Absolute Zero, the space combat game from Domark, attempts to boggle your mind in a twisting, turning adventure. You assume the role of several different characters in a variety of vehicles to save humanity from a new alien race. Use your wits, special vehicles, and weapons to fight off the ever growing and ever evolving alien race. This space combat game features cinematic sequences and voice actors.
Absolute Zero contains 30 missions that take place in three environments: space, land, and under the moon's surface. The in-game world is set in the 24th century, at a time when humanity has perfected advanced space travel.
In the 24th century, on the frozen Jovian moon of Europa, earth has established a colony to extract water from the moon. One of the mining facilities accidentally discovers on their excavations members of a long-buried alien race. The creatures, now awake, slaughter all the miners and destroy the moon's capital city. It's up to you now to defend what's left of the colony and eliminate the aliens, or at least hold them off until help arrives.
Gameplay consists of 3D space combat action (though mostly on the moon's surface) with a twist: you don't play a specific character or campaign, instead you are placed on the shoes of different characters with each new mission. Each trying to do their best to survive using 7 different vehicles, from starfighters, to recon scouts, to ground-based turrets.
Absolute Zero is yet another missed opportunity for Domark: a game that offers an innovative premise that is so refreshing that it makes poor gameplay all the more regrettable. GameSpot's review says it all:
"The starfighter genre has been around since Star Raiders debuted on the Atari 800, and few significant improvements have been made since. The same basic game design is retread again and again, and even high profile titles like Wing Commander IV offer little more in the way of gameplay than their predecessors. With Absolute Zero, Domark seems intent on taking a completely different approach to the genre. The problem is that while Absolute Zero's design concepts are unique, the game interface is poorly executed.
The story is well-conceived and fresh, following the lives of 24th century humans who have finally mastered cold fusion, and buzz around the solar system like busy bees. Much of the activity centers on Europa, an ice-covered Jovian moon that now provides fuel for human fusion engines. While they're mining, the busy little workers discover, under the Europan ice, a hibernating race of aliens who are now seriously pissed. Military reinforcements are a ways off, so the miners convert their equipment into makeshift military hardware to battle the aliens until help arrives.
It's not easy to jump into this game. The main interface, called a VR Tunnel, leaves you a bit unsure of what to do unless you've carefully read the manual first. Even so, with practice, you'll master the controls, piloting both air- and landcraft from the perspective of several different would-be heroes. As you progress through the game, more is revealed about your newfound foes and their strange crystalline forms.
Absolute Zero is a nice change of pace from the increasingly ordinary world of starfighting games. But those looking to jump in and start shooting are headed for a frosty disappointment."
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