Title		Fears
Compatability	AGA
Type		3D Action
Company		Bomb Software
HD Installable	HD-patch: from Bert Jahn's WHDLoad page
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

My first memory of Fears, which is your standard 3D first person
perspective action game, (a la Doom), was when some idiot uploaded an
early demo of the game to the newsgroup comp.sys.amiga.games a few years
ago. It`s a newsgroup for discussion, not binaries!! .....sorry. Anyway,
the demo was actually quite good for that time, but needed a bit of work.
As I recall, there was a lot of running around inside large single story
buildings with funny little objects which shot at you while sliding around
the floor, and didn`t do much else. It showed a lot of promise on just a
vanilla 1200 though, and it was at this time that the race for the first
Amiga Doom clone was on, Fears competitors were Alien Breed 3D, Poom, and
Gloom, and I was sure we were in for something pretty good when the final
version of Fears was released. So how did it turn out. Well, radically
different to the demo, that`s for sure, and pretty different to any of the
other games mentioned.

 The 3D environment in Fears along with the creatures that inhabit it, is
bold and colourful, and sadly rather low in resolution, I believe it's
another game like Alien Breed that has derived it's speed from using a
"copper" trick which unfortunately means it can only work in a low
resolution. Unlike the early demo, mentioned above, you are only able
to see a very limited distance from your location, (what seems like a few
yards) beyond this point everything is black. Nevertheless, it has some
sort of visual charm, and it`s certainly a different look, so the game
should be recognised to some degree for that if nothing else. The front
end of the game is rather tasty though, combining some demo-coder style
graphic techniques with some highly atmospheric music. This "atmosphere" is
probably the game's strongest point, and I guess is largely generated by
the rather spooky background track within the game itself.

 The gameplay is fairly basic, combining the usual objects, like first aid
packs, ammunition, and weapon upgrades, but also piles of treasure for you
to collect. There are a number of secrets to discover on each level, but
as this tends to involve running around with your nose pressed against a
wall tapping the spacebar, I gave up looking after a while. As you would
expect you are able to strafe or sidestep in the game, which for this sort
of title is pretty much a necessity, allowing the player to dodge
otherwise potentially fatal incoming blasts of fire. There are also a
number of sunken channels with lava flowing along them, and falling into
these depletes your health at a rapid rate, although it ought to really
just kill you outright, because as much as you run along looking for a
way out of the lava channel, you never seem to find one. What makes it
worse is that you can't tilt your view at all, and the way Fears is
designed makes it often impossible to tell if the drop in front of you is
a few feet down on to a stone path or a few feet down into a searing death
of lava-induced agony.

 I've been slightly negative about the game, but one point where it
excells is in the inclusion of a level editor that is actually useable.
Okay, the 3D engine is not terribly sophisticated, and the maps are
basically 2D, so you can't ever go directly above or below another
location, also you're only entitled to use about three enemy types per
level. That said though, the editor is a doddle to use, and I soon had a
replica of my workplace designed and was busily blowing the management
straight to hell with the rather stylish shotgun. Well..... they weren't
really living anyway, were they?!

A fair game then, with a degree of originality and style, but if you've
got anything better than an 020 in your machine you'd be better off with
an Amiga version of Doom.

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