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Virocop logo

This is called the strap and I can never think of anything to write. Still I have wasted some space so I can get on with the review, writes Steve Bradley.

T Virocop AGA here is one very odd level in this game. Well, there are a few, but one stands out as being a maverick among misfits. You join it at the end of the first phase, the Sports levels section, one of which you may well have played, for it featured prominently on last month’s games Coverdisk.
Anyway, you find yourself in the middle of an ice rink. At either end are two cheerleaders (four in total) and they are frozen in blocks of ice. Watching from the sidelines is the fox from Fire and Ice and two chaps who look like they may have appeared in The Chaos Engine, one chewing gum menacingly, the other squeezing a cola can. They could be just regular guys, though.
So, this whistle blows and a hockey player enters the rink thwacking energy-sapping pucks across the ice. Two teammates follow and you basically scoot around avoiding the pucks. Getting in shots and picking up cash credits when you can.

When you have dispatched the players, you come to a standstill. The ice blocks melt and the cheerleaders skate up to the centre of the rink and you follow, though you are not in control. They then do a little dance and you are given a password for access to the next level. It is quite unnerving the first time it happens, honest – I thought I was going to get ‘done’ by killer cheerleaders.

Virocop has a lot of slightly unusual touches, though it does not disguise the fact that it is very much a shoot-em-up in the traditional mould, despite the rarely used almost-but-not-quite-viewed-from-above perspective a-la The Chaos Engine. The plot is of the garbled futuristic school and the manual wibbles contentedly about GamesDisks and virtual holidays and how a virus has spread and only DAVE, which stands for something or other, can repair the damage. And how the GamesDisk controller got a stern telling off from the finely-monickered boss, Shacklehaus.

Team play
Virocop Virocop is quite similar in style to la The Chaos Engine, though, unfortunately, it does not offer a two-player mode. Well, it does, but it is a team mode and one person controls the weaponry while the other moves DAVE, which is not as good as having DAVE times-two trundling around the levels. But no matter, there is plenty here worthy of attention.

The GamesDisk viruses are spread across disparate game genres and although this sounds like you get to play different styles of action the premise is basically the same – destroy all and upgrade weaponry at the end of the level. The power-ups are produced by enemies as you dispatch them, though they are quick to depart the scene. DAVE is fluid of movement and those with joypads can change their weapons at the touch of a button.
We are Amiga Format, we have joypads. Although the first few levels can be tackled with standard bullets and bombs, once you head into the second series of levels entitled Urban Jungle, extras such as protective plasma, twin missiles and mini flame-throwers come in handy.

Graphically, Graftgold have called upon, in particular, Cannon Fodder and The Chaos Engine though rather than copying them, they are more affectionate takes of Michael. In the He Who Dares Wins levels, tiny men with machine gun choppers and tanks surround and blast you without mercy, and if yo did not upgrade your arsenal, the end is nigh on nigh for all but the most gifted blasters. Admittedly, your correspondent is not one such fellow.

Virocop offers nothing new to eager bullet heads. It looks great, the visual level (such as the ice rink affair) breaks up the action nicely. You could say very much the same thing about Core Design’s wonderful Banshee. it is a shoot-em-up that makes your armpits perspire, that ensures you shout "flip" as you take a wrong turn, or fail to land on the right part of a ramp for the umpteenth time. But importantly, Virocop is fun, not least because it is incredibly slick and it allows you to clunk around the levels at your own pace, working out ways to tackle the next problem.

Me? I still prefer The Chaos Engine because of its two-player option but Virocop firmly maintains the grand position of quality Amiga shoot-em-ups. Now, if Graftgold wanted to do a sequel, they could do a two-player option and have SAM and DAVE...

Amiga Format, Issue 73, July 1995, p.p.44-45



"Virocop is very much a shoot-em-up in the traditional mould."


VIROCOP

Publisher
Renegade 0171 391 4300

Price
£25.99

Versions
A500/A600/A1200

System requirements
1Mb and 2Mb

Release date
Out now

 
Graphics   8 out of 10
Rather tasty and with many a neat touch. Success.

Sound   8 out of 10
By jove, the music is actually good. I am going for a lie down.

Addiction   8 out of 10
Certainly a game which will occupy the battler for the odd hour.

Playability   8 out of 10
A new spin on the genre, Virocop plays with ease.

Overall verdict
A playable, interesting and visually stimulating shoot-em-up which calmly takes its place along side the Amiga’s better examples of the genre.

83%



Der Virenkiller

Virocop logo  AGA 

Neue Draufsicht-Action von Graftgold, noch dazu mit einem Roboter? Da erinnert s sich der Redakteur gleich mit Wonne an das legendäre „Paradroid 90“ aus demselben Hause!

Virocop Zu hoch sollte man seine Erwartung deshalb aber trotzdem nicht stecken, denn diesmal hat Andrew Braybrook nur programmiert, das Konzept stammt vom Newcomer Iain Wallington; Der „Digital Armoured Virus Exterminator“, kurz D.A.V.E. genannt, muß die „Spieldisk“ (eine Art visueller Rummelplatz) von 60 Virenarten befreien, die sich in den 19 auf vier Zonen verteilten Levels tummeln.

Dazu benötigt unser Robbi natürlich Waffen, von denen es insgesamt 20 gibt, die entweder gefunden oder zwischen den Stages gegen Energie eingetauscht werden müssen. Allerdings kann D.A.V.E. nur drei Wummen bei sich tragen, und nicht alle bieten Komfort wie unendlich viel Munition. Da der Energiehaushalt zudem knapp bemessen ist und Extras wie frischer Suft oder Unverwundbarkeit rar sind, muß der Virenkiller seine drei Leben also schon beisammenhalten. Aber immerhin gibt es Neustartpunkte (diem man zuvor berührt haben muß) sowie für jeden gelösten Abschnitt ein Paßwort. Auch können zwei Exterminatoren gemeinsam oder nacheinander gegen die Plagegeister vorgehen; bei Teamwork übernimmt ein Spieler das Steuern und der andere die Bordkanone. Apropos, die Steuerung klappt über Zwei-Button-Sticks bestens, mit einem Pad jedoch nicht ganz so exakt. Zum Unterschied zwischen ECS- und AGA-Version ist zu sagen, daß man mit einem A1200/A4000 deutlich im Vorteil ist: Man erhält eine ganze Welt mit vier Levels mehr, bekommt 64 statt 32 Farben sowie schönere Animationen und ein größeren Bildschirmausschnitt geboten, die Ladezeiten sind erheblich kürzer, und man darf das Game auf die Festplatte nageln – die ebenfalls der AGA-Version vorbehaltene Maussteuerung ist dagegen nicht zu empfehlen. Aber auch die ECS-Version sieht gut aus, ist witzig und detailverliebt animiert. Und Gags sind hier wie dort das Salz in der Suppe, denn wo sonst trifft man auf mit MGs bewaffnete Killerbienen oder muß Cheerleader in einer Art Killer-Eishockey befreien?

Seine Note hat sich der Virenpolizist also redlich verdient, sie hätte sogar noch etwas höher ausfallen können, würde es sich hier letztlich nicht um ein wenig originellen „Gauntlet“-Klon handeln. Außerdem sind die zusätzlich eingebauten Plattformen eher nervtötend, zumal man dafür auf Hilfsmittel wie Rampen und Transporter angewiesen ist. Auch ein paar Puzzles hätten der Motivation nicht geschadet, aber was soll es? Wer gerne bei solider Soundbegleitung (gute Musik und ordentliche FX) ballert, wird diesen niedlichen Robocop sicher ins Herz schließen – auch wenn er für die angekündigte CD-Version noch verbessert werden kann und soll. (mm)

Amiga Joker, September 1995, p.?

VIROCOP
(GRAFTGOLD/RENEGADE)
DRAUFSICHT-ACTION
Amiga Joker Amiga Joker
72%
ECS
74%
AGA
"NETT"
70% GRAFIK 72%
74% ANIMATION 76%
72% MUSIK 72%
65% SOUND-FX 65%
72% HANDHABUNG 73%
74% DAUERSPAß 78%
FÜR GEÜBTE
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB/2 MB
3/JA
NUR AGA-VERSION
HIGHSCORES
ANLEITUNG