Restricted Area

Format: PC
Whiptail Interactive
8 435126 500066

Age Restrictions: 12+
24 June 2005

In the year 2083 the world has suffered from a radical change in climate. Humanity is forced to huddle in large protected mega-cities, leaving the rest to turn into a lawless and polluted wasteland (
Judge Dredd anyone). Though the cities are ruled by a world government, the wasteland is under the control of several mega -corporations (with a touch of Bladerunner), who use mercenaries to do their dirty work... mercenaries like you...

Restricted Area is, in short, a very entertaining game. You get to play one of four characters, who for differing reasons have become mercenaries. Johnson is an ex-special unit commander who has become disillusioned with the government, after they disbanded the World Defending Guard. Victoria Williams is a mutant who has escaped from one of the large corporations. Kenji Takahasi is on the run from the Yakuza after killing his father for as yet unknown reasons and lastly there is Jessica Parker, a rich girl gone bad, a specialist in cyberspace, she uses her expertise to fight against the corporations.

Each of the Characters has their own special abilities: Kenji is the only one who can carry two weapons at a time as he carries a sword; Johnson is a weapons specialist; Jessica is the only person who can enter cyberspace; and Victoria has psionic powers.

As with any role playing game there is the ability to increase your characters skills as the narrative progresses. Each character has fifteen specific skills that they can acquire, as well as fifteen that are open to all. You may also equip your character with a variety of weapons and cybernetic implants.

The interface and character control is very intuitive and it wont take a novice long to get up and going. The more experienced player will want to read the manual to get the best out of the various options available. Depending on which character you choose, the narrative is slightly different, but you do get the chance to interact, with some of the other three later on in the game.

The first mission is a kind of training exercise. You meet the people who you will need throughout the game to get weapons and missions. Should you fail a mission, or die, you are returned to this point - a much better idea than some games where, if you fail, the game terminates.

So, with four characters and lots of options, there is a lot of game play time here. At the present time there appears to be no option to play it online or over a LAN, which is a shame. Perhaps if the game is successful it will be included in any future release.

Overall this is a good RPG which should give you hours of fun and frustration and whilst the graphics can look a little dated, in places, this in no way detracts from the game. There are a number of nice anime style cut scenes, including the introduction of each character. So, if you're an RGP fan, you could do a lot worse than giving Restricted Area a spin on your computer.

Charles Packer

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