PlayStation Gamer REVIEW

AUTO DESTRUCT

Publisher:
Developer:
Type:
Electronic Arts
Neurostone
3D Action
Reviewed by:
Version tested:
Date posted:
Blaine E. Pynkala
NTSC - US
02/21/98

Auto Destruct No. of Players: 1
Supports: Analog Controller
Rating: Teen

Electronic Arts has a reputation for producing some stellar games. Is "Auto Destruct" another stellar game, or does the title include an ominous excerpt from a review?

The story: Your wife and baby were murdered by disciples of the Cult of Lazarus. You've been recruited by the Temple (good guys) to battle Lazarus and his cult of suicidal maniacs.

You drive a car equipped with a variety of weapons and fight on the streets of San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and in a subway. Before you burn rubber in the missions, you can practice driving around the cities in Time Trials.

Auto Destruct There are 25 levels in the game. Mission objectives include: escort, defend, rescue hostages, diffuse bombs, search and destroy. You'll receive a verbal briefing before each mission and have access to a map of the city. The camera angles for playing include: behind the wheel, chase, and an overhead view. You must manage your fuel, ammo and armor. If you take a lot of damage or run low on fuel, there are garages and repair shops to help get you back on the street.

Weapons include: machine guns, rockets, missiles, lasers, cannons, mines, bombs, and rear mounted smoke and oil screens. Pick-ups are scattered around the city. These include: armor, nitro, bigger engines, better tires, and cash.

It all sounds so absolutely exciting and marvelous until you start playing. That's when you discover you're on the freeway to a major disappointment.

Auto Destruct GRAPHICS: 4.0
The pathetic graphics are a GIANT leap backwards and an insult to your eyes. There are pop-ups galore. Visibility is limited to around 2 city blocks. If you're speeding down the street, a building may pop up in front of you before you can react.

The buildings look pretty cool when you first see them. But, as you drive around the city, you'll see the same buildings over and over. Up close, they warp or become distorted and occasionally transparent. Objects you're approaching jitter and shake. You soon realize that this is a horribly dysfunctional city. Weapons firing and explosions are not impressive. There are a lot of white seams throughout the graphics.

SOUND: 4.0
The music isn't good enough to be played in an elevator. A grain elevator. The voice acting is unimaginative and just plain "Bad". The special effects are cheesy.

CONTROL: 7.5
The game supports Sony's DAP. There are 4 button options and a calibration screen. Control with the DAP was smooth and fairly precise.

GAMEPLAY: 4.0
There is a potentially good game lurking in here somewhere. Unfortunately, you'll never see it. The missions just don't include the thrills and excitement you'd expect in an action game. Therefore, you unenthusiastically go about your task completing mission objectives.

Believe It Or Not - You can drive through trees, lamp posts and other solid objects virtually unscathed. But, as soon as your tires touch water, it's "Mission Failed". There are time limits for a number of missions. So, you must speed around the urban eyesore to quickly complete objectives. No easy task.

Even the most powerful weapons at your disposal don't seem to pack much of a punch. There is nothing here that motivates you to continue playing. Unless, you have a sick desire to chase down and run over pedestrians.

The manual is good. The learning curve is easy. The "Difficulty" cannot be adjusted. There is NO replay value. In fact, there is NO play value. Auto Destruct is simply not fun.

BOTTOM LINE:
This game should "auto-destruct" on the store shelves. Do not buy. Not worth the price of a rental.

OVERALL SCORE: 4.5

Reviewed by Blaine E. Pynkala, Voltran@aol.com

(c) Electronic Arts/ Neurostone


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