on innocent cities on Malia. The N'Leths and the Bloblics band together to defend themselves against the as-yet-to-be-identified enemy, and they focus their concern on detecting the source of the disruptions on the Fallen Cities in the Old Sector. They enlist you to scout out this area and report back to them with what you see above and below ground. You will be helped in this quest by a trusty wingman named Bo.
When undertaking your mission, you discover quickly that this is not just another "destroy-everything-in-sight" 3D shooter. In the course of completing your objectives you earn money that you can use to buy and trade upgrades of all sorts at different stores. You also make new friends along the way, who help you in your mission. To succeed in the intricate gameplay, you need to undertake activities as diverse as picking up light sources, weaving your way through complicated mazes, disabling power sources, and finding and eliminating nuclear devices. A large assortment of implements (not just weapons) are available to help you to accomplish these tasks.
The game has two modes of play, Adventure and VS. In Adventure, you may play with one player or two, but VS is a mandatory two-person game. Quite a bit of attention was devoted in this game to this VS multiplayer mode, which has 6 worlds and 8 different ships. There is a cooperative split-screen mode for team play as well. The flexibility of the game design leads to wide open two-person play that gives you the option of employing a really diverse variety of strategies against your human opponent.
Evil Core has you view the action from a third-person perspective as the default view, but you can switch back to a first-person perspective if you wish. I find the third-person viewpoint much more satisfying because it lets you see much more clearly how you need to maneuver through the narrow, odd-shaped passages you need to traverse in the game. With so much freedom of motion, you can easily lose your bearings if you are not able to see your vehicle.
This game is excellent in graphics and sound, and is more than adequate in gameplay and in being challenging. But what really strikes me more than anything else about Evil Core is its originality -- it does not mimic anything else that is currently out, and allows game buyers to see what a small company, one not grooved into the established patterns of the industry, can do. The game is by no means perfect, but it is definitely worth buying if you want something really distinctive and special that will excite you to the core."
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