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One day though, what everyone feared became a reality; all mining activities on the three moons had stopped for good, and not because of strikes! The last remaining mechanized Ioxan citadel, inoperative for over two centuries, was back online, preventing the access to the moons' surface with a strong and impenetrable ion field. After the dispatched force had been annihilated, the idea of sending one single element to infiltrate the defenses and shut down the power, was accepted unanimously. Where an entire army had failed, one had to be successful for the sake of the galaxy. Your mission will be to enter the Citadel, get rid of any resistance you encounter and lower the shields to restore mining operations as soon as possible.
In Accolade's Eradicator, you choose the character that you will incarnate during the game, each one having its own skills, weaknesses and weapons. Eleena Brynstaarl is a feline-type female mercenary that has been hired by the Universal Mining Guild (UMG), and while she is of a relative fragile constitution, she moves with the same grace and agility as felines. The strong built Treydan warrior Kamchak, is quite limited by his huge reptilian body, but his aptitude for combat is unmatched and his heroism doesn't need to be proved. Between these two characters is Dan Blaze, a cybernetically improved male humanoid working in the Mazrium mines as an engineer. Compared to Kamchak and Eleena, he is not as strong and fast as they are respectively, but he blends force and stamina to a good mobility which makes him a good choice to start with the game.
Once entered into the citadel, you will have to go through 21 levels (identical for the three characters) that will lead you to the inner core where the guardian G'or will be waiting for you. The real innovation in Eradicator is the third-person view that allows a panoramic view of the surrounding world through a camera placed above and behind your back. For those who would miss it, the standard first-person view is still available, and switching from one view to the other while playing, is done by pressing a single key that can be customized at will. Another great original feature of the game is the PiP (Picture-in-Picture). As you progress in the citadel's bowels, you will stumble on various monitors that you can use. Each monitor will allow you to view through the eye of a fully controllable remote camera, placed elsewhere in the complex. This will help you to elaborate your attack plan by first spotting where the enemy forces are located. Through monitors, it is sometimes possible to control a droid that you can then turn against its own side. The PiP window is placed at the upper left corner of the screen, but you can also bring its content on the main view to get more details, or reduce it to a simple icon. Some weapons will also be guided using the PiP view such as missiles, spider and flying bombs, and other deadly devices. The spider bomb, for example, can be guided exactly like you would do with your character. It can open doors, jump, and it will detonate when it reaches its target. These possibilities will greatly enhance the game play by adding a tactical approach to the game, which changes the play of the regular "blast everything out" offered by other games of this kind. The mission objectives for each level, as in Dark Forces, also contribute to make the game much more interesting than just wandering across levels looking for the bad guys.
Graphically, Eradicator can't pretend to the best score especially when you compare its VGA graphics to the SVGA resolution used in Duke Nukem 3D. However, for the same graphic mode (standard VGA), Eradicator looks better than Duke Nukem 3D, with a 3D environment as rich as the one featured in Dark Forces. The glaucous atmosphere of the citadel, obtained by realistic textures, is enhanced by the presence of a CD audio soundtrack that surrounds the player with a tense and somehow frightening feeling, that someone may be lurking behind you. Yet, the audio isn't really a musical score except for a level or two, but rather strange noises and intriguing rattles that re-echo within the underneath galleries of the citadel, which really gives the player the sensation of being there. You will also hear your character commenting the action, each with their own voice.
Eradicator is no exception to the rule of multi-player. With the possibility to play with up to eight on a network, in a cooperative or death-match play, Eradicator is the hottest multi-player experience of the moment, while waiting for Dark Forces 2. There are also modem and serial connections available for a two players game, and while there are no Internet multi-player services yet for the game, it shouldn't be too long before you can play with Eradicator on the net, other than via Kali.
Written by Frederick Claude
Click here for screen shots.
Click here for the demo.
IBM-PC 486 DX2-66 Mhz, Pentium and most compatibles,
Min 8Mb memory,
Windows 95 or Dos 5.0 or higher,
Hard drive required with at least 45Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive faster,
VGA compatible video card,
Microsoft compatible mouse.
All major soundcards supported.
Keyboard and joysticks supported.
Network play: Modem play, serial connect, IPX Networks.
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