TekWar is one of those games that you really want to like but after giving it a good try you realize it's just not up to par with other first person shooters. The environment is futuristic and contains innocent civilians and other palatable eye candy set in a 21st century Los Angeles (circa 2045). The title of the game gives a descriptive clue as to what's going on in this somewhat scary future scenario. For anyone who has read the William Shatner Tek novels, the premise is one you'll grasp almost immediately. For those who don't know what Tek is, it's a highly addictive mind-damping drug that gives the user a false sense of euphoria by letting them re-live treasured experiences by tuning out reality. Unfortunately, the drug is gaining popularity with the masses and the evil TekLords (seven of them) are conspiring to distribute it through a world wide network known as the Matrix. As the main character and former cop who is familiar with the drug, you've been resuscitated from a cryogenic prison where you were stashed even though you were innocent of the crime for which you were convicted. You've now got a chance to set the record straight and patch up your reputation by simply shutting down the seven TekLords.
TekWar is inevitably compared to popular first person shooters like the highly acclaimed Doom which is like comparing a one-scoop cone to a banana split. Many of the features that go into making successful games in this genre are included in TekWar but none of them are executed well. For example, there are no smart opponents in the game. They mostly just stand in one spot and exchange weapons fire with you until dead and their lack of aggressiveness (read non-movement) allows you to break off the fight and retreat if necessary. Perhaps their uncanny and unfair accuracy from blocks away make up for their lack of motion. Innocent lives are of no consequence as you can wipe out civilians with no apparent downside. TekWar contains the normal fare such as fighting from level to level, manipulating doors and objects, tracking down the bad guys and disabling them. You certainly won't get sidetracked by any plot twists from your main objective which is to search, find and kill (typical for the genre). Little or no clues exist to help you in your search and destroy missions causing you to search, search and search some more until you've covered every nook and cranny of the level.
Is TekWar hopeless? Not totally. Given that game play plods along at a distressingly slow pace and is fairly dull and repetitive, there is a surprisingly nice look to the surroundings at times which is distracting enough to enjoy, once. However, if you've played other well designed shooters before, you'll be vastly disappointed by not only the sluggish game play and lack of intelligent opponents but even more so by the unforgivable sloppy combat. If you want Tek adventure, read the books.
Graphics: Probably the best part of the game, sadly enough. Still, the game is blotchy in places and fails to instill a sense of being in a real place at times.
Sound: Gunfire is pretty realistic (and a good thing, too, since it's the number one activity in the game).
Enjoyment: Frustrating game play, tedious and drawn out searching requirements, and dumb bad guys.
Replay Value: Can't imagine why anyone would want to go through this exercise twice.
People who downloaded William Shatner's TekWar have also downloaded:
Witchaven, Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance, Terminator, The: Future Shock, WipEout, Star Wars: Dark Forces, SkyNET, Operation Body Count, ÜberSoldier
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