It's a couple of years since the Bitmap Brothers released its smash hit The Chaos Engine and the game sold like hot-cakes because of the blend of playability, superb graphics and sound. The long awaited sequel, cunningly entitled The Chaos Engine 2, will be released this Christmas, virtually assuring the Bitmap Brothers another runaway success.
The story is simple enough. Professor and mad bloke extraordinaire Baron Fortesque builds a time machine which he christens The Chaos Engine (it's got to sound sinister and scary -you couldn't be calling your time machine The Luv Bug could you now?)
This cowboy contraption blows up because he's been using dodgy spare parts or something and four hapless characters are lost in time. The only way they can get back is to help Fortesque rebuild his dodgy machine. The one who makes the greatest contribution and gains the most points is granted his freedom.
You can choose to be one of four characters: The Gent - a pretty swish looking character with a pony tail (always a sign of quality) and a trench coat. Despite being armed with a pistol, he relies more on his sense of cool to keep him out of danger.
Then there is the Navvie - a bloke who looks like Bob Hoskins with a Zapata moustache and a lanky mop top. The slightly boring Brigand just looks shady and nondescript and finally, there is the Mercenary. It's not easy describing this guy because he just looks plain bizarre. The closest I can think of would be a grown up Charlie Brown with a psychotic grin and a pair of extremely thick Coke bottle bottom glasses.
Many things remain relatively unchanged from the original Chaos Engine. However, unlike the original, CE2 puts more emphasis on having two players competing for the same prizes which adds considerable pressure and excitement to the game.
The aim is also pretty much the same as the original - pick up as many bonus points as possible and find the key that enables you to leave that level and exit before your opponent. Sounds simple? Well it's anything but - when you're going head to head Quakewise with another opponent in a battle arena already packed with bad guys, the game gets very challenging.
Your success in the game is now much more dependent on tactics - you can play the game with all guns blazing making sure your opponent is constantly under so much fire he won't pose much of a threat. Alternatively you can hide and mug the guy when he steps in your direction.
Chaos Engine also incudes a number of those little touches that add to a game. For instance, when your character runs out of ammo and you press your fire button, the little bloke faces the screen and gives a big comical 'ah well' type shrug. If you are trying to dodge enemy fire, the characters can flatten themselves against walls in a 'Starsky and Hutch in a gunfight' fashion. Another touch differing from the original Chaos Engine is that you can run stairs and jump down from parapets, add (literally) another dimension the game.
Chaos Engine 2 is a great game. If you don't have the original, go and buy this. There is everything you'd want from a game here. The graphics are smooth and flowing, the action non-stop and there is a huge amount of playability.
It has arrived! The second episode of the most popular action game ever released on Amiga! Chaos Engine 2! Unfortunately this game is a little bit disapponted me, because it has only splitted screen mode, and much weaker music and graphics than in the first Chaos Engine. Maybe it's enjoyable only for two players...
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