Space Hulk (Second Review)

Title		Space Hulk (Second Review)
Game Type	3D Combat Sim
Publisher	Electronic Arts (1993)
Players		1
Compatibility	All with Patch
HD Installable	Yes (with Patch)

	This Amiga Report review appears here by courtesy of Jason Compton


	Space Hulk


	A 3-dimensional space game which has you going about shooting
millions of aliens and finding rare artifacts. Based largely on the GDW
classic board game.


	Name:		Electronic Arts

	Address:	Slough
			PO Box 835
			Slough, Berkshire,
			SL3 8XU

	 		PO Box 7586
			San Mateo CA 94403-7586

	Telephone:	(315) 572-ARTS			(USA)
			(0735) 546465			(UK)

	E-mail:	(US)		(UK)


	I paid $44.95 (US). I do not know the list price.



		On the outside of the box it is written that it will run on
		the Amiga 500, 500+, 600, 1200, 2000, and 3000. It does not
		state that it will run on an A4000 HMMM!!!




	None, that I can tell.... They tell you to make a backup of all the
disks before you play the game. The game will write to disk 3 extensively.


	Amiga 2000 with GVP 3001 card
	8 megabytes RAM
	Two floppy drives
	120 meg hard drive

	I tried to run it on:

	Amiga 1200
	MBX030 board with 4 megs of memory,
	Two floppy drives
	200 meg hard drive


	No installation. Just put disks in the floppy drive and boot up
the Amiga.... See "DISLIKES" below for complaints.


	In October of 1993, I went down to my local Amiga store to buy
Hired Guns. Well, Hired Guns was not out yet, but they just got in Space
Hulk. I had played Space Crusade from Gremlin and this looked close to
it. So after a few minutes, I made the impulse buy of my lifetime. I
bought Space Hulk and returned home with a smile on my face.


	For those people who are not familiar with this game, here is a
short summary of what it is all about. The game takes place in the far
dark future. What happens is that warp space travel becomes commonplace.
After thousands of years, there have been space ships that became lost in
warp space itself. Every once in a while, a ship that has been lost might
appear in real space for a while and then disappear. These ships are
called Space Hulks. On some of these Space Hulks are some creatures who
are called Genestealers. To make this explanation easier, Genestealers
are evil and must be destroyed in all cases.

	You control up to ten Space Marines. Space Marines are armored
warriors who have amazing amounts of weaponry. After selecting the level or
"continue a save game", the player is given a mission to accomplish. These
missions are like kill all Genestealers, get an ancient object, or both.
After the mission briefing screen and after the game loads up, you are
greeted with a "READY!" out of the speakers. On the screen in five windows
is the front view of the players that you control. The bigger window is the
player you directly control. With the player you can directly control, you
can tell him to shoot his gun, turn right, turn left, and open and close
doors. In the bottom left corner of the screen is a radar map that shows the
aliens, your people, and the hallways themselves.

	There is also on the bottom right corner a freeze button and a
pause button. The freeze button is very important:  when activated, the
game is paused, but you can enter commands for the space marines to do.
The players have only so much freeze time, and freeze time is used up when
you have it activated. To accumulate (or recharge) freeze time the player
must let real time go by. If you click on the map instantly a map screen
comes up. This map screen contains on the right side of the screen a
scrollable map of the areas that you KNOW. This means that if you do not
know (or see) an area it is not visible on the map screen. This map screen
is updated in real time so you will see blips moving on the screen and the
marines will move on the map. The Map screen has all the commands that the
player can use as selectable commands. At this point the player can issue
up to five commands ahead to any space marines that he controls. That is
basically the whole game.


	This is mostly a simple point-and-shoot control method as
described above. Not that bad. There are keyboard commands to select
specific teammates and to issue the same commands to different
terminators. Not very many commands after that.


	The game itself has four sets of adventure:  A tutorial, an
advanced tutorial, Space Hulk original missions, and the Deathwing
Campaign. The game itself is hard. Very hard. Maybe just a little too
hard. I can't seem to finish one of the advanced tutorial missions and I
TRIED my hardest. I wish the tutorial were just a little more gradual. I
always seem to die in under thirty seconds and then reload the whole
mission back in :-(.


	The documentation is in three books. Two of the books are general
in their approach, and the third book is strictly for the Amiga. The
documentation is very good and it explains ideas and concepts much better
than I do. :-) The manual is very good and gives enough detail so people
who have never heard of the Game Design Workshop game would be able to
play this game effectively. Nice pictures in the book really give a good
atmosphere for the game.


	I like the sound effects in the game itself, they are very appropriate.
When you walk forward the view screen does not Immediately step forward.
The view scrolls forward.  The control system is not bad.

	And now, time for "Dislikes, or Why I Want To Kill Electronic Arts."

	I would like more freeze time. I overall would prefer to have a true
freeze time where I can freeze indefinitely and take as long as I like to
make any decisions on that map.

	I also have problems closing doors in the game. Sometimes the door
closes, sometimes it doesn't: It is very touchy.

	The graphics are VERY dithered in the front view. In the manual,
they state that they rendered the graphics originally on the Amiga in Real
3D. It looked like they render the graphics in 256 colors and ran it
through a poor video software that was told to convert it to 4 colors.
There is no voice in the mission briefing scene (there is a voice in the
original IBM version).

	It keeps one save game at a time per disk. So you must copy disk 3
another time if you want to play another game. It will erase a saved game
on the disk if you start another game up.

	Now, Electronic Arts in their infinite wisdom made Space Hulk for
the Amiga in three non-copy-protected dos disks. Now this seems good,
except that you CANNOT install the disks on the hard drive. I thought that
I could live with this, but even on a failed mission the disk access to
reload the same mission takes about two minutes!  What is even worse with
just two floppy drives you will still be swapping disks!!!  This makes the
game completely WORTHLESS!!!


	It is natural to compare Space Hulk to Space Crusade. Simply put,
Space Crusade is a license from Game Design Workshop. To describe it
simply: Remove the three dimensional parts of Space Hulk. Play always on the
map screen and give the player all the time in the world to decide. Space
Crusade is a very fun game! Space Hulk isn't.

	Hired Guns is very close to Space Hulk. But, Hired Guns looks so
much better, and in the long run I feel I have more control in Hired Guns.
Hired Guns is a great game, Space Hulk is bad!


	Well, it does not run on an Amiga 1200 with a MBX030 board in it!  I
have tried everything.... It works with my 1200 without the MBX030 board
but not with it in. Strange....


	I have twice tried to e-mail the vender and have received no
answer. I have called Electronic Arts (American phone number) and got no
useful response.


	After two weeks of owning Space Hulk I went back to my local Amiga
store and bought Hired Guns. I have not really touched Space Hulk since....

	Overall, I really hate Space Hulk. Poor graphics, no hard drive
support, swapping disks with two floppy drive, long load times, and not
working on my 1200 with the MBX board in really kills this game in my
opinion. If this type of game interests you, go out an buy Space Crusade or
Hired Guns.

	Also after this experience, Electronic Arts have now taught me
only to buy hard drive installable games that also state they will work on
the A4000. Well, Electronic Arts, I used to buy a lot of software from you
people but looks like you have lost a very loyal customer. (But I will
always consider Racing Destruction Set and Mail Order Monsters as two of
the top ten best games on all computer and video game systems for all
time, even though they are made by Electronic Arts. Hey, where are the
Amiga Ports of those two fine games?)

	I would definitely update the review if some fortunate soul
figured out how to make it run on my 1200 with an MBX board, or to run the
game directly from the hard drive. But since I have been trying off and on
for three months I doubt it would be possible....   (See Patch info above)

	My rating is one and a half stars out of five.

	Space Hulk, Space Marine, and Genestealers are trademarks of Games
Workshop LTD.

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