The Hive is a fast action-arcade game from Trimark Interactive. A long time ago, the Ancients engineered a mutant race called Hivasects, capable of producing a highly poisonous bio-toxin. The substance was so toxic that it caused the extinction of the Ancients, and it is now feared that the recent discovery of Ancients archeological sites could cause history to repeat itself and thus, threaten the safety of the entire galaxy. The Noir Dyne Corporation managed to recreate an entire hive from an archived DNA sample of a Hivasect Queen with their only goal being to produce the lethal bio-toxin.
In "The Hive", you are MAX, a Federation agent in a mission to infiltrate the Noir Dyne Corporation. With the help of Agent Ginger Malloy, you will have to make your way through the heavy defenses of the Hive battling against enemy fighters, ground troops, automatic weapons and Hivasects themselves.
The graphics in The Hive are quite stunning with remarkable rendered cinematic sequences using the latest 3D technology. There are four levels of details you can select for the graphics in order to match your system performances. They range from 320 by 200 to 640 by 480 using 256 or 65,536 colors.
What is new in "The Hive" is the Panoractive technology which offers a 360 degree view in which you can turn while playing. To give you an example, there is one level in the game where you control a gun turret. If you aim your gun to the left, the entire view will move to the left as if you were really there. But watch out, the enemy could come from behind your back, so don't stay too long in the same position. Not all the levels feature Panoractive sequences. Some levels play the same as in Cyberia or Rebel Assault 2 where you can only move your gun sight while shooting. There are levels where you don't have to shoot at all, simply maintaining the proper trajectory for your ship or choosing the right path in a deadly labyrinth.
Among the nineteen levels of "The Hive", you will find some easier than others, but the overall difficulty of the game remains high despite the presence of two levels: normal and expert. A practice level will offer you some training through two different levels but if like me, you encounter too many difficulties playing the game, you can download a patch at the end of this page to make the game easier. You can also play with a joystick instead of the mouse for better playability.
This review would not be complete without mentioning the fabulous soundtrack of "The Hive" that deserves a perfect score. When you listen to the orchestral soundtrack, you feel as if the music comes directly from a multi-million dollar movie production so intense and heart-pounding.
From all the shoot'em-ups available on the PC, The Hive is a way ahead of the competition. It is a must for any shooting fan. Definitely on my list of great games!
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