Looks like there's trouble in the Octario system. A band of vicious aliens have pooled their Esso Tiger Tokens and cashed them in for a Promethean cannon, a weapon so powerful that one shot can destroy an entire galaxy!
Time to high-tail it out of there, you might think, but you haven't got enough go-juice in your fuel tanks to propel you out of the blast zone. However, the Octarions have offered to give you some fuel if you complete a few tasks for them.
A typical mission is split into three sections. First off you travel towards your destination, blasting any enemy convoys and asteroid belts that get in your way. This is displayed in overhead rotate-o-vision (a bit like US Gold's Rotox and Operation Harrier but all done out in sprites).
After that you boosts down to the planet in the ship's shuttle, and kill any pirates and weird Space Dragons that get in the way. This section takes the form of a very speedy Space Harrier-style 3D shoot-out with vast monsters whizzing in and out of the screen.
When you finally land, the heat is well and truly onas you land on the planet and run about the landscape looking for the trading centre, where goods are sold, weapons bought, and the next mission and destination are chosen. Make sure you get there before the timer ticks down or it'll be the worse for you!
Make no mistake: graphically and sonically Awesome is totally, um, awesome! The amazing super-smooth graphics and superb animation are backed with a number of funky soft-metal soundtracks, but as wise man often say, "Good graphics and sonics alone do not a good game make."
All of the various sub-games are polished and playable, but none have any real depth and although Psygnosis have tried to keep disk accessing to a minimum, it's still a right royal pain in the jacksie. The option to minimise access by turning the sound off is a bit of a non-starter - how about just one atmospheric soundtrack that always stays in memory instead?
Any road up, I had a good few hours of fun with Awesome but after that, even the nice graphics weren't enough to keep me playing. It's another tremendously stylish package from Psygnosis, but as far as gameplay goes, Awesome is a little disappointing.