Voyager (Ocean) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing

C&VG


Voyager
By Ocean
Amiga 500

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #92

Voyager

In 1977, Voyager II was launched - inviting all life forms in the universe to visit our planet. Get ready - company's coming.

The first alien race to receive Voyager's message of welcome was a budding imperialist nation, the Roxiz. The Roxiz didn't accept the invitation in the spirit it was intended, noticing instead that the small planet described was ripe for colonisation.

Rather than making an all-out assault, the Roxis have holed up on the ten moons of Saturn and are picking off any Earth spacecraft that's foolish enough to venture towards them. Unfortunately, thanks to the Rodan Charter of 2052, Earth no longer has the means to manufacture of destructive machinery... things look bleak!

But guess what? There is hope - and it goes by the name of Luke Snayles, a space-age vagabond returning from serving a 50-year 'investigative exploration' sentence in deep space.

Luke's caught a few intermittent broadcasts and has gradually built up a picture of what's happening back home. As far as he's concerned, his debt to society is paid off and nothing's going to spoil his homecoming party - so if no-one else is prepared to rid the solar system of this predatory menance then he may as well do it himself (and who knows? There may be some financial reward into the bargain).

And this is where you come in.

After a smoothly animated attract sequence, you're left to your own devices on the hostile surface of Janus - the first of Saturn's moons. Luke enters the fray in a comparatively sluggish tank - this can eventually be upgraded to a faster airborne skimmer, but this isn't really necessary on Janus as the opposition is also mainly confined to the ground.

Sounds a little too straightforward? Don't you believe it! The only 'strategy' involved is scouting for fuel and weapons upgrades (including remote mini cameras, radar missiles and atom bombs - Luke can even make use of abandoned Roxis supplies), but for me at least this is a positive advantage.

An extra dimension has been added to the visuals, and in the process a whole new dimension has been added to your standard shoot-'em-up gameplay. Other external sources help the intrepid adventurer. The mothership beams down more information than any mere mortal can digest - including a long-range map of the current moon, plans and information as to the strength and distribution of the enemy ships and remote camera location.

Atari ST

Voyager brings the classic Battlezone concept up to date by keeping the same basic formula, adding hordes of different aliens and play strategies and stunning Starglider II 3D filled vector graphics.

Initially it's a little limited as you're confined to the ground, but once you've found the skimmer craft, the rest of the game unfolds - it's brilliant. At last, a game that realises the 3D graphic presentation and complex puzzle solving don't have to go hand in hand.

Amiga

Faster screen update, meatier sound effects and extra baddies go some way towards making up for the extra fiver on the price tag.

Ciaran Brennan