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Mission Critical is a science-fiction adventure set in the 22nd century. The war between the United Nations and the Alliance of Free Worlds has been ravaging humanity for more than 20 years and the conflict shows no signs of ending. It started at the end of the second half of the 21st century because of a difference of opinions about the right attitude to adopt towards technological progress, the war quickly stopped after a few months of combat as both sides had run out of soldiers. A peace treaty was finally signed between the two belligerents leaving time for the wounds to heal on each side. This period of peace, called the new cold war, only last until 2111 when the United Nations attacked the countries from the Alliance once more. However, the conflict was now at an interplanetary scale and cities were attacked with particle beam weapons directly from space. Earth was not the only place for battle as colonies were not spared either by the extension of the conflict which took even more innocent civilians as hostages.
As seen in the introduction at the beginning of the game, two ships from the Alliance have reached a far away planet called Persephone. The first ship, the USS Lexington, is a military battleship that accompanies the USS Jericho, a scientific vessel, in its missions. Only a few moments after both ships completed their orbital approach, they are savagely attacked by the UN ship Dharma. The battle drones from the USS Lexington are rapidly destroyed by their UN equivalent and both Alliance ships have suffered heavy damage. At the end of a clever subterfuge imagined by the USS Lexington captain, you are left alone unconscious in the ship as the only survivor of both Alliance and UN crews.
The captain's note in your inventory will inform you about recorded instructions left by Lieutenant Commander Tran, and tell you about the existence of VIS override codes for crew staterooms. Before going anywhere else in the ship, your first priority is the decompression on Deck Two that happened during the battle with the UN forces. The air is slowly leaking through a hole in the ship's hull and you must find a way to fix it as air replenishment has been terminated on Deck two following Damage Control procedures. Once this first task is completed, you will learn from Tran's recorded message what awaits you later in the adventure. The ship's reactor is close to a meltdown because of a malfunction in the reactor's coolant system, and the main computer is down and communications are out of order. All these systems will have to be repaired before you can continue further in the adventure. Once it is done, don't believe it is over, the adventure is only beginning! What mission were the two ships sent out for? What lies on the surface of Persephone? These are the questions you will now start wondering about, and only if you buy the game, will you discover the answers!
The new interface designed for Mission Critical is really easy to use. The main view shows what your character sees and, as you move the cursor on the screen, it will change into an arrow and indicate what directions you can move or turn. If you move into a direction, you will usually go to another location. What is new here are the 3D rendered computer animations following most of your movements. The SVGA graphics make them even more beautiful with fast and realistic animations. If you want to stop movement animation or cinematic sequences during the game, you can right click the mouse. If you turn instead, the screen will scroll to the left or to the right depending on which way you decided to go.
On the top of the screen, a menu bar will let you restore or save your game, undo a command, change the volume, restart and quit the game. The map is shown in a window and indicates your current location.
The commands in Mission Critical are also very simple. The way it works
makes you build commands as you would do with objects and verbs. For example,
if you have a key in your inventory and you want to open the door in front
of you, you must first click on the key, then move the cursor on the door.
You will see the sentence "Open the door with the key" on the screen and if
this is what you want, you just have to click to validate your entry. Really
easy and it also works with putting objects together from the inventory.
Another stunning feature of the game is the integration of full motion video with professional actors starring Michael Dorn from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Patricia Charbonneau from "Robo Cop II" as commanding officers of the USS Lexington. The video's quality is sterling with a perfect integration into the 3D environment and the actors's performances add a dramatic dimension to the story.
Finally, the sound effects and the musical score in Mission Critical take an important place. All dialogues are spoken even those between you and the various consoles you will use throughout the game. There are many sound effects in the game from warnings in the ship to sounds of electrical storms and this contributes to give Mission critical a realistic environment. The various musical tracks throughout the game match your actions and never did I find myself being annoyed by the music. If however, you think the contrary, you can always reduce the volume of the music, sound effects and voices.
Mission Critical is exactly what you can expect of a brilliant adventure game. The thrilling scenario, the remarkable graphics mixing videos and rendered animation with the compelling soundtrack make Mission Critical a title you can't miss if you like science fiction and adventure games.
486 DX-33 MHz or higher,
Min 4Mb memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required with 4Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card (PCI or VESA local bus),
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles.
Roland MIDI cards MT-32, LAPC-1, Sound Canavas, SCC-1, RAP-10; Sound Blaster and 100% compatibles, Sound Blaster Pro, 16, AWE32; Gravis UltraSound; Ensoniq Soundscape; MediaTRIX Audiotrix.
Technical Support: 800-658-8891
Technical Support from Canada and other locations: 703-222-8515
Order line: 800-658-8891
Hint line From USA: 900-933-2583 $1.00 per minute
From Canada: 900-451-3615 $.95 Canadian per minute
Internet Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Virgin Interactive Entertainment,
2 Kensington Square,
London, W8 5RB.
Technical Support: +44-(0)171-3682266
Fax Support: +44-(0)171-468-2000
BBS Support: +44-(0)171-468-2022
Internet Support: Customer_Support@vie.co.uk
Web site: www.vie.co.uk/vie
Virgin Interactive Entertainment,
233 Rue de la Croix Nivert,
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