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Infestation logo

PSYGNOSIS £24.95 * Keyboard and Joystick

E Infestation ver since Aliens hit the scene there has been a whole host of games featuring races of Extra Terrestrial beings that hatch from eggs to take over the universe. Even those that do not stick to the original plot have graphics inspired by Giger’s eldritch creations. Infestation draws its inspiration from the film in both claustrophobic atmosphere and storyline, telling of research station Alpha II on the moon of Xelos.

Recent transmissions from the station have become garbled and unintelligible. The only thread running through the messages gells of a violent life form that has been laying eggs all over the complex – eggs that hatch into deadly insectoid warriors. The diminishing crew has tried to eliminate as many of the eggs as possible, but there are simply too many for them to handle with the meagre equipment they have to hand.

Enter your character – Kal Solar, mercenary soldier, trouble shooter and all-round hero. The game takes place in a filled-3D environment, commencing with Kal being dropped onto the barren surface of Xelos, armed with a handful of Cyanide cartridges with which to dispose of the eggs, a pressure suit, a Manned Manoeuvring Unit (MMU) which allows him to hover above the moon’s surface and a pulse rifle for disposing of the occasional enemy-controlled drone.

You must find your way into the complex and travel around dropping cyanide cartridges in the proximity of alien eggs. Easy enough? Not with alien controlled droids out to kill you, not to mention the condition of the complex itself: blacked-out corridors, radiation leaks and areas of zero pressure. All around the complex you may find discarded items of technology, which will undoubtedly come in useful at some point.

But take care: you must not fail! The safety of the universe is in your hands... now where have we heard that before?
Maff Evans

Amiga Format, Issue 10, May 1990, p.47

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Polygon constructed 3D is by no means a new technique, but it is still effective if properly used. Infestation combines a nicely bitmap-drawn console with solid and flicker-free 3D to produce a tense, claustrophobic-feelig game. The attention to detail is superb, even down to the company names on the title screen! The eerie breathing effects and intro music cap off the scene perfectly, producing more of an atmospheric interactive science fiction story rather than a straight ‘hunt and kill’ video game – in other words, exactly what an arcade adventure should be!

LASTING INTEREST
As you would expect, there is no way that you can just pick up Infestation and rack up a considerable score straight away. It takes time, observation and more than a little thought merely to find your way off the moon’s surface and into the complex! Using the terminals for orientation and guidance is essential, and soon becomes a natural part of the gameplay. Keep a blank disk, pencil and plenty of paper handy, since the ‘save game’ feature is bound to be used a lot in the weeks you spend playing the game. And the pencil and paper? Well, without a map you won’t last five minutes, never mind weeks!

JUDGEMENT
Infestation is obviously going to be a huge turn-off for fans of quick, ten-minute shoot-em-ups, but those willing to apply a little use of the old grey matter will find it extremely rewarding. The actual complex is a huge place, with a number of dangers to avoid and problems to overcome, but once you start the ball rolling, the search for alien eggs is extremely absorbing. The massive array of controls is alos initially off-putting, but soon becomes second nature and seems as casual as operating a stereo. Anyone who has fancied themselves as Hicks or Ripley in Aliens can live out their fantasy.

GRAPHICS 8
SOUND 7
INTELLECT 7
ADDICTION 8
OVERALL 89%



Infestation logo  CU Super Star

Psygnosis
Price: £24.95

Infestation W hat? No ‘free’ T-shirt? Oh well, with a game this good who needs a T-shirt? Infestation is all about a small space colony that has been invaded and destroyed by a band of marauding aliens. You, Captain KAL SOLAR (to be pronounced in a big booming voice) have to travel alone to the colony, get inside the underground system, seek out the eggs, destroy them and then atomise the planet by setting the nuclear power source to critical mass. Well, there is no harm in making sure none of the nasty little critters get away, is there? What is a mere planet in this day and age?

The aliens are not all you are likely to come up against. Alone on the surface of the planet you find yourself being attacked by lots of scuttling little spiders and not-so-scuttling large killer robot guards. Work out how to get underground – I am not going to tell you how – and you will find there are many other hazards to deal with. Many of the areas are radioactive. There are robots and computer systems turned haywire and hostile. Even simple things such as doorways can cause death. In most cases you will walk through two sets of doors, joined by a short passageway. To open the second door, the first must be closed. It is all too easy to try and open the second not realising that you are stood in the path of the first one and... blam!!!

Your task is made slightly easier by your space suit. It provides you with oxygen when there is none, shielding from heat and radiation, a shoulder-mounted laser rifle and an onboard computer system that gives you lots of wonderful toys such as a complete navigational system that allows you to find your way through the labyrinth of tunnels and doors. You also get a notebook, complete physical analysis at a glance, an inventory and of course those ever important laser rifle sights. The problems? The suit only has a limited oxygen supply and a limited battery life, both of which have to be constantly topped up by collecting the special pods which litter the complex.

The graphics, in particular the stunning title screen, are amazing. They are not as super-fast as Conquerer or Starglider 2, but they are very detailed and there are a hell of a lot of vectors on screen at any one time and they do move quickly. Not only does the graphics system do everything that Freescape has ever promised to do, it does it ten times better. The feeling of realism is incredible. It does not happen right away, of course. For the first hour or so you play, it is just a game, but once you start getting places, the feeling of ‘actually being there’ is overwhelming.
One room actually made me tremble. In one corner, there is a screwdriver, in another there is a battery for your suit, and slap bang in the middle is this huge floating head with glowing eyes that always turns to face you. It can kill you on contact, but does not ever move towards you. It just hovers menacingly in mid-air. I swear if it ever moved, I would have a heart attack. The ventilation system worried me too. After ten minutes of crawling along the seemingly endless maze of tunnels, I had to remove my helmet, regardless of whether or not there was oxygen. I would rather die from asphyxiation than from claustrophobia.

Quite simply Infestation is an incredible game. I would even go as far as to say it is a game that every Amiga owner should have. And every ST owner too. Truly a top-notch release.
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, April 1990, p.p.50-51

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
82%
94%
94%
92%
94%


Infestation logo  Zzap! Sizzler




Psygnosis, Amiga £24.99
Infestation There are some places in the universe that you don't go alone. Acheron is one, Xelos is another. Over four billion light years from Earth, this moon has been colonized so scientists can study CS.D3a - an ice-covered world they suspect has intelligent life lurking below. Contact, it seems, has been made and aliens detected within the Alpha II research colony. The last message from Xelos was a frantic plea for help. Many have been murdered, some by the malfunctioning automatic defence systems, and eggs laid throughout the base...

Kal Solar is the hero selected to 'sanitize' Xelos. He must find the 167 eggs one by one, poising them with cyanide gas. Then the station's power source has to be found and rigged to self-destruct, leaving just enough time for Kal to escape to the surface.

Kal's mission is shown in first-person perspective, with you peering though the visor of his spacesuit helmet. Fast and detailed solid 3-D graphics are used to show the planet's surface, radar stations and transporters which take you down into the claustrophobic corridors, rooms and ventilation shafts of the colony. To help you there's plenty of Head-Up-Displays projected on the visor: location/heading display, inventory, life support (heartbeat and food stores), and a scratch pad where you can make notes. There's an avionics HUD, for when you move about using your MMU jetpack, and an atmosphere analysis HUD - you've got limited oxygen, so it's best to take your helmet off when the air is breathable.

There are two ways of moving about: in recon mode, holding down fire will allow you to look up/down and around while moving. In tactical mode pressing fire shoots your laser gun. To pick up an object you simply walk over it. You can also open/shut doors, use items (such as computers), crouch, and even turn off the suit's power via the function keys. There's also an infra-red option - if you can find the device.

Besides the many bugs which roam Xelos's surface and the eggs below, there's lethal sentry droids, welding droids (which travel in the ventilation ducts), radiation-emitting guardians and a mother alien.

Zzap, Issue 61, May 1990, p.p.80-81

Robin Hogg It's the atmosphere of Infestation that brings it to life with the sensations of feat, doubt and desperation adding to the immensely high tension of the game. Until now I never thought I'd be scared by a computer game but Infestation really did set me worrying (even with the light on late at night, it's still pretty disturbing to play). Danny Gallagher has take the suspense of the Alien-movie, multiplied the bug-eyed beasts up to Aliens standard, and thrown in some excellent puzzles to create one truly 'horrific' product. Wandering the cold ominously silent corridors is very much in a Damocles vein but then Novagen's game doesn't go all out to scare the player rigid. The idea of exploring the vents is a brilliant touch (even if the vents are graphically very repetitive).
Peeping round corners to look into rooms or opening doors to unexplored regions really gets the old nerves going and the sight of alien eggs undergoing transformation can really see you panic. Having been half frightened to death so far I'm not too sure I want to meet the Mother Alien!

Phil King Getting into Infestation isn't all easy at first. There are an initially daunting array of displays and options to use. But please don't be put off. Perseverance is rewarded by some of the most atmospheric gameplay ever devised, complemented by a huge variety of excellent 3-D graphics. Tension is heightened by the clever 'in-helmet' view and some superb sound - especially the atmospheric breathing effect. There have been many games inspired by the 'Starship Troopers' bug-hunt tension of Aliens, including the superb C64 Project Firestart and UK Aliens. Apart from the dire Xenophobe, Infestation is the only Amiga game to cover this territory - and it's utterly excellent.

Scorelord Danny Gallagher's previous 16-bit game was the attractively presented, but ultimately shallow and somewhat repetitive Voyager. So Infestation was approached with a little suspicion, even though the graphics are quite superb. The first problem is getting into the Alpha II base, which is initially rather baffling. Close attention to the manual provided some clues however and the logical solution worked perfectly.
Once you're in the base, exploration and tactical thinking soon prove to be vital. Mapping is essential, but thankfully there are terminals where you can call up the blueprints of the level you're on. Copy these down and all you need to do is to find out where the objects are - and how to use them. My favorite graphics so far are the awesome dropship and the shuttles parked in hangars inside the colony. But there's also plenty of though gone into the gameplay. The way you need to remove your helmet to conserve oxygen, and even shut off the suit power is great. As is the panic when an alien appears, forcing you to arm up. Also good are the HUDs; they're not only attractively presented, but also very useful and realistic.
The best Psygnosis game since Blood Money, giving mere humans a glimpse of what it's like to live in a hi-tech helmet!

64
No plans for a C64 version.
u p d a t e

PRESENTATION 90%
Attractive poster, great format disk/save game option and good intro live up to Psygnosis's high standards.
GRAPHICS 93%
Superbly atmospheric solid 3-D, with a great helmet and HUD graphics.
SOUND 85%
Weird, but good intro tune, excellent breathing effect which speeds up when you're moving fast and nice spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 93%
A bit hard to get into - but that's part of the appeal, establishing atmosphere and realism with a nice problem to begin with. Excellent underground atmosphere soon leads to compulsive action.
LASTABILITY 95%
167 eggs, plus alien queens, a power source to rig for self-destruction and an escape to make mean this isn't going to be completed easily. But the incredible atmosphere will keep you playing until you do.
OVERALL
94%
An utterly compulsive bug-hunt.