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Reviewer: Linda Barker
If you think about it, Robocop is a sort of distant relation of the tin man in The Wizard Of Oz. They're both good guys, sort of, and they're both a bit partial to covering themselves in base metal. This line of thought raises quite an important question - does Robocop have a heart? And if he hasn't, would he like on. Well, it's a thought.
In this, his latest monochrome outing, Robocop turns against Omni Consumer Products, his original maties. But that doesn't mean he's become a nasty baddie, ho no. It's the OCP who are at fault, not Robo. Y'see, the OCP have had grand plans to rebuild the city of Detroit into a decent habitat for decent people. No more crime, no more pollution and no more women with clipboards stopping you outside Woolworths and asking how many pints of milk you buy a week. Yep, if the OCP have their way, Detroit will be full of well-weeded municipal parks and well-lit streets. But 'tis not to be, for the OCP are running low on funds and are taken over by a Japanese company who want all the God fearing citizens of Detroit out of their homes. Boo!
It's actually quite easy making people move when they don't want to, all you have to do is get some Splatterpunks in. These beefy chaps shoot everybody in sight and then squat in the houses to fire at unsuspecting citizens from the windows. Now obviously Robocop isn't going to stand for much of this nonsense, he breaks away from the OCP and sets off on a one-man misson to save Detroit. Don you helmet, pull on your metal strides and let's get streetwise!
The first level is an Op Wolf-ish style shoot-'em-up where you've got to move your corsshair around and lock onto the Splatterpunks. There are plenty of these around, they poke their ugly heads out of windows and walh along lobbing grenades at you. As soon as you've got them in your sights, fire and move on to the next one.
The cityscape is a monochrome waste, you can scroll either to the left or the right and your aim is to completely clear the street of baddies. There's a little arrow at the bottom of the screen which tells you what direction the next nasty's coming from. This level's incredibly derivative and it suffers from the same problem as most games of this type. Basically, it can be a bit annoying when your crosshair melts into the background and you end up firing randomly. Pshaw!
As well as knocking out as many Splatterpunks as poss, you've also got to shoot lots of little credit squares that come bouncing along at various intervals. Y'see, at the end of each level you get a screen showing which bits of Robocop have been shot away. As long as you've collected enough credits, you can repair him and get ready to battle out the next level. Phew!
OH NO, IT'S OTOMO!
In Level Two you become Robccop, rather than a gunsight. You also come into contact with a rather nasty ninja who goes by the name of Otomo. Despite the fact that he sounds like a particularly crap brand of washing powder, Otomo is a pretty powerful adversary. He stalks a car factory and you've got to jump along loads of platforms and blast him to bits. He takes ages to kill and you've also got to watch out for all the Splatterpunks and Rehabs that are running around. Keep an eye open for the quicksand too, one false step and you'll be swallowing mud!
It's a bit on the tough side but you can grab some power-ups to help make life a tad easier. A little disc with a + sign in the middle might not look very useful, but shoot at it and you'll get a luvverly new weapon. These initial power-ups have a set number of shots and don't actually last very long. The thing to do is try and get hold of an infy supply of bullets. There's a little P floating about that'll guarantee this, but it's not exactly easy to track down.
Just like in the first level, there are loads of little credit squares knocking around. Shoot them all and you'll be able to give Robocop a good going over later on.
Once you've waved goodbye to Otomo it's time to hit the streets of Motwon. The buildings all look like art deco cinemas just after the second world war, in fact Cadillac Heights looks as if it's been completely wasted by swarms of bombers. Through this desolate wasteland flies Robocop, swooping up and down platforms with his jetpack tied on tightly. To make it a bit tougher, the Rehabs and Splatterpunks have got their own jetpacks and the end-of-level baddie is a massive blimmin' tank. First find it, then trash it.
Get rid of the tank and it's time to enter the OCP offices. Blocking the entrance is the ED209, he's a real toughie but if you've got this far then you should be able to finish him off. Once in the building, there's oodles of lifts to travel about in and loads of realistic radiators to slip past. At the top of the tower you'll find a couple of Otomos. Ten hours later, if you're lucky, you'll have worn them down and won. Hurrah!
Robocop 3 is a difficult game and not one that you'll finish in a couple of sittings. The reason the ninja chaps are so blimmin' hard to beat, is cos they're actually robotic ninjas. Pshaw! Mind you, Robocop's not exactly human so it's not that unfair.
Robocop 3 plays well and, despite the lack of colour, it looks good too. The streets of Detroit seem suitably delapidated and there's tonnes of Rehabs and Splatterpunks to shoot your way through. With piles of platforms and windows full of nasties, the whole things looks like a mappers dream. No doubt there'll be a whole bundle of maps and tips popping through the Shed's letterbox when this one hits the shelves. If you enjoyed the other two, I can't see any reason why you shouldn't go and buy this and have a jolly good time with it too.
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