When do you get into legal trouble? Running over or shooting at people is a sure way. Though imitating another company's product too closely might also already be enough. You might get away with it in the latter case if you're choosing your steps carefully, as this game teaches us. It also teaches us that with some major bravado, the former can be done without negative consequences as well.
openly admits to rip off Grand Theft Auto in every way. The gameplay (accepting criminal jobs on public phones and carrying them out in a mostly brutal fashion while driving around fairly confined cities) is identical, but the similarities don't even stop there: graphical perspective, controls and even some uncommon vehicle names have been 'borrowed' as well!
How to get away this? Obscurity. A game published on the Amiga platform in the third millennium was hardly something any larger company would even concern itself with. What would be the commercial damage for the mainstream original amount to if the obscure clone would be just let be? Sospent its undisturbed existence in its tiny corner of the computer market, with later ports being pretty much restricted to other niche systems like the GP2X handheld as well.
The review could pretty much end here, but the self-assured claim thatwould surpass in 'every way' is worth looking into. Specifically, there are two major aspects where this game arguably fails at its own standards.
First, there are the graphics (note: the screenshots show just two of the many available screen resolutions). Instead of the hand-pixelled surroundings and sprites which were already 'retro' whenwas released, but which gave the game its very own charm, went for three-dimensional vehicle models prettied up with colourful textures. To actually make use of these models, the cities all have hills and bridges showing them off in action fairly well.
This does not really work to the game's advantage, though. The vehicles as well as the whole world looks like a lot of games using early three-dimensional modelling techniques: blocky, artificial and ultimately unconvincing. The lighting effects, on the other hand, are excellent. They range from the obvious explosions to lens flare effects and they really make the world look more attractive and alive.
While the question of aestetics undeniably has got a subjective aspect to it, it is the believability of the world as a whole wheresimply cannot shine. One thing to mention here is the world simulation. This sort of game works only if the city seems to be alive, i.e. if its inhabitants seem to be following their own agenda independent of the player. While this works reasonably well in , it just happens all too often that vehicles get stuck and they simply never manage to get out of their situation anymore.
On a note unrelated note, the missions the player can take are kind of generic. In, the exaggerated comic tone was actually a major part of the overall game experience. Just taking a car to the other end of the city within a strict time limit can still be fun, but it would be even more so if there was an understandable, cliché purpose to it.
Make no mistake –is an impressively entertaining game on its own right, especially considering the ratio between all the sweat which has obviously gone into it and its limited market potential! When it comes to the details, it cannot quite fulfil what it promises, but that certainly shouldn't stop you from trying this entry to an underused genre – if you've got the right hardware for it.