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Rise of the Triad: Dark War is the first title from Apogee that can really compare to Doom, the reference for first person perspective games. With a license from Id Software, Apogee used the powerful Doom engine and added many interesting features. For example, you must choose your character at the start of the game and aim up or down to blast away your your enemies or use one of the ten devastating weapons you find in the game.

The enemies you will encounter are different according to the episode you are in. Dark War features four different episodes with a total of 30 levels whose size is sometimes over 1,000,000 square feet large. With such a huge gaming area, a map is more than necessary to succeed and therefore, the automap provided with the game is more than welcomed. At the end of each episode, you must find and defeat a boss to jump to the next level. It will not be easy and you will be tempted to use the cheat codes. Two cheat codes are given in the manual, but there are many others available in the game.

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Dark War is extremely violent, especially when your enemy literally blows up in bloody pieces all over the screen. It is a lot of fun for adults but it might hurt the sensibility of younger players. Apogee enables you to customize the violence level with a password to keep kids from changing it to the most violent level and trying to see what the gore looks like! We think this is a good idea, and we hope that other publishers will do the same for games that contain graphic violence or adult language.

The other new features in Dark War are the dangerous items you can discover. Rolling boulders, firejets, heat pits, spinblades or stabbers are some of the lethal hazards that might kill you which makes the game more challenging for the player than just shooting at everything that moves. The useful items are barrels where you can find healing, weapons or life items, and crates which contain T.N.T. that explode when you blow them up.

There are also pillars that can sometimes be pushed in only one direction which provide real puzzles in the heart of the action. The Gravitational Anomaly Disks found everywhere can be seen like stairs, bridges and even elevators. Just ride them to see what I mean.

The jump pads located on the ground, are used to push you in the air to grab bonuses that are hanging around. You will also find metal keys made of gold, silver and iron with the rarest one being the Oscuro key which usually hides valuable objects. Switches, elevators and touchplates are other things you will use during your task.

In Dark War, many other objects can be found like armor, gas mask, weapons and powerups. There are six different kinds of powerups. When you find the God Mode for example, you will be eight feet tall, invulnerable and able to disintegrate every living being nearby. Enjoy being like a god but as everything ends, the God Mode only last 30 seconds. Among the other special powerups is the Mercury Mode that enables you to fly, the Elasto which turns you into something like a rubber magic ball or the Dog Mode where you will be transformed into an invulnerable dog two feet tall.


Many gamers will enjoy the excessive violence and gore graphics of Dark War, but they will also like the many levels of the game. The special powerups, although they look similar to other features in other games (invulnerability, invisibility, etc..) also include things that have never been seen before in the other games, and it is nice sometimes to find some originality in a new game. Dark War is like a new version of Doom with plenty of nice things to discover!


386 DX-33 MHz or better,
Min 4 MB memory (8Mb recommended),
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required,
Single speed CD-ROM drive or faster (for CD version),
VGA 256 color graphic card and monitor,
Microsoft Mouse or 100% compatible,
Sound Blaster, MIDI, Gravis Ultrasound and others supported.

Ratings and Publisher

FormGen Inc., GRAPHICS ------------------ 88% 7641 East Gray Rd, SOUND ------------------ 90% Scottsdale, AZ 85260-3425. MUSIC ------------------ 90% Tel: 602-443-4109 GAMEPLAY ------------------ 90% INTEREST ------------------ 90% OVERALL ------------------- 90%
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