Red Heat (Ocean) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Red Heat
By Ocean
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #48

Red Heat

Police officer Arnold Schwarzenegger has been put in charge of traffic control. But it ain't traffic warden duty, for this is drug traffic we're talking! So now Arnie has the chance to kill, mutilate and maim for fun and profit - your fun and his profit.

Following one of the weakest plots in cinema history, Red Heat packs Arnie (the man with muscles in places I haven't even got) off on the rampage. You send him wading knee deep through bashed and blasted bodies in pursuit of Victor Rostavili, an international drug smuggler (oh very glasnost!). Let loose in both Mother Russia and the US of A, he can get away with murder - and does so, frequently. Four levels of mindless mayhem are the result.

Drawn in shaky Spectrum outlines, the chief sprite gets five whole movements on Level One: punch, duck, left, right and head-butt. None of this gameplay lark for Arnie, oh dearie me no, let's just damage people. This is all he wants to do, all he can do, and all that's required for a game so gratuitously violent it has to be fun.

In a sauna somewhere in snowy Siberia, Ivan Danko (Mr S's character) is set upon by Rostavili's hordes. He has to work his way through the hothouse only stopping off to collect extra energy and the occasional waggling sub-game (Game, they call that a game?!).

In his path are three kinds of fist fodder: punchers, butters and bailers. Boxer types come on an showy with their fists but a Glasgow kiss soon has them 'stitching that, Jimmy'. Bearded head-butt freaks with rubbery necks amble towards the man mountain, only to be discouraged by one of your perfect crossing rights to the chin. Worst of all are the manic snowballing hippies, who race around oblivious to everything. When they catch Arnie standing, they release a snowball of epic proportions, quite knocking you back, destroying the rhythm essential for success. The only course of action is ducking Arnie out of sight until they run on past. Realistic it ain't: a fifteen stone six-footer built like a brick outhouse crouches slightly and he becomes invisible? I should coco!

Lacking in everything that makes a game good, Red Heat Level One grabs you with its brutality and sound effects. Anyone who ever thought Schwarzenegger had a brain should forget it now. Listen to the sound he makes when he butts somebody and you just know his head is hollow. The blows land with a satisfying crunch, having you in howls of sadistic laughter and his opponents in stitches.

Level Two is where everything gets seriously sick. Having left the USSR it's off to hos - which is not entirely surprising considering the pasting you've just taken. The poor chap must have a bruised bonce, because his head-butt ability has been swapped for a small howitzer. Along the cinema-style screen (who are they trying to kid?) scroll Arnold and enemies. In the background sit demented patients oblivious to the carnage and listening to Radio Lollipop. Nurses are having their brains blown out and these people just sit there and grin!

Wm A A C Smith OBE, Cycling Proficiency with Bar, get your pen ready. To progress you must either shoot or punch patients and staff. The size of the screen means that to blast someone you virtually have to put the gun to their temple - good, clean, sick fun or what? Age, sex or condition count for nothing as every hospital stereotype known to man is systematically wasted: busty nurses, invisible man bandage freaks, people on crutches, and even whingeing old grannies eat lead in the head. Mrs Brady, old lady - say your prayers!

Not one good thing can be said for Red Heat's theme or presentation. Killing people should not be fun, especially when the graphics and sound are so unimaginative. But if you've got a spare tenner and want enough nasty, vindictive fun to keep that Broadley woman in shocked silence for a month, get Red Heat and start reaping.

Second Opinion

There's absolutely nothing to be said in defiance of this game. It's a sick and empty plot with no redeeming features.

It's also great fun, dammit.

First Day Target Score

Reach level two.

Green Screen View

Green Heat is just as good/bad.


Graphics 58%
N. Disappointing and dull.
N. Three colours. Is that all?

Sonics 77%
P. Good effects.
N. But not enough variety.

Grab Factor 64%
P. Simple, violent fun.

Staying Power 57%
P. It does seem possible to complete.
N. Too repetitive.

Overall 67%
N. Duff graphics, dull sound.
P. No gameplay - and still great fun!

Trenton Webb

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