Are you tired of the same old racing games where you drive around in a circle 500 times? Do you want to blow the hell out of the other cars on the track? Then power up your plasma gun and jump into Zone Raiders for a little excitement. Although this title is at its heart a driving simulation, you won't get bogged down with gear ratios and wind drag. All you have to know is how to drive fast and hit hard.
In Zone Raiders, you're a scavenger whose ultimate goal is to reach the FreeZone. You can acquire goodies such as new weapons, shield regenerators, and jet packs as you speed around 15 different tracks.
The graphics in Zone Raiders are fluid and pleasant, but a great deal more detail could have been added to the tracks and cars. The music is typical, techno-inspired fare which pumps you up to blast away other vehicles.
Zone Raiders' best overall feature is its gameplay. Even though your hovercar requires several buttons to control, you can customize the keys to suit your specific style of play. Before long you'll be zipping down the highway, and even off of it, as you search for new gadgets to add to your car.
Of Zone Raiders' few flaws, its monotony and flat graphics are the most problematic. Although the tracks look different, all you do is speed around and blow up vehicle after vehicle. Avid arcade fans may not tire of this, but others may begin to find it tedious. Also, because the graphics are a bit flat, it's often hard to tell if you are approaching a curve at 160 mph or if that speck in front of you that keeps moving is indeed "The Guardian."
Overall, Zone Raiders is an entertaining game that is fun to play for short periods of time.
The world has just ended. You're a Zone Raider, a pirate who uses a hovercar to plunder the zones surrounding..... yadda, yadda, yadda. If you're like me, you really don't care much about the background story behind standard action games such as this one. I myself got about three sentences into the introduction in the user's manual and then decided that I would let the game speak for itself. Here's what I found.
The game goes like this - your perspective is from that of a heavily armed hovercraft which is placed on a futuristic track guarded by strategically placed rocket launchers and enemy hovercrafts which all want to kick your butt. Your job is to go out there and grab your target pieces and then find your exit out of this track, all the while trying not to take too much damage, so as you don't end up a goner. The best way to do this, as far as I can ascertain, is to be quick, in control, and careful with your aim, because your enemies come at you fast and furious and they sure do mean business.
Graphically, this game's look reminded me a lot of Descent. It has a grainy, pixelized, 3-D feel that, although fairly decent to look at when your vehicle is in motion, when your hovercar is not moving, can be a right bloody mess to see. Ultimately, in comparison, to what else is out there today in terms of 3-D racers (i.e. Wipeout for the PSX) the graphics in this game are just not top quality. The sound effects are standard fare as well - no different than any number of bang and crash action games on the PC market today.
Thankfully, your vehicle is fairly easy to control and getting from point A to B in this game is a real challenge because of the baddies, not because of wonky play mechanics. Getting your aim down so that you are an effective shooter is a bit tricky to begin with but can be picked up quickly enough, with a bit of practice. Are you going to want to play this game enough to get good at it, however? Probably not.
There just isn't enough here to keep you coming back for more. As far as action games for the PC are concerned, this one is better than average, no doubt. But average really sucks in that category, in my opinion. Ultimately, what this game lacks most is character. Say what you want about the much maligned "Quarantine" for the PC, but it had character! I kept wanting to play "quarantine" to see more of its goofy characters and weird scenarios. Zone Raiders is too cut and dry. Its simplistic gameplay and goals just don't draw me in and make me want to stay up late and keep me playing.
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