Codename Hell Squad

Title 		Codename Hell Squad
Game Type 	Action Adventure
Publisher 	Digital Dreams Entertainment, 2000
Players 	1
Compatibility 	CD-ROM and 3Mb RAM
HD Installable 	Yes
Submission	Kristian Hesketh ( Profiled Reviewer

HellSquad (or Codename: HellSquad to give it it's full title) is a
half point and click, half-shoot 'em up adventure, although the balance
lies more strongly with the puzzle aspect. The game graphics are well
drawn, although quite poor for this day and age, in 32 colour EHB making
it compatible with an A500 with CD-ROM and 3Mb RAM (who has this spec?).
The sound is more than adequate with cool, chunky machine gun fire always
availible at your disposal.

Anyone who has played (and enjoyed) Monkey Island or Beneath a Steel Sky
should feel instantly familiar with the game, but there are enough
differences to make the game worthwhile. Your character is joystick or
keyboard controlled, the former making it slightly faster to move them
around. There is also realtime shooting availible where you must aim your
gun in one of eight poistions in order to eliminate the aliens who attack

Another original idea is that of having four different (although very
similar) characters to do the tasks. You can leave them all over the
different game areas so you do not have to trawl through every screen to
pick up a missed item. All the characters share the same inventory which
is nice.

The game has a bad FMV intro filled which shameful acting performances
which left me cold. It's a shame as the animation format used is good and
manages full-screen playback with nice detail levels.

The first game screen is a nice friendly grassland area with a lake and
birdlife (which will vanish when you arrive). I used the keyboard to play
the game and I recommend this to everyone as you still need the return key
when playing with a joystick. The controls are fairly simple; walk up to
an object and the object anim appears in the corner. Press fire/shift now
and you pick it up. If you press fire without an anim playing your
character arms and readies himself for combat. Swift volleys of fire can
be sent across the screen when the fire button is now pressed and
thankfully you never runs out of ammo :)

The Use feature is slightly different. When you get a Look anim and you
hit the return key, the highlighted item in your inventory is used. It's
slightly confusing and could be a bit easier. Also, leaving the screen to
get to a new area, requires two shoves in the right direction, which is a
bit clumsy at times.

Some of the ingame humour is passable and could have you chuckling
occasionally, but there are grammatical errors (and strange references to
the character's Mother-in-law) which detract from the polish and fun.

The adventure itself is competent; easy puzzles to begin with steadily
building up for a greater challenge. The plot does not match the masterly
Steel Sky, and it is a more linear game than Monkey Island, but don't be
put off. It's a good game and cunningly interweaves the point and click
and shooting elements to create a new game style. There is no other game
quite like it. And it is huge. Definitely a good purchase and a better
game than Wasted Dreams.

It's strange... Vulcan were originally to publish this game, but never got
round to it and quit the scene. That was three years ago. The only
differences I can see between this and the old versions are the intro and
changes in the dialogue. It's been quite a wait, but it was probably worth

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