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PC Reviews: Devastation




The Final Say!


 - reviewed by Richard Hill
Review Date: 06 May 2003
Review Score: 7.5/10
Distributed by Manaccom 

The latest offering from Arush Game (the ones that brought us duke nukem; manhattan project), is Devastation. Set in the year 2075, the earth is a veritable wasteland that is run by evil corporations. Technology is in the darkages, and what little research and technology is available the corporations use to keep society as a virtual prison and enforce their will on everybody. Everyone except the resistance groups, loosely organized ransackers that are working to bring down the corporations at their every turn. To help these corporations, they have brutal police squads called Pacification Squads that use mind control, fear and of course, brute force to keep the peace in the streets.

You play Flynn Haskell, a leader of one of these resistance groups, and you look ridiculously like eminem, bleach blonde hair and all. To help you through most of the game, you have a couple of computer controlled people (or bots, whichever you prefer), which you can control through a simple interface. Hit a designated key, a menu pops up with each bots name in it, select the all or which bot you want, and choose to make them either hold, attack, defend or follow. The bots do these simple tasks adequately, as their a.i is limited. Quite often your squad would try and attack the enemy, and be hopelessly outnumbered and die, which caused you to restart from the last save point.


The overall a.i leaves a lot to be desired, as it was majority of the time I would shoot an enemy, and then they would turn and run straight for me and my squad. Every now and then they would surprise me and would strafe behind a corner, only to pop out and run straight for me. Also letting the a.i down is when you can shoot 1 enemy with a sniper rifle, only to have his teammate, who was standing beside him, stay in the one spot spinning around looking to see where the shot came from.

(*Editors note - manaccom have since released a massive 60 odd meg patch that will address some of these issues - it can be downloaded or sent on a cd for $5.00*)

The weapons in the game are your standard run of the mill, there are a couple of different pistols, which can also be deployed john woo style if you have to of them, to the pump action and auto shotgun, smg's which can also be used john woo style if you have 2 of them, to assault rifles, sniper rifles and grenades. One weapon which I thought was different was the rat grenade. This incorporated a rat with a chunk of c4 attached to its back and brain electrodes to allow you to control it. By doing this, you control the mouse as if it was yourself, and you can access normally inaccessible areas and blow the crap out of any person (and the rat) who happens to be in the blast radius. The main disappointment I had was that the guns available are pretty much the same as the guns which can be bought over the counter at you local guns dealer. If you lived in America at least.

Graphics and sound in the game were uninspiring, or dull to say the least. This isnít saying that they were bad, but the game is using the unreal warfare engine, and as such it can handle lush areas with lots of colour and open environments. Instead we get endless darkish corridors, which get repetitive, and the outdoor areas we get are normally a corridor without a roof. The game play is linear, meaning that you are directed in every way you go. There are no alternative routes, and your squad can to places where you canít go, which makes it frustrating.

Player models are a little less detailed than in games like ut2k3. From a distance, they start to look chunky, but from a medium distance they arenít too bad. Weapon models are done well, and the animations suit the game. It is easy to see what weapon a teammate is holding by looking at them, although the pistols all seem to look alike in the heat of battle even though one might be holding a .45 and another might be holding a 9mm. One annoying part of the models is that of bins, crates, chairs and such. They seem to have a really bad habit of getting in your way. The sounds lack a bit of bark to them. Arush have used a lot of deep bass sounds, so if your speaker setup has average or poor bass handling, then you will miss some of the sounds. Ambience sound wasnít that bad, but you get sick of the sound of kicking bottles on concrete quickly.

Multiplayer aspects for this game are a pretty much your standard options seen today, from street war (death match), team street war (team death match), territories, and capture the flag. There are no Australian servers, so Telstra customers might want to watch their usage, but you can expect the pings to be very ordinary, the lowest I got was a ping of 160 on a 512/256 ADSL account. Although with that said, the lag I got was minimal and I have had fun games with much worse pings than this.

All up, if you're after something new from a first person shooter, you may feel disappointed after playing this game. If you're after a standard shooter, this game might appeal to you.

- Richard Hill


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