Computer Gamer


Publisher: Ocean
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer Gamer #22


Ocean have got their teeth well and truly into Game of the Film of the Book type tie-ins these days and their latest release, Cobra, is no exception. Cobra is Marion Cobretti, a vigilante cop of the Zombie Squad. A one-man killing machine and a typical role for Sylvester Stallone - one in which there are more baddies to be killed than words to be spoken. His lady-friend, Ingrid, is also hanging around, generally getting in everyone's way and waiting to be rescued.

So stupid is she, that she manages to do this on each of the three levels - the city scene, rural area and factory - as Cobra rushes his way towards a final confrontation with the Night Slasher.

Starting off weaponless, Cobra must go around greeting his enemies with the old Glaswegian handshake (i.e. headbutting them). There are, of course extra weapons to be found - there always are but you'll never guess where. Wrong! They're hidden inside hamburgers! Imagine the scene next time you go for a Big Mac. "What would you like on your quarter-pounder today, sit? Onion, ketchup, pickle and a Laser-sighted machine gun. Have a nice day!"


Of course, all heroes have their weak spots. Achilles had his heel. Indiana Jones was afraid of snakes. What is Cobra scared of? Wrong again! It's prams! Perambulatorphobia. They temporarily stun our hero allowing the baddies to close in. And what baddies they are! Thugs wielding knives and pretty girls equipped with the latest matching accessory of a portable bazooka.

All that is missing now is a few fluffy animals. Oh look! Whenever you get a weapon (from the hamburger remember) a duck appears at the bottom of the screen. In keeping with the theme of violence, it promptly starts to disintegrate - your weapon, it appears, self-destructs in a certain amount of time. After much research, I discovered why a duck (a bird not renowned for its innate savagery) was used. The answer was that it was a cue card telling Stallone what to do if a missile came towards him - lot easier than words, I'm sure you will agree.

The graphics are OK but nothng stunning; the screen can end up looking very messy. There are nice options allowing you to choose mono or colour, sound on or off but overall, the game offers nothing special. It's a variation on the "Green Beret" theme, and if you shoot-'em-ups involving humans rather than spacecraft then fine. But I found few addictive qualities in the game. If this is like the film, I don't want to see that either.