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Those Bitmaps do it again!

Gods logo

Publisher: Renegade Price: £25.53
GAMEPLAY

The visual presentation is up to the usual Bitmap Brothers standard. Highly polished, the variation is great. Colour has been used to good effect and the all-round feel is one of general excellence.

SOUND

Nation 12, the same guys responsible for the cracking sound on Speedball 2, have done it again – the in-game Gods music is stunning! The sound effects are also of arcade quality – the various samples come across really clearly.

GRAPHICS

The artificial intelligence found within the game makes it a challenge to players of all abilities. The joystick controls do prove to be just a little unresponsive at first. However, once conquered the overall gameplay is brilliant.

FINAL JUDGEMENT
90 %

Gods T he Bitmap Brothers have become synonymous with excellence. Their impressive list of games reads something like a hall of fame: Xenon, Speedball, Xenon II, Cadaver, Speedball 2 – everyone one a number one! Now comes Gods, a platform game with a difference.
The game is based on happenings in Greek mythology. As the hero of the game it is your task to complete a series of levels, defeating all-manner of blood-thirsty beasts as you go. All of the game takes place within a city created by the great gods as entertainment. The beings from Mount Olympus lay down the challenge suggesting no mortal man could survive the traps and terrors of the city.
Many men had attempted to get to the other side of the construction, none had succeeded. Now you, a fresh young warrior, have risen to the challenge. If you fail, a slow and painful death awaits. If you succeed, you will be granted one wish from the gods.
Your heart’s desire is to be an immortal yourself. Your character looks suspiciously like that of Greek strongman, Hercules. Whether or not this is the case is not totally clear as you seem to wear an ornate helmet throughout the action.

The point of the game is not to simply battle your way to the end of each level before taking on a formidable-looking enemy. Indeed, Gods also includes a range of taxing puzzles which must be solved.
The game utilizes a fair degree of artificial intelligence. For instance, one of the first puzzles sees you collecting a stone pot. The game’s message bar will inform you that you have to deposit the said item in a store room. Many players will find this task relatively simple, however novices may need a little help and the game will aid slow learners with extra hints. Not only will the game give hints, it will also introduce more intelligent monsters to challenge skilled players. In addition to helping the less able, the game will also reward obvious talent. If you manage to reach the end of the first stage within a certain time limit, you will be rewarded with an extra goodie.

It is split into three definite worlds, each one providing progressively more of a challenge. Indeed, the first section of the game eases the player into the action, teaching him various strategies. The end of each particular level sees you coming face to face with a particularly mean nastie. These large end-of-level guardians can prove to be a real challenge. Should you manage to defeat a guardian and thus complete a level, you will be given a password allowing you to start at that particular point next time you play.

As you progress through the game you will encounter various monsters and traps. The former beings can be despatched in the time-honoured tradition while the latter may need more devious thought. Killing creatures will yield precious gems that boost your wealth. Other items such as keys, power-ups and new weapons can also be collected and used. Throughout the action you will no doubt encounter a shop keeper. Like the galactic salesman found in Xenon II, these fellows carry an impressive arsenal. Providing you have enough cash you can buy all sorts of deadly goodies. These range from simple extra lives and energy restoratives, to homing fireballs and spears. Perhaps the most deadly weapon is your familiar. Assuming the shape of an eagle, this beast flies around the screen taking out many of the marauding meanies.

Overall, Gods is another first-rate Bitmap Brothers game. All the symptoms are there: the great sound, brilliant graphics and outstanding gameplay.
Nick Clarkson

Amiga Computing, Issue 38, July 1991, p.p.54-55



Gods logo

Die Bitmap Brothers wissen, was sie ihrem Ruf schuldig sind - hier nach der Qualität zu fragen, ist schon fast eine Majestätsbeleidigung! Aber mit dem Werbeslogan einer bekannten Automarke könnten wir es mal versuchen: Ist das neue Game nun einfach himmlisch oder teuflisch gut?

Gods Im Grunde genommen ist Gods so eine Art Actionversion von „Cadaver“: Einerseits muß eine ganze Schar grausiger Gegner dahingemetzelt werden, anderseits gilt es aber auch ein paar ausgesprochen knackige Rätsel zu lösen, Schätze aufzusammeln und natürlich seine drei Bildschirmleben beisammenzuhalten. Al einer, der auszog, den Göttern das Fürchten zu lehren, marschiert man durch eine altertümliche Stadt, deren Architektur leicht griechisch angehaucht ist. Die beschwerliche Reise führt durch insgesamt vier riesige Level, die wiederum je drei umfangreiche Unterabschnitte enthalten. Dabei stößt der Held auf jede Menge Plattformen und Leitern, Fallen, die mit Hebeln ausgeschaltet werden müssen, und Bonusräume wie Schatz- und Waffenkammern.

Wie von den Bitmaps nicht anders zu erwarten, ist die Götterspeise ganz schön komplex: Beispielsweise gibt es zehn untereinander kombinierbare Waffenarten und fast zwanzig verschiedene Zaubertränke – für jedes Wehwechen eines. Auch rennen die Gegner in den Höheren Leveln nicht einfach stupide hin und her, sondern versuchen, das Spielersprite richtiggehend auszutricksen – durch Auflauern, Ausweichen oder Zusammenrotten. Außerdem paßt sich der Schwierigkeitsgrad automatisch den Leistungen des Joystick-Artisten an! Mit anderen Worten: Je mehr Monster einer umhaut, umso mehr kriegt er auch serviert. Dazu kommen noch diverse Kleinigkeiten, wie Shops zum Nachtanken von Energie und Waffen, wichtige Hinweise in einer Laufschrift am unteren Screenrand und „Überrasschungs-Eier“, die sich nach dem Aufsammeln in Goldstücke oder auch mal eklige kleine Zombies verwandeln.

Amiga Joker Hit Die Grafik ist bei alledem höchst beeindruckend, etwa das Beste aus „Xenon 2“ und „Cadaver“ als komplett neuartiger Remix. Sicher, wer ganz genau hinschaut, kann ein minimales Ruckeln beim Scrolling entdecken, und die NTSC-Streifen sind natürlich nicht zu übersehen. Aber über dem feinen Zeichenstil und den hübschen Animationen ist das sofort vergessen! Ein kleines bißchen enttäuschend ist der Title-Soundtrack, Nation 12 war bei der Musik für „Speedball 2“ deutlich besser in Form. Dafür sind wiederum die Effekte absolut spitzenmäßig und tragen sehr viel zur dichten Atmosphäre des Games bei. Was die Handhabung angeht, so will sie erstmal erlernt sein, aber dann klappt alles vorzüglich – vom Gegner-Killen bis zum Inventory-Verwalten.

Und über allem erstrahlt ein wahrhaft göttliches Gamedesign, das dieses Programm zu einem ebenbürtigen Konkurrenten für den aktuellen Platzhirschen „Turrican 2“ macht. Keine Frage: Spätestens mit Gods ist den Bitmap Brothers ein Ehreplatz im Programmierer-Olymp sicher! (mm)

Amiga Joker, May 1991, p.?

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Gods ist eine Offenbarung für jeden Action-Fan!"

Amiga Joker
Gods
Grafik: 86%
Sound: 82%
Handhabung: 85%
Spielidee: 91%
Dauerspaß: 89%
Preis/Leistung: 84%

Red. Urteil: 88%
Für Experten
Preis: ca 79,- DM
Hersteller: Renegade
Genre: Action

Spezialität: Spiel und Anleitung komplett in deutsch, Level-Paßwörter, Extra-disk zum Abspeichern der Highscores erforderlich.



Gods logo  CU Super Star

Have you got what it takes to be a God? Dan 'Bacchus' Slingsby finds out in the Bitmaps Brothers' latest release.

Gods The Renegade gamewave begins in earnest this month with the fledging softcos' first release, Gods, winging its way into the softshops. Developed by top 16-bit development team, the Bitmap Brothers, Gods is an arcade adventure set in ancient Greece with numerous puzzles to solve, monsters to slay and treasure to collect.

Featuring a novel artificial intelligence, which responds to the decisions and actions of the player, the game is set over 4 action-packed levels. Each one throws up its own particular battery of bug-eyed nasties, flying griffins, satyrs, two-headed beasts and hideous monsters, all of whom are out to give you a bloody good thrashing.

The player has been given the task of battling his or her way through a city created by the gods, which has been taken over by the forces of darkness. Four all-powerful guardians patrol each level and have a horde of hell-like minions under their control. Only by completing each level, made up of three worlds apiece, and defeating the end-of-level guardians in mortal combat can the player gain the ultimate gift of the gods.

Various weapons, potions and energy icons are scattered throughout each level, as are a number of devious puzzles, secret passages and rooms, switches, levers and traps. The first two worlds of level one offer no real challenge, but are a useful training course and help the player get used to the simple joystick controls and combat conditions. By the third world things start to hot up and the nasties become thanks to increased artificial intelligence a lot harder to defeat. By the time the player has progressed onto level 4, the screen will be thick with all manner of wee beasties and the going will be decidedly tougher.

Each world has its own specific task, which must be completed before the player can progress further. This may involve retrieving several objects and taking them to a certain place or manipulating a number of levers to release some kind of treasure. Apart from the first world, they're never going to be easy and are made much harder by the legions of vulture-like Harpies, gargoyles and serpents on the prowl. The monsters materialize out of thin air in response to various actions by the player and become increasingly intelligent as the game progresses. For example, in the early stages the monsters will follow a simple attack pattern, but later on they might run away, chase you or even avoid hostile fire. It's also possible to manipulate them into helping you. Some thief-like characters can be used to retrieve items, which are hard to reach. Once retrieved, the player can blast them and walk away with the booty.

Weapons include daggers, destroying platform-based uglies. Spears are by far the best weapons to collect as they can pass through aliens and platforms causing untold devastation. Daggers are the weakest and only inflict minimal damage. Other useful icons include shields for invincibility and starburst-like smart bombs, which cause multiple explosions. Also scattered around are engraved stone tablets which, when collected, reveal hints and tips in the form of a scrolling message at the bottom of the screen. These may define the quest for each world, give hints or solutions to a puzzle, or the location of an object.
As well as picking up weapons and potions left behind by blasting luckless aliens to a gooey pulp, a shopkeeper icon appears during, and at the end of, each level. Once collected, the shopkeeper appears and takes you to his shop where you can buy weapons and potions.

Gods When playing the game, the program adjusts to the player's ability and makes the game easier by taking out some of the attack waves and placing more energy-giving icons in the level. A similar system has been used in Storm's big new shoot 'em up, SWIV, in which attack craft move more slowly if the player has few lives left or his/her hit rate is below a certain level. Gods is also speed dependant - the quicker things are done, the greater the rewards. By playing well, extra treasure chests can be collected and secret passages revealed. For example, in the first world in level one, a special jump potion only appears if a players has reached the top of the building within a certain time.

Graphically, the game is highly impressive. Mark Coleman, who handled the graphics in Speedball 2 stepped in to help out on Gods and has surpassed his own already high standards. He's created a large repertoire of bizarre and ugly looking monsters, which add variety to each level. As the game progresses, the creatures get even-more weird until the final level when what look like flying Sumo Wrestlers and Slinky-spring type beasts run about causing general mayhem. Such variety helps enrich the game and puts others of its type to shame. Obviously a lot of hard work has gone into their design. With over 60 frames of animation, the central character moves in a semi-realistic manner and is remarkably detailed, even down to his flowing blond locks of hair. My only criticism is the lack of animation used on the end-of-level guardians. They look great, but have only limited movements which tends to negate their appeal. Although the first level Centurion is a massive 96x64 pixels high, it's not that difficult to defeat and was a mild disappointment.

The sonics in Gods are excellent. There are a wide range of multi-layered sound effects and samples which complement the frantic on-screen action perfectly as well as a trumpet fanfare after each level has been completed. There's also a 2,5 minute intro tune by nation 12, reprogrammed by Richard Joseph. This will most likely be released as a single in the not-too-distant future.

The game itself plays like a dream. It's not just a shoot 'em up - there are lots of intriguing puzzles to solve and objects to discover. Even if you complete the game, there will always be something you've missed and no two games will ever be exactly the same. Over a year's work has gone into developing Gods and it shows. It's not an original game, but it's certainly the best of its type. It deserves to be an almighty smash hit.

CU Amiga, March 1991, p.p.34-36

THE HARPIES Harpies were one of the most fearsome monsters that the ancient Greeks knew. Half-humans and half-vulture, they circled the skies looking for victims to feed their unsatisfiable hunger. Harpies preferred dead flesh to eat but were more capable of killing humans and animals with their razor sharp talons. They often protected sanctuaries or were extremely possessive of areas they had control of. Anyone who ventured into the domain of the harpies rarely came out alive. Skeletons and half-eaten bodies often acted as warning signs of land inhabited by harpies

MEDUSA The Medusa had a rather unusual hairstyle. She boasted a barnet of live snakes! The Medusa acquired this by declaring that she was more beautiful than Aphrodite. As a punishment, Aphrodite made sure that no one would ever look at her with pleasure again. If anyone caught sight of the snake-headed creature, they would be so terrified they would turn to stone. The Medusa's home was decorated with her pitiful victims; their features distorted in terrible fear and pain.

GRIFFINS Griffins were extremely dangerous creatures of the sky. Similar to modern day eagles, they were masters of killing, often by swooping down and plucking their unsuspecting victims from the ground. Its chosen prey were carried off to lairs which were laden with rotting flesh. However, they were not only bloodthirsty but also renowned for their wisdom and cunning, As a result, images of griffins were often painted on buildings to strike feat into the hearts of fainthearted.

A M I G A   S P E C
MEMORY REQUIRED
COLLISION DETECTION
LEVELS
DIFFICULTY LEVEL
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
GRAPHICS STYLE
SOUND
DEVELOPMENT TIME
LARGEST SPRITE
PLAY AREA
512K
7
4
8
1
SPRITE-BASED
MULTI-LAYERED SAMPLES
13 MONTHS
96X64
68 SCREENS/LEVEL

RENEGADE £25.99
Stylish, all action thrills and spills - don’t miss it
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
92%
88%
92%
94%
OVERALL 93%