Your Sinclair

Death Wish III

Author: Rachael Smith
Publisher: Gremlin
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #22

Death Wish III

Bring out the Bronson, Mum! Join New York's angriest vigilante as he stalks the streets wasting gooks and geeks with his 475 Wildey Magnum. Or would it be safre to join Rachael Smith with the Speccy version?

Come on punk - make my breakfast! The time's come to clean up the streets, so hand me my Smith and Wesson dustpan - this tottie's on the rampage!

Hey, stay vigilant, vigilantes, because it's tough out there on the streets. In fact, unless you're a full-blooded do-it-to-them-before-they-do-it-to-you psychopath, you might as well load up some nice little game of mass murder, because this is something else... Death Wish III is genocide.

Death Wish 3

But who cares because you're wasting the punks, the muggers, the little old ladies (whoops, got a bit trigger-happy there) as you take the law into your own hands (and if he's a big hunky PC I'd happily take him into my hands ? knoworrimean?!!). This is not a game for pinko commie faggots, bleedin' heart liberals or anybody else to the left of Gengis Khan!

Based on the famous fillum (Easy Quiz for Movie Buffs - What were the first two called?), this features a sprite which shows only slightly more emotion than old stone face, Chas Bronson. So with a shout of "Spill pixels, scem!" it's time to choose your weapon and step out into the heat.

Time for some road safety. Watch your step, and I don't mean the usual problem of incontinent doggies. From the moment you place your size nines on the pavement, you're a target. Luckily you picked up a bullet-proof vest from M&S but it can only take the shock out of so many shots - and a hit on the heart will severely shorten your vigilante-ing.

You've a choice of three weapons, at least until the ammo runs out. First up is the 'famous 475 Wildey Magnum' and I don't think they're talking about a big bottle of bubbly!

Second there's a machine gun, which blasts out machine code shot in short bursts and blows the barbarians away. Finally, my favourite, the rocket launcher, which reduces the trash to piles of ash, but is rather slower in action.

Funny they call all that blasting 'keeping the peace', but there are innocent pedestrians to protect, such as the gormless grannies who wander into your line of fire. Try not to put down too many pensioners or you'll give the paramedics problems.

The police turn a blind eye to your rough justice, and occasionally help you out with the odd shot, but bump off a few officers by accident and you'll find they're far less friendly. There are also less-innocent bystanders, in the form of mean-street-walkers, and their spritely soliciting is just one of the comic touches that lighten the blood-letting.

Another impressive feature is that the city is geographically fully realised, so that you can stroll round a real warren of streets which stay the same when you re-visit them. The related problem is that it's easy to get lost, even with the help of a compass and map.

You see the action side-on, with controls to move left and right. The up and down keys switch you through ninety degrees, clockwise and anti-clockwise, and the map swivels to match up with the horizontal movement. It takes a little getting used to, but persist and you'll soon be running to the scene of the action like a native New Yorker.

Don't spend all of your time cutting down creeps in the open air, though. You can actually enter most of the buildings and if you're lucky you'll find extra weapons or maybe a gang boss. These fat cats slouch behind their desks, just waiting for you to top them for muchos brownie points.

You could also take a shot or two from the window. This is a whole different shooting gallery as you aim he crosshairs then pump hot pixels. But don't drop your guard for too long or you may let the punks take you from behind.

For once the words tie-in aren't the kiss of death. This is a shoot 'em up with a difference and it's packed with clever touches. So load your Spectrum immediately... with dum- dums, dummy!

Rachael Smith

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