March! Offworld Recon

Format: PC
Oxygen Interactive

5 060015 032064
Age Restrictions: 12+

While colonising Mars, humanity faced numerous difficulties. One by one, colonists abandoned the planet and moved to other worlds. Only automatic industries and top-secret military research centres remained on Mars. Nobody could imagine then that the abandoned red planet would ever attract the attention of mankind again. Suddenly the Martian satellites breaks down, The Government decides to send an investigation team to the red planet. But what should be a simple investigation turns into a battle to stay alive...

March! Offworld Recon looks like a pretty standard Doom/Quake clone. But it's not just about senseless violence and beating the hell out of your enemies. You have to use the old grey matter in order to progress from level to level. And what may at first seem a complicated puzzle to solve can turn out to be very simple in practice. For example, during the first level an obvious solution to a problem is to throw your grenades at an enemy. However, doing so will result in the grenades exploding before they've even left your hands. You'll soon discover that a defensive strategy can be a more successful one.

There are seven individual levels that see you and your team aboard settings that include a spaceship; landing on Mars; exploring a factory and Martian caves. All are beautifully detailed and I loved the way that there are maze like corridors in some levels which seem almost impossible to navigate. During the first level I spent ages trying to find my crew, but once I did, I realised I had been going around in circles for some time.

It pays off to spend a bit of time getting used to the controls - the first time I encountered the rogue droids I panicked, forgot how to control my robot, and was killed in seconds.

If you want a little more from your Doom/Quake style of games, then this game will appeal to you. However, if you idea of fun is running around with a gun blowing away anything that moves, you'd be advised to look elsewhere.

Refreshingly original and well priced.

Nick Smithson

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