Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Enigma Force'

Rating:4 User: sometimesblue

The follow on Shadowfire. Enigma Force is now down to four members. The android and birdman, both awkward to animate, have conveniently died off.

Yes, animation. Unlike the static displays of Shadowfire, the current location is shown as the action take place. Once some enemy soldiers enter your location, a gun fight will ensue. It makes a change from watching anxiously as your force's strength goes down, followed by flashing warning lights. Now you can see what the position really is.

Although the icon control is still in place, this time you can take direct mind control of one of your team members. And here lies possibly a slight problem with the game. The controlled member can move much faster and fight better under your control than under computer control. When a member reports to be under attack, you cannot afford not to take direct control rather than let them get on with it. Similarly if the force wants to move over several rooms, it is much quicker to move each individual manually rather than giving orders and wait as the member dawdle along under their own steam. It would have been nice that the ordering system from Shadowfire was still useful, but the manual control unbalances it.

Also lacking from the original game is the characterisation. Sevrina still has her door opening toolkit, Maul is slow, and thats it. Fighting ability seems to be the same.

Rather than being a static world, the game offers a few good twists. Instead of the whole world being against you, there are two warring sides which inhabit the sewer system where the action takes place. If the two enter the same location, they will quite happily forget about fighting you and start attacking each other. Near to the start is a spawning room for one of the sides. Entering this, under heavy gunfire, will announce that they are now your friends and you'll be left alone. On the far side of the map is the enemy spawn room, and Zoff. They'll fight you until Zoff surrenders to you, and then you can sit in perfect peace and watch the two sides go back and forth. Its a neat touch.

The game is can be easily finished, but it has kept the same polished sound and graphics from the original.

As a final asides, with the talk about respawning insect soldiers endlessly fighting in underground tunnels during a forgotten war, theres a recent Doctor Who story very similar to this...