October 2001 Archives

Arcanum Review

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Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Troika Games

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 4x CD ROM, 1.2 GB HD space

Arcanum is a roleplaying game set at the cross-roads of magic and industrialization. Technology is pushing out the old ways of "magick," but magick still retains awesome power. Your character is traveling aboard a dirigible when it is attacked and destroyed by ogres in rudimentary airplanes. You awake amidst the wreckage and are told by a dying gnome to find a boy and give him a special ring. As you wander from the crash site, you meet a member of a religious order dedicated to the worship of... you.

Unbeknownst to you, you are the reincarnation of a powerful elf, The One. As you travel you will fight enemies, solve mysteries and grow in skill and power. Note, however, that since magick and technology tend to foil each other's power, you must choose one or the other–or walk a very careful line between them. A ring, your past life, the unexplained attack on the dirigible, strange people trying to kill you – it's going to be a long journey in Arcanum.

Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Microsoft

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 8 MB 3D video card, 500 MB HD space, 4x CD-ROM

Released in November of 2000, MechWarrior 4 is the last computer game to be released before FASA Corporation closed its doors in January of 2001. FASA created the BattleTech universe, in which 31st century humanity is plagued by near-constant war dominated by bipedal war machines called BattleMechs. Elite soldiers called MechWarriors pilot the 'Mechs dominating the battlefield with their machines of war that mass up to 100 tons and stand as much as fourteen meters high.

In MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, the player is the son of Duke Eric Dresari, sovereign of Kentares IV, a planet with a strongly independent populace. When Duke Eric opposed the schemes of Archon Katrina Steiner, Steiner launched a brutal surprise assault on Dresari forces. Young William Dresari has been set up as the puppet ruler of Kentares IV, and Duke Eric's surviving brother, Peter, is leader of the remnant Dresari forces. As Duke Eric's son, you must return from the Clan Wars to lead the sparse Dresari resources against Steiner forces to depose the pretender William and restore your family to the throne.

Beginning with assaults on Steiner communication facilities on the moon, MechWarrior 4 takes the player through a variety of offensive, defensive and recon operations that cover Kentares IV from the arctic regions through desert, urban, and swap terrain, ending with an assault on the palace complex itself and the Steiner elite MechWarriors. MechWarrior 4 is a combination of action and flight/vehicle simulation, playable in single player campaign, instant action, and multiplayer modes.

Twisted Metal: Black Review

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Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Incognito Studios

Platform: PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

In a post-apocalyptic setting a short time in the future, a mysterious man named Calypso visits the inmates of a prison for the criminally insane, and offers each of them a chance to grasp their dreams. For most of the inmates, vengeance and remorse are the driving forces behind their participation in this automotive gladiatorial combat. This group of obviously disturbed and occasionally downright frightening people use scenes from our everyday lives as their battlefields in a fight to the death to have their wish granted – using missiles, sheer ramming force, and a variety of character-specific weapons to destroy their opponents.

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