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Graphics: The graphics in SWIV 3D Assault are pretty good, especially with a 3Dfx card installed on your system. The problem with the graphics is that they are pretty limited and barren. For the most part the world that SWIV 3D Assault takes place in is populated by some pine trees here and there, and small buildings and towers scattered across the land. Depending on the mission and the point in the game that you are at, the terrain will vary from an alien planet to roving green hills. The frame-rate and scrolling are excellent, and the roaming mountains that fly by look great. You have to imagine the graphics engine being very similar to the way that Comanche looked when it first came out. The way that the land comes up on the screen and the movement of your craft as you weave in and out of the various valleys that populate the landscape, has the same perspective that the Comanche series had. With the 3Dfx acceleration enabled, I was a little disappointed by how the graphics looked. Yes, they are smooth and glossy, but they are also pretty barren. With some of the games that have come out for the 3Dfx it is easy to see that SWIV 3D Assault does not take full advantage of some of its powers. The explosions are a little weak and the enemies on the screen are almost too small to see at times. On the positive side, the water in the game rolls back and forth in a flowing motion that is very convincing. The graphics just did not have a polished feel to them, considering the amount of attention that this title received a few months back.
Interface: There really is not that much to the interface in SWIV 3D Assault. All the menus are easy to navigate and use, but this is not one of those games where you will be impressed with the interface. While in the game, the controls are very similar to playing any other 3D game. You control your vehicles with the arrow keys and use the spacebar and the control key to fire and strafe side to side. Weapons are chosen by using the number keys across the tops of the keyboard. I found the control of the vehicles easy to get used to and since they are set up like other popular 3D games, it was easy to get going right off the bat. It was nice to see the options of setting up the mouse to be used for lateral movement allowing players to configure the controls to be even more similar to those of games like Quake.
Gameplay: Gameplay is loosely centered around a story, while playing the game consists of fighting and completing mission objectives. That is why I would consider SWIV 3D Assault to be an arcade game. Whether you are in the beginning of the game or at the end, the objectives center around taking out different targets. This might not necessarily be a bad thing but it can get to be a little boring after a while. Just like in other 3D games, once you master avoiding the enemy fire by using different tactics, and can gather the right power-ups, some of the missions can become too easy. I do have to say this about SWIV 3D Assault: it is a pure arcade action fest, and a non-stop assault on the player sitting behind the keyboard.
Sound FX: The sound in SWIV 3D Assault is on the average side. There are sounds for just about everything that happens on the screen. What I did not like about the sounds was that it was difficult to depict where things were coming from at times. When you would shoot things the sounds did not always match what was happening on the screen. There are different sounds for the different vehicles but there just is not really that much to the sounds to talk about.
Musical Score: There are a number of professionally done music tracks that are included on the CD. I thought that all the songs that were included with SWIV 3D Assault sounded excellent, and that was probably the part of the game I liked the most while playing. With names like “Heroes & Hell” and “Ride of the Valkyries,” you have to wonder what these guys were thinking when they were composing the music to be included in the game. Hey, wait a minute, “Ride of the Valkyries”? I feel like I am watching the movie Apocalypse Now. As you can see, some of the songs were not actually written by the developers of SWIV 3D Assault, but are taken from more famous movies or compositions! For any fans of synth music, SWIV 3D Assault offers a great glimpse into what is possible with a keyboard and a sequencer!
Intelligence & Difficulty: The game has more of an arcade feel to it than anything else. Enemies don’t really have that much intelligence, except that they come after you at all costs. Depending on the zone that you are playing in and what vehicle you are controlling, the game can be difficult and easy at the same time. As I talked about earlier in the review, there are times when you need to be aware of your surroundings, and this includes power-ups. If you properly arm yourself by gathering the right weapons at the right time, the difficulty of certain objectives can be greatly reduced. The reason that I gave this section 2 stars was because I felt the game was just too predictable. Instead of thinking how to most effectively attack or ambush you, enemies will always come straight at you, especially in the earlier levels of the game. This does not lead to much excitement, and makes SWIV 3D Assault more like playing an arcade game where you have to hit the targets while avoiding the enemy fire.
Overall: I thought that SWIV 3D Assault was going to be a little better than it was. The graphics are good, but they also are too bland compared to some of the other titles that are out or expected shortly. Gameplay is fun but the missions can get boring, with the objectives being the same time and time again. The different vehicles that you can use in the game are great, but they can become too old, too quickly. This is a title definitely geared towards players that are looking for action. Even though it is not always non-stop, there still is a lot of action contained in SWIV 3D Assault.
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