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In Velocity's latest release, Strife, a comet has struck the world and everything has gone chaotic. There were fires, plagues, and even mutations. Some of the survivors heard a voice from an evil being and gathered to form a group called the Order. The others were savagely hunted, slaughtered and driven underground. They started to organize a resistance, and soon the Front was born, dedicated to the Order's destruction. However, although they are preparing for the war today, they are not yet ready for the confrontation.

In its fall, the comet had also released a virus which made members of the Order decay quickly and putrefy. To stay alive, they had to replace some of their limbs with their bionic equivalents. In this neo-medieval style epoch, technological weaponry and robotics is quite advanced, and largely used by the Order to protect itself from its enemies.

It is in this chaotic context that you will start the adventure. You must talk to the people and accomplish their various missions in exchange for money and new weapons. You can't trust anyone in this world as some of the missions you may receive are setups. A piece of advise: better do the missions the Front gives you.

Picture 1
At first glance, the game is very similar to Doom from Id Software, and it's no wonder as Strife uses an enhanced Doom engine. What you see in front of you is the weapon you are currently holding, and the surrounding environment. You can walk all over the place continuously and turn around with complete 360 degrees of freedom. The auto-map is also available.

Compared to the original Doom, there are some neat features that were added such as the inventory where you can store items that you may not want to use on the spot, the possibility to jump, breakable glasses, and the multiple use of weapons.

The real novelty is that your character evolves with time and practice, as in a traditional role playing game. However, only two characteristics can be improved in Strife: the accuracy and stamina. Whenever you complete your mission's objectives or simply practice, these two characteristics will evolve. As a consequence, it will improve your shooting skills, immediately noticeable by a smaller spread of the projectiles which gives you greater precision.

Strife's playability is good, but can be a bit slow at times. You can always hold your shift key down to go faster, but I personally don't think it is very good for the keyboard. Anyhow, you don't need that much speed as most of the time you can't shoot at the people in front of you. Another point that annoys me is the enormous size the game takes once installed on the hard drive. No less than 70 MB are required in order to play with the game without any other choices that are usually present in most of the games nowadays.

Both sounds and voices during the game are excellent. It is quite a pleasure in fact to hear the characters give you a mission order. Once you start talking to them, the characters you encountered will explain their missions and give advice while you view an animated close-up of them.

Because the game is based on the Doom engine, it supports multi-player over networks and modem connections. There you can have the old feeling back of slaughtering and "revenge-o-drome". However, in this mode you don't need to accomplish missions, and all you really need is a load of weapons and other accessories with a live target to shoot at. It is then that you are really freed from all your frustrations.

The screen definition (320 by 200) compared to the actual standards is not particularly convincing. Of course, it is appealing for people with lower configurations such as a 486DX-33 for example, but perhaps the development team could have added the possibility to change the graphical resolution according to the performances of your machine. With this low resolution, the characters as well as the various enemies you will encounter within the game are too cartoon-like, and you don't really feel as if you are in a chaotic world where your own survival is threatened every moment.


Even though it feels like Doom, it looks like Doom and it acts like Doom, Strife isn't really like Doom. No wandering around where you're not supposed to be, and no shooting around on everything that moves or could be flammable or breakable. In this game that is half way between a role-playing game and a Doom-like game, the important thing is to accomplish the given mission with no fooling around. For the slightest little thing you do off the beaten path, your enemies will sound the alarm and you will get caught. Going back is quite hard because you only have one saving slot. On the role-playing game part, missions don't present any particular difficulties, and you don't have all the fun gimmicks of a true RPG. You only have two characteristics to improve and no magic or other needs for food and rest.

Click here for screen shots.

Written by Frederic zur Nedden

System Requirements:

486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive with 70Mb of free space,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
VGA Video graphic card,
Mouse, joystick and modem support.

16/32-bit soundcards supported.


In North America:

Velocity Inc.,
77 Geary Street, Suite 500,
San Francisco, CA 94108-5723.

Technical Support:415-392-4357
Order Line:1-800-856-2489

Web site: Velocity

In Europe:

Distributed by 3DO Company

PC Ratings:



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