Voyager (Ocean) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

Zzap


Voyager
By Ocean
Amiga 500

 
Published in Zzap #49

Voyager

Ever wondered what a cross between Battlezone, Backlash and Master Of The Lamps would be like...? Read on...

Luke Snayles is a convict, an ex-pilot and a psychopath - but even he wouldn't be taking on a mission like this if they hadn't bent all his fingernails back and threatened to take away his cuddly bunny if he refused.

So... what's wrong? Well, the Earth is about to be destroyed by the Roxiz, who are at this very moment gathering an incredibly powerful stockpile of arms on the ten moons of Saturn. To make matters worse, the Earth has exactly *zilch* arms left - unless you count one tiny interstellar craft. No prizes for guessing that Luke (alias you, me old son!) is the only person stupid enough to take on the seemingly impossible task of single-handedly saving the universe.

Luckily, you've got one of those gadgis on your craft that enable it to transform itself into a tank the minute you're in enemy territory. All the 3D action is viewed through the windscreen though there's a colour-coded radar screen to tell you exactly what kind of objects you're near.

Each moon has exactly 80 ground-based and airborne enemy craft and you've got to take each and every one of them out (some with at least two shots) before you get to cruise on to the next. Not that these Rexizians take this sort of thing lying down. Nope. They fire back.

To make the whole thing even more complicated, there are a whole load of inanimate obstacles all over each planet as well. You *can* actually take cover behind these, but if you're not careful you could find yourself blasting the hell out of rock, instead of an enemy ship.

You'll also find equipment pods containing useful things like cameras and decoys. Drop a camera in any area and you'll be able to look around that bit of the planet, even when your tank's somewhere completely different. Cameras also have limited effect lasers so you can shoot enemies by remote control. Plant a decoy and, for a limited period of time, the baddies will start shooting at that instead of you.

Wherever you are, you can always access your data banks for info on the moons, cameras, weaponry, locations of equipment pods, map, etc - and on later moons, you can pick up converter equipment to toggle between tank and skimmer mode.

Oh yeah - and once you've cleared a planet, you've got to warp through a portal (woo-ee-oo), negotiate a 3D pathway and start the whole thing again on the next one. Except it's harder!

Hints And Tips

1. Keep moving in tank mode. 2. In skimmer mode, keep flying to a minimum. It uses up less fuel. 3. When you've cleared a moon, find the portal quickly. 4. Avoid open spaces and keep looking for cover. 5. When you reach a new moon, check all your data straight away.

What's What On The Radar

Light Blue: Inanimate obstacles Dark Blue: Equipment pods White: Airborne craft Red: Ground-based craft Magenta: Most hostile craft Flashing Dots: Missiles, mines, etc

Kati

Get ready for a journey beyond sight and sound. Jump into your flying boots (a pair of them Garfield slippers will do), strap yourself into your armchair and get ready to take part in one of the most atmospheric 3D space games you'll ever play.

In fact, that's what I like best about this - the feeling that you're really exploring an alien environment, that you can take cover behind inanimate objects and that enemies coming up from behind or above scare you half to death!

So what's it really lilke? Well, just sit back, close your eyes and imagine Encounter with loads more atmosphere and action thrown in. Like the sound of it? Then get yourself a copy of Voyager!

Gordo

If you liked Encounter on the C64, Battlezone in the arcades and Backlash on the Amiga, you're in for the time of your life - Voyager combines the best bits of all three, and throws in a whole lot more: strategy, lightning quick arcade action, fabulous 3D, hours of absorbing play - you name it, Voyager's got it.

And that's not all: out of the goodness of their hearts, Ocean are throwing in a separate cassette soundtrack (a sort of mish-mash of The Pet Shop Boys and Art Of Noise) which has to be one of the most mind-blowing pieces of music I've ever heard for a computer game.

If you haven't got the message yet, it's this: grab hold of Voyager as soon as you can afford it.

Verdict

Presentation 87%
Clear screen display with loads of information, inbetween level sequence and brilliant music cassette.

Graphics 91%
Extremely fast and smooth 3D, realistic animation on every opponent, and plenty of colour.

Sound 90%
In-game sound effects and tunes plus separate (brilliant) soundtrack on tape.

Hookability 78%
It takes a while to get used to all the keyboard controls and functions but the actual shooting's easy enough.

Lastability 95%
With ten increasingly difficult planets to clear, you'll be voyaging for ages.

Overall 94%
One of the most atmospheric 3D space exploration games around.