SkyNET

By Al Giovetti
Price:
Genre: firs person shooter and simulator (Doom-like)
Release: September 1996
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Designer: Todd Howard
Producer :
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Phone: 301-926-8300
Website: www.bethsoft.com/html/skynet.html
Requires: 486 DX, 50 MHz, DOS 5.0, 8 MB RAM, 2X CD ROM drive, VGA graphics, 20 MB hard drive space, Microsoft mouse, sound cards. cars1.gif - 3.7 K

History: Bethesda Software is the fourth largest independently owned software company. Bethesda is known for its licensing deals with Robocop, The Addams Family, The Terminator, and Stargate. The previous products in the Terminator series have performed well for Bethesda. SkyNET returns to the world of the terminator, where intelligent machines pursue the warlike genocide of the troublesome human race. Bethesda was the first to provide 6 axis freedom of movement in Future Shock. Originally intended as a Future Shock patch, SkyNET is a stand alone game, that no longer requires the prequil. Bethesda believes this is a Quake-killer product.

The interface: Vehicles and characters move with full 6 direction freedom of movement to move and look up, down, right, left, front, and back. Game Producer Todd Howard describes the environment as one that you "can react to" rather than memorize.

Characters: You can choose from eight different fully rendered three-dimensional characters including a Terminator. These characters have a choice of garb and weapons to bring into the game. The ability to dress characters allows players to personalize their characters, which began with the selection of custom icons and colors for body parts in the Strategic Simulations Gold Box games in the 1980ís.

Game play: allows each character to play the game in a new way each time. Boldly go toe to toe with enemies, slink in the shadows, run and fire, use long range weapons to eliminate rivals from far away, and whatever strikes your fancy this time you play.

Weapons: Now choose from 17 different weapons with their own strengths and weaknesses. A new motion tracker can be used instead of a weapon to locate your enemies. Quick hands are required to use the tracker, equip a weapon and kill your now located opponent. The tracker works both ways since it can be heard and attract your enemiesí attention.

You fly and drive: You pilot military vehicles and even fly a captured hunter killer vehicle. termin1.gif - 3.9 K

Missions: Play both the single player and multiplayer missions. The mission goals include a race across a ravine in a jeep, infiltrate an enemy base, and destroy a nuclear submarine. Missions will can be set to be scored or success determined by time, kills and/or points.

Loacations: The location of most of the action is the burnt out apocalyptic shell that was once Los Angeles, complete with rolling hills and the big, albeit damaged, Hollywood sign. The cities mix highways, buildings to enter and climb.

Graphics: Resolution of 640x480 pixels in 256-color is supported, with light-sourcing and 3D texture mapping.

Editor: Battlefield editor allows you to customize for special muliplayer modem and network games. Utilites: Supports Virtual I/O and Forte VFX1 head mounted displays (HMDs) with head tracking. Works with the Terminator: Future shock game to upgrade the game to SVGA graphics, smoother animation and scrolling, and all the new features and options.

Multiplayer: Up to 8 characters can compete and cooperate over network or internet.

Conclusion: If you liked Future Shock, you are sure to like this one.

Preview references:
Christine Grech Wendin, The E3 Top 25, PC Games, volume 3, number 9, August, 1996, pg. 31.
Cindy Yans, Hot town, Summer in Bethesda: Why it got to late to go to the nudie bar, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 20-22.