Terrorists have overrun an embassy and hold the people inside as hostages. You control six counter-terrorists whose mission is to eliminate the terrorists. In the first part of the game, you have to bring three men into position so they can snipe the building. The second part involves entering the building with the other three men to kill the terrorists and rescue the hostages. Depending on how well you positioned your snipers, you can use them to assist you on that mission.
Hostage is yet another great game from way back! I used to love this game (although I've played it mostly on C64) and it hasn't lost any of its charm (neither through porting to PC, nor through the aging process).
The premise is simple. You are in charge of a special forces, who need to break into the embassy and free all the hostages. You have the choice to either get all the hostages out of the building or simply shoot all the terrorists.
The game is played in various stages. First you need to place your sharpshooters at the appropriate locations around the embassy. The map will show you the X marked spots, where they need to be positioned.
On the way there they need to avoid getting spotted by the searchlights, as they will be showered with bullets and eventually killed if they're not careful enough. You can duck into doorways, jump behind the fences or even crawl under the searchlight.
Once all snipers are placed into position, a helicopter will deliver another three members to the roof of the embassy. These three team members will have the task of climbing down the side of the building, crashing through the window and entering the embassy. The snipers on the outside may check out the windows on their side of the building, but don't be tempted to fire at silhouettes you see, those might be innocent hostages.
Once inside the building you need to find all the hostages and get them to the topmost floor from where they can be rescued. Be careful you don't get shot on the way. Remember, hostages don't move on their own, so if you see a hostage moving there is bound to be a terrorist right behind him. Also note that you won't be able to guide more then one hostage through the building at the time. A hostage will follow you automatically once you meet with him face to face.
The game has three levels of difficulty and several missions in each level. You start off as a lieutenant and once you successfully (without casualties) finish the toughest mission (assault) at that rank, you're in for a promotion. The problem is that on the next level you get to replay the same game over again, only it's somewhat harder to play (less info on the map, less time…). And it's this repetitiveness that I deducted one point off the perfect score for this game for.
Otherwise the game features nice 16 color EGA graphics and only basic sounds. It supports joystick control and if you ask me that's really the best way of playing it (brings back even more fond memories of the C64 days - at least for me). I should probably just warn you that you need to slow the DOSBox down to around 580 cycles to play this game, otherwise it's too fast.
Hostage: Rescue Mission is a fun game from Infogrames, published by Mindscape in the U.S. As commander of an anti-terrorist squad somewhere in Europe, your job is to rescue U.S. Embassy officials who have been taken hostage by terrorists.
The game begins with a neat introduction screen, from which you then select which difficulty you would like to play at, and which mission you want to play. The choice of missions is misleading, however, because the gameplay remains more or less the same regardless of what you choose. The first part of your mission is to deploy your men in three marked positions around the embassy for a sniper position. Your operatives can run and duck, but that's all you'll need to avoid the searchlights.
Once your snipers are in position, the scene switches to the building itself. Here, you must strategically place the remaining soldiers (positioned on the rooftop) around the top of the besieged embassy, ready to abseil down to enter through the windows below. Should any terrorists appear at the windows, you can use your marksmen to silently kill them. But you must learn to distinguish between the silhouettes of the innocents and those of the terrorists. The last stage of the game takes place inside the embassy itself, where you must search the three storeys for people to rescue, shooting any terrorists in sight. The graphics are crisp and smoothly animated in EGA, and the keyboard-only controls are easy to learn and use.
Despite boasting a unique premise and gameplay for its time, Hostage becomes a repetitive once the novelty wears off. This is because all the three stages are action-oriented with little variation in enemy types, etc. Had the game offered more variety a la MicroProse's underrated Covert Action, Hostage would be much more replayable and engaging. As it stands, it is still a fun game that becomes boring after you see what the stages are like.
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