What? No 'free' T-Shirt? Oh well, with a game this good who needs a T-shirt? Infestation is all about a small space colony that has been invaded and destroyed by a band of marauding aliens. You, Captain KAL SOLAR (to be pronounced in a big booming voice) have to travel alone to the colony, get inside the underground system, seek out the eggs, destroy them and then atomise the planet by setting the nuclear power source to critical mass. Well, there's no harm in making sure none of the nasty little critters get away, is there? What's a mere planet in this day and age?
The aliens aren't all you're likely to come up against. Alone on the surface of the planet you find yourself being attacked by lots of scuttling little spiders and not-so-scuttling large killer robot guards. Work out how to get underground - I'm not going to tell you how - and you'll find there are many other hazards to deal with. Many of the areas are radioactive. There are robots and computer systems turned haywire and hostile. Even simple things such as doorways can cause death. In most cases you will walk through two sets of doors, joined by a short passageway. To open the second door, the first must be closed. It's all too easy to try and open the second not realising that you're stood in the path of the first one and ... blam!!!
Your task is made slightly easier by your space suit. It provides you with oxygen when there's none, shielding from heat and radiation, a shoulder-mounted laser rifle and an onboard computer system that gives you lots of wonderful toys such as a complete navigational system that allows you to find your way through the labyrinth of tunnels and doors. You also get a notebook, complete physical analysis at a glance, an inventory and of course those ever important laser rifle sights. The problems? The suit only has a limited oxygen supply and a limited battery life, both of which have to be constantly topped up by collecting the special pods which litter the complex.
The graphics, in particular the stunning title screen, are amazing. They're not as superfast as Conquerer or Starglider 2. but they are very detailed and there are a hell of a lot of vectors on screen at any one time and they do move quickly. Not only does the graphics system do everything that Freescape has ever promised to do, it does it ten times better. The feeling of realism is incredible. It doesn't happen right away, of course. For the first hour or so you play, it's just a game, but once you start getting places, the feeling of 'actually being there' is overwhelming.
One room actually made me tremble. In one corner, there is a screwdriver, in another there is a battery for your suit, and slap bang in the middle is this huge floating head with glowing eyes that always turns to face you. It can kill you on contact, but doesn't ever move towards you. It just hovers menacingly in mid-air. I swear if it ever moved I'd have a heart attack. The ventilation system worried me too. After ten minutes of crawling along the seemingly endless maze of tunnels. I had to remove my helmet, regardless of whether or not there was oxygen. I'd rather die from asphyxiation than from claustrophobia.
Quite simply Infestation is an incredible game. I'd even go as far as to say it's a game that every Amiga owner should have. And every ST owner too. Truly a top-notch release.
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Innocent Until Caught, Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, Hostages, Hound of Shadow, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Hook, Iron Lord, It Came from the Desert
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