Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Anti-Christ Robot Total Destruction 9000

OK, credit where credit is due - as far as titles go, Super Anti-Christ Robot Total Destruction 9000 is pretty good. OK, it's really good, and it immediately piqued my interest. The game makes no apologies for what it is - combining blasphemy and utter carnage in what should be one fantastic mix. But if the game kicked ass, or was at least bearable, I wouldn't be reviewing it. So let's see why it sucks!

First of all, some backstory (since there is one.) The Anti-Christ Robot was, unsurprisingly, built by Satan (yes, that Satan) so that it may travel to Earth and wreak havoc. Sadly, the ACR met "the most beautiful creature his robot eyes would ever behold." Things go crazy, the ACR goes nuts and returns to Hell, and the Devil kicks him out for not being evil enough (which I think was pretty fair grounds for dismissal - he was working for Satan, after all.) Anyway, that's where we join our intrepid anti-hero - back on Earth and wanted by the cops.

OK, here's my first pet peeve. Crappy drawing aside, the angle we're looking at is terrible. It's not a side view, it's not a top-down view - it's a shitty compromise between the two, and it makes moving around a hell of a lot more difficult. On top of that, you start with no weapons other than an awful punch/kick attack which is about as useful as meat swim trunks in a shark tank when you're facing policemen with guns.

Unsurprisingly, you die. If you can survive long enough to dispatch a cop and take his gun, things get a lot easier, but only in the fact that rather than run up to a cop, throw a punch and miss, you now get to point a gun at the cop, fire a round and miss. You'll know if you hit the cops because little red death symbols will flash on them, but because of the angle of play you can never tell if a policeman is in your sights and consequently you'll lose more bullets than you can spare.

Once you pass the first bunch of cops, you run up a small alley to the next street, where you'll meet more cops. But as soon as you enter this area, a car crashes into an electrical pole, making sure you don't go anywhere except where the developer wants you to go. Look, if the game was going to be this linear, why did he bother with all the detail? he could have spent that time making the game better instead.

Anyway, you continue running around, shooting at cops and maybe, just maybe, occasionally hitting them. At one point you'll pick up some grenades, which would be useful if they weren't a pain in the ass to aim. By the time you've got yourself lined up with a crowd of policemen and are ready to lob a grenade at them, they've already gunned you down. And the worst part? If you die, you lose all your weapons. You're left with nothing but your hands and feet against gun-toting cops.

Thankfully, you eventually run up another alley and this level ends. Then Satan appears, and to be quite honest he doesn't look particularly happy. But then, he'd spent a lot of time and effort on that robot only for it to fall in love, so I can't blame him.

Satan tells the ACR that if he wreaks enough havoc he can return to Hell, which to me doesn't sound like much of an incentive. But then for all I know workers in Hell get full health benefits and three weeks paid vacation a year. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes - shitty game.

It seems that you can enter some of the buildings, or at least wander around the ground floor, but why you would do this, I can't say. Especially as you can't see where in the hell you're going in any of these places and you quickly get stuck. I would comment that it seems totally pointless, but then the same thing could be said about the game as a whole.

Here is the ACR getting blown up again. However, what you don't see in this screenshot is the car that hit me a few seconds earlier and killed me instantly. Yes, that's right - gunfire doesn't do squat to you, but one Honda going at the legal speed limit can really mess up your day.

In Level Three you're at a Jesuit church, and a sniper is trying to take you out. Why? Why not? Nothing else in this game has made sense. And just to hammer that point home, you have to pick up some C4 from the Jesuits, then plant it at the watch tower. The plan is to destroy the tower and kill the sniper.

OK... where did the Jesuits get C4 explosives? And why would they give them to Satan's robot? And why did I keep playing despite this? The good news is this is the final level in what is an incredibly short game. The bad news is it's damn near impossible.

Here's the scene, just moments after having been taken out for the last time. I tried using my grenades, but to no avail. And to be honest, I was glad it was over. It meant I could go play something else, something that actually looked nice, that played well and didn't take less time to complete than it took to load. So, Super Anti-Christ Robot Total Destruction 9000 - great title, shame about the game.

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