Area 51
Preview by Al Giovetti, 09/15/96
Price: $50
Genre: arcade
Release: Fall 1997
Developer: Williams Entertainment
Publisher: GT Interactive Software
Requirements: Windows 95

History: "Area 51 has achieved overwhelming success in the arcades, and the PC version will continue to generate excitement among gamers," says Holly Newman, vice president of Marketing for GT Interactive. Having fascinated the public for almost fifty years, Area 51 is virtually an American phenomenon. Area 51 joins GT Interactive s exciting lineup of PC games based on hit arcade titles that are slated for launch in the United States and overseas markets, including Mortal Kombat 3.

Plot: A direct conversion of the coin-op game which has been ranked number one for the past 10 months by Replay Magazine, a leading industry trade publication, Area 51 transports players to a top secret UFO research lab where they are members of STAAR (Special Tactical Advanced Alien Response), an elite, covert military team created to interdict and eradicate extreme national threats.

Somewhere over the isolated Arizona desert, an unidentified craft penetrates the Earth's atmosphere. Military attempts at first contact go unanswered. Assuming the worst, eager generals dispatch an elite squadron of Stealth fighters with a sole mission: bring down the UFO at all costs...

Confronted, the alien ship retaliates leaving only one pilot alive. Turning about, the gunner manages to disable the vessel, sending it on a collision course for Earth's remote Nevada desert, mere miles from the Groom Lake Air Force Base, also known as Area 51...

Acting under strict orders of confidentiality, faceless soldiers transport wreckage and what appears to be survivors to the base, rumored to be a hotbed of top secret experimentation focusing on biological warfare and DNA technology. Nameless scientists work diligently to determine the lifeforms' genetic composition an how it might be manipulated for possible weapons use...

Unnerved by the carefully guarded procedures, a careless medic tears his containment suit, allowing alien fluids to make contact. Amidst the panic, countless others are infected. Having labeled the alien DNA highly volatile -- not to mention receptive to foreign DNA sequences -- containment measures are installed. With no hope of keeping the biohazard at bay, the Pentagon seals off the base. Assimilation seems inevitable...

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Company information: Williams Entertainment Inc., with offices in Corsicana, Texas, and San Diego, California, is a leading designer, marketer and distributor of home video games. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE: WMS). WMS Industries Inc. is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of coin-operated amusement games, home video games, video lottery terminals and gaming devices, and the ownership of hotels and casinos.

Headquartered in NY, with offices in London, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and Minneapolis, GT Interactive Software Corp. is a leading global publisher of interactive entertainment, edutainment and value-priced software marketed under the GT Interactive, Humongous Entertainment and WizardWorks brands, for IBM-compatible and Macintosh computers as well as 32- and 64-bit gaming systems. Among GT Interactive's best-selling personal computer titles are Duke Nukem 3D, Doom II and Mortal Kombat 3. Located at on the World Wide Web, GT Interactive is publicly traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol GTIS.


Copyright 1996 Al Giovetti
Parts Copyright 1996 GT Interactive