Cybercon III (Second Review)

Title		Cybercon III (Second Review)
Game Type	3D Adventure
Author		Ricardo Pinto / Prog. Andy Beveridge
Players		1
Compatibility	Not AGA but patch available Bert Jahn's WHDLoad page
HD Installable	With patch
Submission	D.J.

      At less than 300Kbytes, Cybercon III has perhaps the most fun per
byte of any game going. Don't let the small size fool you, there's lots to
do and see.

      Earth, it seems, has been taken over by merciless machines of our
own making. It is up to you to infiltrate their central control and
neutralize the brain stem or to lower the shields so that additional
forces might be brought to bear.

      You do this from within a modified power suit (ala Mech Warrior).
Modified in that it was originally intended as a utility vehicle like the
walking forklifts in Aliens (the shoot 'em up). With this you can move
about and manipulate objects.

      You see the world through the visor of your power suit. All the
suit's functions are displayed around the edges.

      You have shields to protect you from hostile fire (and your own
screw ups), sensors and doppler radar, weapons (of course), power handling
(the more the better), cameras (nifty!) and a "sonic key" device that
allows you to operate doors and other things.

      The control for all this can be quite daunting at first but the
problems you face allow for a not too brutal learning curve. Also, your
favourite configurations of gear can be saved on all ten Function Keys,
for quick access. Movement and firing are accomplished with the joy-stick,
everything else through the keyboard.

      This is one of the earliest Virtual Reality style games, similar to
the modern Doom but considerably slower and with less sophisticated
graphics (but hey! the whole program is about the size of a couple of
MicroSoft's animated icons, so...). Because of this you can get views from
outside your suit, using up to four cameras, some that are stationary and
others that fly. You can choose between full screen rendering (for recon)
or to have the images displayed on a mini screen in your helmet (for

      The environment is varied, some 400 locations, ranging from cramped
elevators (lots of these) to multi story vistas that dwarf your 3 meter
(10 foot) power suit. The whole place is patrolled by a variety of robots
of varying abilities and toughness. Mounted plasma cannons guard key
approaches and there are doors, doors, doors. Doors in all colours, doors
that open nicely, doors that must be coaxed and doors that might as well
be walls, walls that become windows opening on some spectacular views (for
1991). There are see-through floors and hidden pit traps, death waiting at
every turn.

       Cybercon is not fast paced although things can get quite hectic. It
involves a lot of strategy and energy management. Keeping yourself fueled
and repaired is essential. Sometimes too much power is a liability, when
it kills a robot outright. Wounded robots shed power cells (which you can
use for energy, as cannon rounds and land mines) and wounded robots tend
to wound other robots, so they can do a dandy job of blocking halls and
doors while you escape.

      On the down side you can only save one game per disk and only one
game in total when played on HD. Also you seem to be able to accumulate
damaged fuel cells which explode (usually fatally) when you fire or drop
them. This means a restart or playing without selecting the damaged cells
(tricky). There are other weird things that I'm not sure about; whether
the install causes bugs or if the game itself tends to this or they are
puzzles I haven't solved.

      There's only two scores 0 and 1, lose or win and I haven't 1 yet
but I've had more than enough fun with it to write this. There is Bill
Bennet's excellent walk through, with coloured maps, on Aminet, if you
want help. Or go it alone. Cybercon's a classic, either way.


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