Predator 2 (Image Works) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Predator 2
By Image Works
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #69

Predator 2

Mike Harrigan was having a very bad day. It's 1997, and just about the hottest summer Los Angeles had ever seen. The place stank, the pollution in the city making things unbearable.

Being a cop in Los Angeles was no easy matter, and for Mike Harrigan things were about to get a little more difficult. Two rival gangs were murdering each other on the streets. Young men dying for a few kilos of crack, or whatever the hell they were dealing these days.

Things were getting very heavy indeed, Harrigan remembered when all they had were semi-automatics and flashy Uzis. Now these punks had real hardware. Real heavy artillery.

Corpses had started turning up at the morgue. Not unusual for '90s Los Angeles, but it was the way they'd been killed. Real bad. Harrigan had never seen anything like it. Skinned alive, their spinal columns torn clean out through their backs, brains gone. It had to be gang related... or did it...?

Predator 2 is the game based on the imaginatively-titled sequel to the original Predator movie. The Predators are, in a nutshell, intergalactic hooray-Henrys. They hunt for sport, choosing only the worthiest opponents. The game itself turns out to be a little less original. Following with a kind of uncanny closeness the lines of top coin-op Operation Wolf, the screen scrolls from right to left, with a wire-frame Harrigan in the centre.

Harrigan's mission is to shoot absolutely every criminal in the city. As in Operation Wolf, the bad guys run on screen and start making things difficult. Most baddies are armed with very nasty machine guns, although some come a bit closer and try to butcher you with wrist-mounted chainsaws.

The baddies are sometimes very tricky little fellows, crouching down just as you are about to take aim. Others hide in doorways and cannot be shot. Firing at those critters merely causes them to take cover.

Harrigan is initially equipped with a rather weedy pistol, with which he must knock off any gang members that happen to stroll into his line of sight. Moving a cursor over the object you wish to blast aims the weapon. Bigger, better weapons appear at intervals, and must be shot to pick them up.

Ammo is limited, but more can be picked up at very regular points as the screen scrolls. Don't shoot the good guys. These are, for the most part, portly Latino girls who stand directly in your line of fire looking scared. Every now and then, a semi-invisible Predator shows up. If you shoot him he'll take umbrage and unleash a volley of really pokey alien death web.

Don't be tempted to shoot him quite yet, though, as avoiding a fight with him now leaves you with a better chance in the final showdown. The decent sprites and backgrounds are let down by poor scrolling and sad animation, but it's easy to see what's going on most of the time. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to distinguish the crosshair from tho background.

The title music is nice 'n' scary, and the spot effects are juicy enough. The main problem with the game is the complete lack of variety. The levels all follow the same basic principle. The baddies don't change in behaviour, and the extra weapons are all very similar.

Overall, a reasonable Op-Wolf style shoot-'em-up, but completely lacking in originality and variety. Don't believe the hype.

Second Opinion

Predator 2 is basically a sideways scrolling Operation Wolf clone. Though indiscriminate killing is always fun, you can't help feeling that more could have been made out of this licence.

First Day Target Score

Reach the end of the first level.

Verdict

Graphics 76%
Nice, colourful and well defined but poorly animated with dull scrolling.

Sonics 80%
Good title music and beefy sound effects help the action along.

Grab Factor 81%
Lots of bad guys to kill and lots of extra weapons to kill 'em with.

Staying Power 69%
...but nothing much changes as you improve. The later levels are too "samey".

Overall 74%
An unimaginative and unoriginal game, but well polished and quite good fun.

Frank O' Connor

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