Outrun, Overlander, 4x4 Racer. And now Fire and Forget. What do they have in common? Twisting roadways, supposedly exciting gut-wrenching racing action, varying amounts of blasting and a numbing sense of familiarity. Fire and Forget might look good from the screen shots, but decent graphic design and a lot of movement doesn't necessarily make a good game.
Anyoldhow, in FAF the Earth is in turmoil, as the inter-galactic liberation organisation destroys cities and takes other hostage. You take command of Thundermaster, supposedly the planet's most sophisticated fighting machine, but in fact looking more like Jim's knackered banger (fnar) with a machine gun bolted on. You have to complete three levels in each of six warzones in order to defeat the terrorists.
Background graphics, moving objects and scrolling are all well implemented. The road snakes from side to side and up and down as you steer your twisting vehicle along at the highest possible speed. Fuel consumption, which is indicated by a meter at the top of the screen, isn't related to speed, so it's in your interests to go as fast as possible in order to pick up fuel pods as soon as possible. These take the form of pyramidical (eh? - GT) tanks, and are dead easy to pick up; in fact you can hardly avoid them, since they're scattered all over the road. Not much challenge there then.
A bit more intimidating is the range of enemy defences stacked against you. Helicopter gunships appear in the distance and zoom over your head firing wildly; roadside bunkers let fly as you zoom past; mines litter the roadway ahead of you; barbed wire defends the side of the road, and rocks block your way. Each target you blast with your tetranuclear propulsion missiles (guided by undecodable aural frequency and magnetic sustenation MV module with a firepower of 117 gigawatts per second - oh COME ON, who are you KIDDING!?) earns you points, from 5000 for a rock (easy target, see) to 50000 for a tank (almost indestructible). That was a long and convoluted sentence, wasn't it? Are you still with me? Each time you're hit, 10000 points are deducted from your score. If this falls to zero, or if you run out of fuel, the game's over, and jolly grateful you should be too. Despite decent whizz-bang sound FX, Fire and Forget - the term refers to guided missiles, if you haven't twigged - is best fired and forgotten. It's decently programmed and looks nice, but moves too fast for you to feel that you're really in control of what's happening. It's just a case of holding down the fire button, waggling the joystick and hoping you hit something. And that's not much fun, is it lads?
Label: Titus Author: In-house Price: £8.95 Memory: 48K/128K Joystick: various Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
Fast-moving but derivative race-'em-up.