Drinking........drugs....... you've tried them all, and you still can't sleep. You keep seeing her, lying on the autopsy table staring at you with those glazed eyes. You see the flesh ripped on her once beautiful face. The horrible wounds were self inflicted. She was a victim of Pickman's Syndrome.
Tomorrow you're going to Beltlogger 9 on a security mission. Maybe you'll find some answers to the questions that have been haunting you. Then the nightmares will end. Right now you're feeling sorry for yourself - "SNAP OUT OF IT!" - you scream. "DAMMIT! I'm a MARINE!"
Your squadron got wiped out after landing on the mining colony Beltlogger 9. Another squadron landed on the far side of the colony, but they won't be able help to you. So you go it alone through 22 levels which get progressively harder. There is something very evil on Beltlogger 9 and it has a name, Dionisio Vega. Who is Dionisio Vega and what does he want? This is the mystery you will eventually solve as you fight your way through the mining station.
Brahma Force (BF) is a mix of "Doom" and "Descent" except you're in a mech. Although there is a lot of killing, there's also a strategy element. There are a number of puzzles like - find the key for the exit before the station blows up. The game is very challenging. The plot is linear and some levels must be replayed over and over and over until you figure out the solution. This really gets frustrating after a while.
BF has an "Outstanding" interface to help you accomplish your mission. Especially notable is the Command Screen which provides access to the Log, Maps, Records, and 6 other systems. The action pauses whenever you open the Command Screen. There is a fully controllable camera view available when you access the map.
The controller options are "Excellent". You can easily program all the buttons to suit your taste. You can even adjust the HUD to your liking.
Your weapon is the BRAHMA which is short for Bipedal Robotic Assault Heavy Mechanized Armor. The lethal BRAHMA is a marvelous machine to pilot. The Heads-Up Display (HUD) includes: radar, map, weapons array, and other important information. There are no exterior views. The cockpit view is the only view. But you can look up and down. It's a really great fighting vehicle loaded with guns, missiles, bombs, etc. All of which can be upgraded. You can feel its massive weight as you move. The BRAHMA will react to your every input whether it's a side-step or a jump. There is a lot of jumping. Good piloting skills are essential for survival.
There's the standard fare of deadly enemy swarms. Power-ups can usually be found: after killing an enemy, in rooms, or hidden in some hard to find places. There are computer terminals scattered around each level. The terminals provide information and tips. There is also a terminal to save your progress on that level. A memory card is required to save.
The opening animation is excellent. Throughout the game there are plenty of well done animated cut-scenes which are timely and effective. They enhance rather than disrupt gameplay. When you lose, there are some nifty death scenes of you being blown into space dust.
The graphics overall are really good for a "close quarters" shooter. You can move close to an object without it looking like a Rubik's Cube. The explosions are top notch. Movement in the 3-D environment is well executed. When you move, the view realistically bobs with each step. There's a Visual Stabilizer option to steady the view if you prefer.
The sound enhances gameplay. Your BRAHMA walking, elevators, lifts, doors and other objects make realistic sounds. There's plenty of voice acting. Some good and some not so good. The soundtrack, although unremarkable, complement's the action.
Several "Negatives" keep this game from reaching its full potential. First, the manual could have been better. You'll play several levels before you figure out some important things not covered in the manual. You cannot adjust the level of "Difficulty". A "Difficulty" setting might have added some replay value. The game does not support the analog joystick. And the Big Negative is - Single player only.
Bottom Line: BF is intense, frustrating, and a lot of fun. This is a mechanized shooter that requires some thinking. The game takes some time to complete. Once you've played through all the levels the replay value is low.
Street Price: $43.12 to $49.99 Password: No Memory Card: 1 Block Supports: 1player Graphics: 90 Sound: 90 Learning Curve: Moderate Difficulty: Tough Controller Options: Player programmable Manual: Does not include some vital information Replay Value: Low