Title Fears Compatability AGA Type 3D Action Company Bomb Software HD Installable HD-patch: from Bert Jahn's WHDLoad page Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review My first memory of Fears, which is your standard 3D first person perspective action game, (a la Doom), was when some idiot uploaded an early demo of the game to the newsgroup comp.sys.amiga.games a few years ago. It`s a newsgroup for discussion, not binaries!! .....sorry. Anyway, the demo was actually quite good for that time, but needed a bit of work. As I recall, there was a lot of running around inside large single story buildings with funny little objects which shot at you while sliding around the floor, and didn`t do much else. It showed a lot of promise on just a vanilla 1200 though, and it was at this time that the race for the first Amiga Doom clone was on, Fears competitors were Alien Breed 3D, Poom, and Gloom, and I was sure we were in for something pretty good when the final version of Fears was released. So how did it turn out. Well, radically different to the demo, that`s for sure, and pretty different to any of the other games mentioned. The 3D environment in Fears along with the creatures that inhabit it, is bold and colourful, and sadly rather low in resolution, I believe it's another game like Alien Breed that has derived it's speed from using a "copper" trick which unfortunately means it can only work in a low resolution. Unlike the early demo, mentioned above, you are only able to see a very limited distance from your location, (what seems like a few yards) beyond this point everything is black. Nevertheless, it has some sort of visual charm, and it`s certainly a different look, so the game should be recognised to some degree for that if nothing else. The front end of the game is rather tasty though, combining some demo-coder style graphic techniques with some highly atmospheric music. This "atmosphere" is probably the game's strongest point, and I guess is largely generated by the rather spooky background track within the game itself. The gameplay is fairly basic, combining the usual objects, like first aid packs, ammunition, and weapon upgrades, but also piles of treasure for you to collect. There are a number of secrets to discover on each level, but as this tends to involve running around with your nose pressed against a wall tapping the spacebar, I gave up looking after a while. As you would expect you are able to strafe or sidestep in the game, which for this sort of title is pretty much a necessity, allowing the player to dodge otherwise potentially fatal incoming blasts of fire. There are also a number of sunken channels with lava flowing along them, and falling into these depletes your health at a rapid rate, although it ought to really just kill you outright, because as much as you run along looking for a way out of the lava channel, you never seem to find one. What makes it worse is that you can't tilt your view at all, and the way Fears is designed makes it often impossible to tell if the drop in front of you is a few feet down on to a stone path or a few feet down into a searing death of lava-induced agony. I've been slightly negative about the game, but one point where it excells is in the inclusion of a level editor that is actually useable. Okay, the 3D engine is not terribly sophisticated, and the maps are basically 2D, so you can't ever go directly above or below another location, also you're only entitled to use about three enemy types per level. That said though, the editor is a doddle to use, and I soon had a replica of my workplace designed and was busily blowing the management straight to hell with the rather stylish shotgun. Well..... they weren't really living anyway, were they?! A fair game then, with a degree of originality and style, but if you've got anything better than an 020 in your machine you'd be better off with an Amiga version of Doom.