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Epic When a game is a long time in production, the feelings around the time of its release are fairly mixed. On the one hand there's the excitement that it's finally going to arrive, but this is tinged with apprehension and reservations on whether it has been worth the wait. Ocean's long-awaited (over two years in fact) space battle saga, Epic, is a game which fits into the category. Can the incredibly long wait really be worth it in the end? Well... not really.

The story behind the game is basically a reworking of Battlestar Galactica, with the human race fleeing disaster in a massive fleet of ships. After and admittedly impressive introduction sequence – a massive fleet of animated ships flying away from the doomed planet – you have to take on a series of missions as a pilot on the experimental Epic fighter. The fight mission is pretty much a direct steal from Galactica, with the player having to blast a path through a minefield before the fleet can pass. Next it's a series of attack runs on the Rexxon bases, destroying their communication systems, supply lines and defence systems. Later in the game, you must take part in space battles along with other fighters in the human fleet, ending up with a massive attack on the Rexxon Emperor's personal space cruiser.

Elitist?
Originally it was planned to make Epic a wide-ranging, Elite-style 3D space shoot-'em-up, trading and strategy game. What it has actually turned out to be is a pretty bland, simplistic 3D shoot-'em-up with a few fancy polygon spaceships.

Epic The fact is there are so many annoying quirks that leave you screaming at the screen. For example, when you try to lock on to a target using the waypoint computer, it will only guide you to one particular target out of all the ones available, even if you've already destroyed that one!

Some of the missions are a bit of a mystery to begin with, so you have to guess what you're supposed to be doing. Where are the nice animated computer briefings? Left out of the Amiga version, it appears. Added to all this, perhaps the most galling aspect is that the game is incredibly easy to finish. Pretty much everyone who has played the game, to our knowledge, completed all the missions within two hours of first starting the game. Doesn't really seem to be worth the money, does it?

Don't believe the...
So after all the hype, the long delays and the promise of a massive space saga, all we have is a futuristic, toned-down version of F29 with less missions and less than challenging gameplay. Sorry, but adding a few in-between animations (which take a while to plod through, many of them being repeated) doesn't improve things. Digital Image Design started the project so long ago, but have been working on newer (and better) games, leaving little time for finishing Epic. However, Ocean decided they still wanted to release the title, but Digital Image couldn't get it together in time. So we're left with a rushed job to get the thing released. The result is an out-of-date shoot-'em-up.
Maff Evans

Amiga Format, Issue 37, August 1992, p.71

THE EAGER PUBLIC SPEAKS

Epic managed to enter the charts at number three last month, which shows a lot of people have been looking forward to the game. But has it been worth the wait?
Within three days of the game being initially released, a large number of level codes flooded into Gamebusters (there were 11 just this morning), along with letter describing how disappointed they were on spending £30 for less than two hours entertainment (some even returned the game and asked for a refund). A few letters said they enjoyed the game while it lasted, but they would have liked a bit more of it.
Mr JS Smith from Sheffield had terrible trouble with the game, finding that it wouldn't work on his 1.3 Kickstart machine with 1Mb of chip RAM. Chris Chant's letter is fairly typical: "I bought Epic and completed it the very same day!" and David Rad from Merseyside summed it up: "It's a pity that they gave a cheat for it in the box." Very true!
A case of a lot of presentation, but not enough gameplay.

Epic
Ocean * £29.99
  • The nice intro promises lots of depth, adventure and action, but little comes along in the actual game.
  • The control and direction-finding leaves you growling with frustration.
  • The animation sequences get repetitive after a short while, not really making up for the lack of gameplay.
  • Thirty quid. Two hours from start to finish. That's more expensive than going down the arcade and playing coin-ops!
  • A lackluster game that falls pitifully short of its original aim.
verdict: 34%



Epic logo

Als Microdeal dieses Projekt noch beharkte, sollte es schlicht “Goldrunner 3D” heißen und war als Fortsetzung zu den gleichnamigen Baller-Klassikern konzipiert. Doch dann stieg Ocean ein, und die Sache nahm langsam epische Ausmaße an…

Epic Gemunkelt wird über Epic ja bereits seit Jahren, angekündigt war es auch schon des öfteren. Aber die Designer (Digital Image) hatten im Lauf der Zeit mehr und mehr Ideen in ihren SF-Opus eingebaut die Arbeit zog sich in die Länge. Tatsächlich waren Konzept und Grafik denn auch schon vor Monaten fertig, die Hauptaufgabe harrte jedoch noch der Erledigung – die aufwendige Mixtur aus „Krieg der Sterne“, „Enterprise“ und „Kampfstern Galaktika“ musste irgendwie in den Amiga geschaufelt werden!

Endlich ist nun das geschafft, die Evakuierung der Menschheit kann beginnen. Wie es aussieht, steht uns nämlich in 20 bis 30 Jahren eine Supernova ins Haus, wer da nicht mindestens 260 Lichtjahre weit weg ist, kann sein Testament machen. Nun führt der Weg in die Sicherheit aber leider acht Level lang durch das Hoheitsgebiet der bitterbösen Rexxons, womit auch für Kanonenfutter reichlich gesorgt wäre.

Epic Jede der Stages kann mit 3D-Perspektive, einem Zeitlimit und unterschiedliche Aufgaben aufwarten; während man z.B. im ersten Level seine Flotte sicher durch ein Minenfeld dirigieren muss, bieten die höheren Abschnitte vorwiegend Raumgefechte à la „Elite“. Apropos „Elite“: Auch Epic wird am besten mit der Maus gesteuert, auch hier kann der eigene Raumer aus (sechs) verschiedenen Perspektiven betrachtet werden. Darüber hinaus kann man sich auf Tastendruck sein nächstes Primärziel zeigen lassen, was in der Gesamtheit wirklich richtig episches Movie-Feeling aufkommen lässt. Dazu trägt auch die detaillierte und annehmbar flotte 3D-Vektorgrafik bei, genau wie der atmosphärische Sound und die phantastischen Zwischenbilder.

Der Überhammer ist jedoch fraglos das gigantomatische Intro: In traumhaften Zoomeffekten tritt die Flotte ihre Flucht durchs All an, und man kann haarklein beobachten, wie das eigene Schiff, die „Epic zu ihrem Geleitzschutzauftrag startet. Unterlegt ist das muntere Treiben mit einem Klassik-Soundtrack, wo einem die Violinen derart dramatisch in die Ohren heulen, dass man meinen könnte, direkt im Orchestergraben zu sitzen!

Was soll man noch sagen? Epic ist eine aufwendige Action-Spaceopera, die sich kein Raumpilot entgehen lassen sollte – besonders, da das vergleichbare „Wing Commander“ den Sprung vom PC auf den Amiga ja immer noch nicht geschafft hat… (L. Bunder)

Amiga Joker, March 1992, p.14

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Die lange Entwicklungszeit war nicht umsonst – Epic ist ein Erlebnis!"

Amiga Joker
Epic
Grafik: 80%
Sound: 80%
Handhabung: 74%
Spielidee: 62%
Dauerspass: 72%
Preis/Leistung: 73%

Red. Urteil:
Für Fortgeschrittene
74%
Preis: ca 89,- DM
Hersteller: Ocean
Genre: Action

Spezialität: Mit in der Box liegen ein großes 3D-Poster samt 3D-Brille.