Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Return of the Crap Game Corner!: Predator (Spectrum, C64, Amiga...mainly all the formats it was released on!)

I know Retro Gamer did a shamer on this, but I thought I'd give it a fighting chance.....then thought 'Nah! Fuck it!' Anyway, it's long been known that I have a strong hatred of this game, and the reasons will be made clear.
Activision must have thought they must have been onto a winner when they bagged the rights to produce a computer game version of one of the biggest blockbusters of 1987 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and an alien who hunts people welding guns for 'sport', who also has a female appendage for a mouth (?). So, upon loading it up, you're greeted with a digitized picture of Arnold (which looks great on a 128K machine), and then followed by an animated sequence thats supposed to depict the Predator going to Earth. In actual fact, it looks like it was done by a 2 year old on a 16K Spectrum with one hand tied behind their back. But, that's only the beginning.....

When you start, your men slide down their rope from, what I assume to be, your helicopter and run off into the jungle. You are the last to slide down and off you trot. You are then inundated by enemy guerillas, which take all your ammunition, and are left with four grenades and your fists (sigh). I know at the end of the film, Arnie fights the Predator hand to hand, but at the start of the film, they don't run out of ammo in 5 seconds! And the controls! Oh, the controls. So awful, so horrific, such a pain in the arse, you couldn't care if your men get horribly butchered or worse: got caught, tied up and subjected to watching High School-bloody-Musical all day long. Now, theoretically, up should, nay, MUST be used for jump if you've got a side on scroller (Predator is a 2.5D scrolling shooter, so would not allow you to move in or out of the screen, which would be fine), leave out jump altogether, which would be a great idea, or do like Gryzor (Contra): When your firing and move the stick you aim in that direction. In my mind, it would make it playable.'s not. Up is mapped to up on the joystick. Jumping is done by pushing up....and fire (meaning you use up your bullets just JUMPING (double sigh)). And, I haven't even started on the graphics.....

Bloody awful. Shockingly shit. Some of the worst I've ever come across (only Chase HQ on the Amiga beats this for shit graphics). It just seems that this game was rushed through to cash in on the movie. Only the effect for the Pred-Vision is a saving grace, but it's not good enough to save this from being the Christmas turkey this deserved back in 1987-88. And to think I wasted £2.99 on this on budget, and I still felt ripped off!

Activision, hang your head in shame. You've made one of the greatest Sci-Fi/Action movies of all time into a dud that should have at least had some thought put into it.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha, I love it: make ammo really sparse, and then make you use it up if you want to jump. Man, developers HATED gamers back then, didn't they?

    It's criminal how much excellent IP was wasted back in the day by shoddy licensing. It would be great to see the remake scene going back and putting this right. Predator really deserves a great video game.