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Tödlich oder mörderisch?

Lethal weapon logo

Obwohl mit "Cool World" in diesem Heft schon wieder ein Negativ-Beispiel für die Filmversoftungs-Künste von Ocean vertreten ist - die Jungs können auch anders: Aus dieser Lizenz haben sie ihr bestes Plattform-Game seit langem gestrickt!

Lethal weapon Vielleicht liegt es daran, daß hier nicht bloß ein Film, sondern gleich die komplette Movie-Trilogie mit Mel Gibson und Danny Glover in Bytes verwandelt wurde. Passenderweise stellt auch das Game selbst sowas wie eine Zusammenfassung mehrerer Ocean-Titel dar: Viel Jump & Run à la "The Addams Family", düstere Fabrik-Atmosphäre wie bei "Batman", knallharte schußwechsel im Stil des "Robocop 3"-Vorgängers (hüstel...), Kletter-Einlagen, die stark an "Hudson Hawk" erinnern - dazu noch eine kleine Anleihe bei der "Killing Game Show" von Psygnosis und deren berühmten Steigwasser-Effekt.

Zuerst sucht man sich im Polizei-Hauptquartier das Männchen seiner Wahl aus, was wegen deren Winzigkeit aber grafisch (und spielerisch) kaum einen Unterschied macht. Anschließend muß man sich für eine von drei Missionen entscheiden, wer sie alle geschafft hat, bekommt dann das Paßwort für die vierte und letzte. Zunächst gilt es, die Flucht einer Gangsterbande zu verhindern, die sich in den Hafendocks rundtreibt. Mit begrenztem, aber ergänzbarem Munitionsvorrat für die Bleispritze, drei Bildschirmleben und der Lizenz zum schwimmen im Hafenbacken (Vorsicht Haie!) ausgestattet, turnt man über bewegliche Plattformen, hangelt sich an Seilen entlang und verpaßt nahestehenden Gegnern herzhafte Fußtritte. Klar, Extras für mehr Munition, Schußkraft oder Lebensenergie gibt es auch, bloß sind sie entweder gut versteckt oder hängen an besonders gefährlichen Ecken rum...

Lethal weapon Die zweite Mission ist noch härter, dort wollen Terroristen die Stadt in die Luft jagen, weshalb wir sie nun durch die Abwasserkanäle jagen. Die Brüder haben sich mit einem ganzen Arsenal von Raketen- und Flammenwerfern eingedeckt, zudem explodieren des öfteren Ölfässer, und vom Schwimmen in der Giftsbrühe ist aus gesundheitlichen Gründen dringend abzuraten. Der dritte Akt spielt in einer alten Fabrik, aus der eine Geisel befreit werden muß. Hier fallen Ninjas in rauhen Scharen von der Decke, die Bombenleger arbeiten im Akkord, gelegentlich gibt der Boden unter den Heldenfüßen nach, und sogar das lustige Fässer-Hüpfen aus dem Uralt-Klassiker "Donkey Kong" feiert fröhlich Wiederauferstehung.

Der Inhalt der vierten Mission bleibt unser Geheimnis, dafür verraten wir Euch großzügigerweise, daß bei Lethal Weapon die Sticksteuerung reibungslos klappt, der Begleitsound teilweise Ohrwurmqualität besitzt und gut animierte, jedoch wenig farbenfrohe Grafik sich flüssig und sehr flott bewegt. Zu bemängeln wäre allenfalls der hohe Schwierigkeitsgrad, die geringe Auswahl an Extras, das Fehlen von Continues und der obligate NTSC-Streifen. Aber was bedeutet das schon, wenn man endlich mal wieder ein Spiel bekommt, bei dem auch ohne Festplatte und Turbokarte so richtig die Post abgeht?

Amiga Joker, January 1993, p.28



Amiga Joker
1 MB

Lethal weapon logo  CU Amiga Screenstar

Our very own Vietnam Vet (well, he acts shell-shocked) Mark Patterson takes an exclusive look at Ocean's stunning new licence.

Joel Silver's trilogy of Lethal Weapon films are undoubtedly one of the movie success stories of recent years. If you are one of the few people who are unfamiliar with them, they star Mel Gibson as Marin Riggs, a whacko LA cop who's gone from suicidal to near-homocidal in the first two films and his straight-laced partner Roger Murtaug, who is played by Danny Glover. As you might expect, Riggs is always dragging Murtaug into dangerous situations while cracking one-liners and shooting every villain in sight. Despite this limited formula the third film, which was released this summer, was another box office hit.

Rather than opt to produce a game based on just one of the films, Ocean have gone the whole hog and taken aspects from all three movies, as well as coming up with a plot of their own. To get around the problem of the film having two main characters and there not being a two-player mode in the game, you can choose to play either Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. There are no advantages to either character, even though Murtaugh is old, slow and constantly complaining in the movies.

The object, quite simply, is to get your chosen hero through a series of levels in one piece, while blowing away as many bad guys as possible in the process. What this boils down to is a platform game where timing and shooting accuracy are the order of the day.

Lethal weapon The game is divided into four levels. The first is set in a dockyard which is run by an organisation of drug dealers and racketeers. Here the dynamic duo have to board a ship and recover a wad of drug money and put paid to the criminals for good. Part of this level involves swimming underneath a pier to get the drop on some drug dealers. Unfortunately, there is a shark with a taste for cops in the area, and if you are not quick he'll drain your energy. There are also ninja frogmen, who spring out of the water and unleash a volley of machinegun fire.

After that is a Subway stage, complete with train, where the aim is to foil a gang's attempt to hold the city to ransom by placing bombs underneath it and threatening to set them off. The bad guys now have cop uniforms and come in full riot gear. They haven't got bullet-proof vests though, so they're easy to kill. From here it's onto the subway car, where your problems are compounded by the lights which flicker on and off, often leaving you shooting in the dark.

Leo Getz makes an unwitting appearance in the third level, where he's being held hostage beneath a dingy old factory. Now you're facing enemies armed with flame throwers. These don't have the same range as guns, but they cause more damage and you can never tell when they're going to fire. These three levels can be played in any order. When you complete them you enter a fourth stage, which is marked in the manual s classified, so you're going to have to find out about that for yourselves as I'm not going to spoil the fun.

Unlike their big-screen counterparts, Riggs and Murtaug aren't bullet proof in the game. They both have energy gauges which deplete every time they're punched or fall a long distance. Some enemies are armed with machine guns and rocket launchers though, and one hit from either of these means an early retirement for the character on the receiving end. Very long drops are also fatal, so you can bet that the game's designers have included a good few.

Lethal weapon Murtaug and Riggs aren't entirely defenceless. They're armed with pistols and an unfeasible amount of ammunition. A display in the top-left of the screen shows how many bullets are left in the current magazine, and how many magazines they have in total. Should the unthinkable happen and they run out of bullets, they can kick their enemies out of the game. Although running straight up to a machinegun toting ninja and hoping he stands still while you axe kick his head isn't an advisable course of action.

There are no special weapons to collect, but most levels contain packing crates and oil drums which explode when shot, killing everyone nearby. If you time it right you can take out two or three bad guys at a time. Many enemies can be avoided by taking another route through the level, but more often than not they just jump out of nowhere so you're forced to deal with them. It can often take a few bullets to down a foe, so sometimes it's actually worth dropping behind and kicking them. It pays to move quickly, as most of the villains can shoot through platforms and home in on your position if you hang around for too long.

The graphics are small, but very detailed, although the Riggs sprite looks more like Shakin' Stevens than Mel Gibson. The backgrounds are very plain though, and much more could have been done with them. On the other hand, the levels are absolutely huge. The majority are large multi-directional scrolling affairs, populated with various characters from the movies. The way through them normally lies through a series of doorways, which are dotted throughout such types of level, behind which are more hazards such as moving platforms and massive drops. There are some variations on this theme though. One level is a maze of small corridors, many of which are blocked by electronically opened security doors. The objective here is to find the switches which give way as soon as your character treads on them. Another takes place in a subway train. The graphics for this stage only take up about a fifth of the screen, but they're very effective nonetheless. The initial dockyard level stage has our heroes jumping from mast to mast to get past some ships and warehouses. This bit is quite tricky, because all the jumps are different lengths.

I wasn't very impressed when I first saw this game. I'd been expected something a bit more than a platform game. Ocean have already produced more fair share of this type of game (Total Recall, Addams Family, Hudson Hawk, Robocop 2 and so on). A very good example of something different is the excellent Robocop 3, which is one of those rare breeds of film licences where the game actually captures the atmosphere of the movie. Despite its haggard style Lethal Weapon is still a very playable game. The levels are large enough to keep you occupied for quite a while and there is plenty to do. It is also very addictive and challenging without being frustrating.

Fans of the film will no doubt be disappointed by the lack of tie-ins in the game. The movies had some excellent car chases and the inclusion of one of the those wouldn't have gone amiss. As it stands it would have been a lot cheaper for Ocean had they just changed the graphics and given the game an original title. No one would ever have connected it with the film. Having said that, this is a very good platform game, but nowhere near as good as Ocean's previous movie-to-platform game licence, Addams Family. It is likely that it will do very well in the charts, especially in the run-up to Christmas. However, it remains to be seen whether it will run for as long as the film series.

CU Amiga, November 1992, p.p.51-53

Altogether, the Lethal Weapon trilogy moves clocks up an impressive six hours of mindless mayhem. You'd think with such material to work from that Ocean could have picked up some good bits. Here's our list of what scenes should have been included in the game.

Lethal Weapon 2. Roger Murtaug is sitting on the pan, behind him is a bomb, in front Riggs. Play Roger and try to complete what you started doing by carefully tapping the joystick so you don't set the bomb off. Or play Riggs – should you cut the red wire, or maybe the blue one?

You are Martin Riggs, capable of dislocating your shoulder at will. Convenient when you're strapped-up in a straight jacket. Waggle the joystick real fast to run at a wall, then hit the button to turn side-on and bash it out.

You're after a South African gunman, he's driving a truck and you're doing an impression of a hood ornament on the front. Goad the driver into swerving to throw you off as you try to make him steer into the path of an on-coming vehicle, so he crashes and gets his head smashed in by a low-flying surf-board. And you thought it was an unfortunate accident!

Lethal Weapon's programmers have taken a few liberties with the plot. For instance, do you remember the shark in Lethal Weapon 2? Or how about the lamppost climbing scene in Lethal Weapon 1? You must remember the bit from the third film where Riggs and Murtaug perform a balancing act on a series of moving blocks in a police car park? No? Didn't think so.

The first film was the most violent of the lot. It opened with a young lady throwing herself off a sky scraper, then carried on with shooting, jokes, torture, more shooting, more jokes and the odd car chase. It led to ITV slicing about ten minutes off the movie when they screened it earlier in the year. The film also boasted some fantastic stunts, although one went tragically wrong during the scene where Riggs lept from a building handcuffed to another man. The Riggs stunt-double got up off the air-bag straight away, but the person he jumped with landed wrong and snapped his neck. The movie culminated with psychotic henchman, Joshua (played by Gary Busey) being shot by Murtaug and Riggs in Murtaug's front garden.
The game features a few backdrops which are vaguely connectable with the film, plus plenty of nebulas henchmen whose only purpose, as in movies, is to die before their boss does. Lots of opportunities for mayhem there, I think.

For this film the violence was forced down and the humour turned up. The plot revolved around a bunch of South Africans involved in Krugerrand smuggling who took time off to drown Riggs' girly (played by Patsy 'fairy bubbles' Kensit) and blow up half the LA PD serious crime squad. This film featured the best car chases out of the three, and as we've said elsewhere, it is a shame that they weren't included in the game.
The opening scene of the game is set in the dockyard where the final part of the film took place. There are several tricky bits, including a section where you have to get around a bunch of crooks by swimming under a pier in shark-infested water.

In the most recent installment the lads are up against an ex-cop who had a nice little number going with stolen weapons and drugs. Naturally, there are all the usual one-liners and this time the shoot people with armour-piercing bullets. This film cost several million more to make than the previous two, mainly because it opened with the demolition of a nine-floor building and closed with the burning down of a gigantic wooden-building. All good clean fun.
There is one scene in this film where Riggs hairs off down a subway tunnel, which belongs to the LA PD, in pursuit of a train. Naturally, that would be a bit boring in the game, so instead you're actually on board the train doing what Riggs does best, shooting everything in sight.

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OCEAN £25.99
It's very challenging without being frustrating