I don't know how many of you can remember back this far, but a few years ago a game by the name of Rebelstar Raiders was released. At the time I thought it was the ultimate in gaming. It had everything, nice graphics, great gameplay, a large strategy content and bags of addictiveness. Since then I have been proven wrong time and time again as the Spectrum is pushed further and further to it's absolute limits. And now it's back! Rebelstar Raiders has been given a massive facelift and a complete rewrite and even a different title, but I know RR when I see it, and I see it now. (Careful Tony, we can't afford to be sued - GT. I wouldn't mind being Sued, or Pamelaed, or Claired, or any other girly for that matter - JD)
Laser Squad is, in a very small space, a two player tactical wargame set in a variety of locations and scenarios. For example, the first escapade is set in and around the home of one Sterner Regnix. the rather nasty boss of a weapon dealing firm who probably also deal with drugs and don't wash behind their ears. In two player mode, one person takes control of a band of five members of the Laser Squad given the task of assassinating Mr Regnix. The other person takes control of Regnix himself and a small army of Robot guards. In one player mode, the computer takes the role of the second player. Other scenarios include the regular Moonbase story and a lovable little rescue type affair from an alien mining colony. Expansion packs will soon be available, offering more scenarios, should you ever get bored with those three.
Viewed in pseudo-3D the game reminds me of nothing so much than Gauntlet. Right down to the way the main characters move. All the graphics are incredibly well defined, right down to little background details, like the toilets, for example. What kind of man is Mr Regnix, to have so many toilets in his house?
Sound ain't bad either. There are some really nice laser type effects when you shoot and some terrific selection sounds on the menus.
It plays well too. For the most part the game is menu controlled, the game displaying only the choices that are appropriate to your character's state and weapon. For example, the option FIRE wouldn't come up if your character was only holding a knife. Same as the option UNLOCK, which wouldn't come up if your character wasn't standing by anything that was locked, or didn't have the appropriate key. The menus are all well thought out and with some logical thought it's really easy to find your way around.
Thumbs up to Target Games on that one. If you're after a good alternative to wiping out another line of kamikaze aliens in a bout of mindless joystick thrashing, you could do a lot worse than buy this. You couldn't do much better, in fact.
Label: Target Games
Author: Julian Gollop
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
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