The Bitmap Brothers is probably one of the most respected software developers ever in the comptuer game industry. We have been brought delights such as Xenon, Xenon 2, Speedball, Magic Pockets, and Gods, amongst others.
At a time when the Amiga games scene was only just getting itself together producing the odd playable game, The Bitmap Brothers lifted high above everyone else especially in terms of graphics and playability.
Although Xenon was an excellent vertical scrolling shoot-'em-up, Xenon 2 was the biggest hit, it even managed to acquire a score of 108 per cent, believe it or not, in one of Amiga Computing's early issues.
After that, the games just kept coming - each one slightly better than the last, and in my opinion, the best was most definitely Speedball which was certainly beyond my expectations.
The Bitmap Brothers' last contribution was Chaos Engine, and then there followed an absence from the gaming scene - the company was still around but weren't producing anything. However, that's about to change.
When I heard that Chaos Engine 2 was supposed to be released, to be honest I was really surprised. The games market is slowly but surely disappearing, but a major developing team has come up with a major title. Blimey, things must be looking up.
As with all of Bitmap's releases, the graphics are excellent with smooth animation, making Chaos Engine a pleasure to play
If you played the original Chaos Engine you will realise that the second in the series looks remarkably similar, apart from some new levels. As far as the basic sprites and levels go they are almost the same, but the gameplay is different. This time more emphasis has gone into a two-player option where you can challenge each other.
The basic idea of the game is to pick up a key to open the door to the end of the level, and the first to do this wins. It's a simple idea which works superbly for a game like Chaos Engine. If you're playing by yourself, you will be working against the computer. You can pick up various power ups and weapon boosts to help you in your goal but, failing that, you can give your opponent a knock round the back of the head to stun him, giving you enough time to find the key and run away like hell.
Instead of coming out with your guns blazing, you can simply play cat and mouse and hide from your opponent - although not for long because there is a handy map which will point out your position.
Even if your opponent gets to the exit before you, you can still beat him because the game is based on points and as there are various bonuses lying around you can constantly increase your score. However, the biggest point bonus is finishing before your opponent.
During the later levels, you will have to encounter some robots and other obstacles which will do their best to stop you and your opponent, therefore making it much harder.
The main change you will undoubtedly notice in the game is that you can lean up against walls to dodge enemy fire. This is a simple but effective touch which gives you an extra second to think about your next move. Also, you can walk up and down stairs and jump off platforms which add more of a maze element to CE 2.