Mercenary (Second Review)


Title           Mercenary (Second Review)
Game Type       3D Adventure
Publisher       Novagen
Players         1
Compatibility   All
HD Installable  No (WHDLoad patch available)
Submission      Tom Waddington (tom@waddie.org.uk)

Review
Imagine playing Frontier, only after landing on the planet, you can get
out of your ship and walk about. Then imagine you can't get back into your
ship and have to search the planet for a new one. This is pretty much the
situation Mercenary puts you in. (If you haven't played Frontier, Mercenary
is a first person perspective 3D game.) After crash landing on the planet
Targ, into the middle of a war between the Palyars and the Mechanoids, you
must trade and fight your way up in the standing of either or both of the
combatants until you can find a ship capable of leaving the planet's
atmosphere and going home.

The graphics are almost 8-bit in their lack of complexity: White
wireframes on a green background (or a red background if you're playing
the much harder Second City). The interaction with the Palyars and
Mechanoids is limited to an occasional text message zipping along the
bottom of the screen and sound consists of a static roar for engine
noises, a wurbling ping to announce a message and a generic bang for gun
shots and explosions. It still manages to be utterly immersive, though,
creating an oddly convincing world even as you wander unhindered into top
secret, underground military installations.

Now, in these days of Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid, a game of this kind
of graphical simplicity and Dizzy style puzzles might not have as much to
offer as it once did, but if you can abandon your expectations of
millions-of-polygons-per-second and complicated plot development you will
find an enjoyable game with no pretensions to being anything other than
challenging and immersive.



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