Driller (Incentive) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Incentive
Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #62


Since it was first conceived, Driller was wowed as the step forward in the direction of the game of the future. Claims of incredible realism and fast, smooth filled vector graphics made the world and his mother sit up and listen. Then the game was released. To be fair, the Spectrum version was pretty hot, but the C64 version left a lot to be desired. Finally, the Amiga version has appeared, and judging by the recent 3D competition to hit the 16 bit market (Carrier Command, Starglider 2), it had to be something pretty devastating.

For those of you who don't already know, the basic idea behind Driller is that the moon of Mitral (a moon of Evath, a recently human-colonised planet) is in danger of exploding, blowing Evath completely out of orbit and killing lots of Evathians. The reason for the moon's sudden liking to go bang is due to small pockets of gas trapped beneath the surface, which are now turning into big pockets of gas. You have to get up to Mitral and position a rig on each of the moon's eighteen faces, the ultimate aim being to release at least 50% of the gas pressure on each one.

On each plane there are clues as to where you have to position a drilling rig. On the first screen, there is a big cross on the ground, so no prizes for guessing where that one goes. On later sections you have to shoot an object or change something to find out where the rig goes.

But does Driller take advantage of the Amiga's superfast graphics capabilities and wide choice of colours? Does it stretch the machine to its limits? The answers are, in corresponding order, no, no and no. The only differences I can find between this and the C64 version are that this version is faster and the vectors are finer. When I say faster, it's still only about the same speed as Mercenary on the C64 with the same vector graphics system. By that I mean that it uses straight, vanishing point vectors rather than curved vectors, which gives it a flat look and very little feeling of distance.

Sound is nothing above average. The same old usual blasting noises coupled with a hum here and there.

It's a shame really. Driller could have been such a good game, had the programmers tried to write it for the Amiga, and not done a simple conversion of all the other formats. After all, who wants a Spectrum game on their Amiga?

Tony Dillon

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