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Grab the helmet, jump in your chopper, start those rotor blades and be a co-pilot to Jonathan Maddock as he admires Binary Asylum's Amiga debut.

Binary Asylum may not be a name that's familiar to a lot of you, but anyone who has reading the computer press with any interest whatsoever will, or should know, about Zeewolf.
A quick glance at Binary Asylum's debut and my mind wandered back to the good old days when the only piece of software that ever mattered to anyone was a beautiful little 3D game entitles Virus. A classic game of original and epic proportions that will forever be remembered by gamers old enough
to know better.
Zeewolf looks a lot like Virus, but Binary Asylum has made the genius introduction of a state-of-the-art prototype helicopter gunship. Cue plenty of hot blooded shoot-'em-up action, coupled with a healthy amount of tactics and strategy.
If Zeewolf has got half of what Virus had, then this could be what the Amiga games-playing world has been waiting for.

Zeewolf is set in the future and due to the Polar ice caps melting, the world is now a sorry and very damp place. Ecliptico, a huge corporation, contributed to the disaster by cutting corners simply to make a fast buck.
The company hacked down forests, polluted rivers and dumped toxins all over the place. Ecliptico profited from every global disaster and channeled the profit into building a corporation with more military power and global influence than any superpower.
Zenith Research, a rival but smaller corporation, has cracked the secret of fusion power and created a reactor that produces plentiful, cheap energy with no harmful byproducts. With this power, the world could be put back to rights once more, but Ecliptico has stolen the plans and is intent on monopolizing fusion power for itself.
The only chance for Zenith to get is plans back is to use its new helicopter gunship, code named Zeewolf. There are only a few prototype units of the Zeewolf and the only available pilots are highly paid mercenaries prepared to risk their lives for huge amounts of cash.
For Earth's sake, and for the good of your bank balance, you play the part of one of these mercenaries and it is your job to fly the Zeewolf into battle against Ecliptico.

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Zeewolf isn't spectacular in the sound department, but all the various beeps, bangs and crashes do their job to perfection. The chugging of your rotor blades as you fly over the landscape is basically the only noise you need.
Zeewolf is one of those games which must be played with the volume turned full up at levels loud enough to make your neighbours think you've got a full scale warzone in your house.
The tune in the game isn't brilliant, but you only hear it at the beginning at the game and after you've completed one of the missions anyway.
I'm sure games would be improved ten-fold if software companies would spend more time on the music side of things, because it tends to get forgotten about and that is a real shame. Films have really good themes and soundtracks and the same should really apply to games, but that's enough of my soap-box ranting.
Zeewolf has some nice sound effects that do the job they're supposed to and a rather bog-standard tune. Overall you'd have to say that the sound is good, but it's not great.

Publisher: Binary Asylum
Developer: Binary Asylum
Disks: 1
Price: 29.99
Genre: Shoot-'em-up/Simulation
Hard disk install: No
Control: Mouse/Joystick
Supports: A500/A600/A1200/A4000
Recommended: 68020 upwards

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The game is viewed from the one angle, placed just in front of the helicopter. This enables you to see the whole of your gunship, plus you get a good picture of what's going on around you.
Zeewolf is a 3D polygon game and, more often than not, these types of game suffer in the graphics department, but Binary Asylum's Amiga debut is more than a notch above your average kind of game.
The helicopter is beautifully done and moves almost like the real thing. You won't notice this in the screenshots, obviously, but it really is a sight to behold.
The surrounding graphics are just as good and things like the huge aircraft carrier are worth a special mention. The backgrounds don't consist of much more than a few trees, but that's just fine with me as you can concentrate on the action instead.
One thing that will impress you is the explosions. They look fantastic and really add to the game because after a vehicle or building has been destroyed, a wave of black smoke bellows into the sky. This looks brilliant when you fly over the war-zone later on the mission and you can admire your destructive handiwork.
There are other nice touches such as the map and mission objective screen. When selected, you find that a quarter of the screen has a scaled down version the main screen inside it.
Overall, the graphics are of a very high standard, but aren't too fantastic as they might distract you from the job in hand. If Zeewolf did have 256 colour graphics and ray-traced objects everywhere, then I get the feeling that the game just wouldn't perform as well as it does now.

Amiga Computing Platinum Award Let's not beat around the bush, Binary Asylum has created one of the best Amiga debut games I have ever seen. OK, so it may be similar in looks and style to Virus, but that isn't such a bad thing, in fact it's a good thing.
Do you remember Airwolf? I do because, more than anything in the world, when I was a kid I wanted to sit next to Ernest Borgnine and fly that super-powered helicopter. Zeewolf is the nearest I'm ever going to get to achieving that childhood fantasy and that could be one reason why I like it so much.
Another, far better reason could be that the game plays like a dream. Once you've mastered the controls, which to someone with a bit of intelligence is fairly easy, you're away in a shoot-'em-up world packed full of action and excitement.
Control via the mouse is a lot harder to master and I have to admit I haven't tried playing the game with it a lot, but that's because I've been quite happy using the joystick and have had no problems at all.
It is a highly addictive piece of software and there are so many good things about it that I couldn't possibly list them all, but even better is that there aren't many, if any, bad points to Zeewolf.
Binary Asylum can slap themselves on the back because Zeewolf is, in my eyes at least, a tremendous success. It's a game that doesn't rely on heavy advertising or publicity to sell it, but simply lets the gameplay do the talking. I have nothing but high praise for Binary Asylum's debut and it is, quite simply, one of the gaming highlights of 1994.

Amiga Computing, Issue 81, Christmas 1994, pp.120-121 (System)