FEEL like blasting the living daylights out of a ravening horde or despicable aliens? Good, so do I. And there can be few games that provide more bangs per buck than Hewson's latest contribution to the shoot first and ask questions later variety. Custodian comes packed with a bigger range of weaponry than even Rambo would know what to do with.
The action takes place within a tomb of unspecified origin but distinctly Aztec in appearance, as is the opposition. Indeed, the main character bears more than a passing resemblance to Quxzopyatel, the Aztec god of alternative keyboards.
The tomb is infected with alien pods which are draining its energy. Rentokil has blown out. Now it is up to you. Your job is to protect the tomb by collecting the pods and destroying them in the annihilation chambers.
It has to be said that Custodian is not an easy game to get into. The action is fast and furious. The variety of aliens and bewildering array of weapons available to you mean that your first attempts are likely to be short and sweet. Having said that, at this price the last thing you want is a game that holds your interest for no more than five minutes. Custodian will keep you at it for a good deal longer than that.
The alien pods appear at random, in a quantity set by the current level of play, up to a maximum of 20. they can fire a heat-seeking sucker that drains your energy. Initially they are very weak, but they grow at intervals, becoming more powerful and absorbing the tomb energy in the process.
You start the game with a life energy. When this is drained you die. If the energy level of the tomb reaches zero, it shuts down, taking you with it.
You have 1,000 credits with which to buy weapons. Credits are won by killing aliens and by collecting pods. Destroying the pods replenishes your energy levels. Weapons are bought or sold in the ammunition silos that are scattered about the tomb.
The aliens attack in waves, using a variety of weapons and tactics. Various aliens are sensitive to different weapons and it is best to select your weapons with care if you want to survive longer.
The pods are located by using the pod pointer, which indicates the nearest one on the map. However, the indicator will only work while you are not carrying a pod. Collection of more than one is possible but must be done blind. While carrying a pod you can enter an annihilation chamber, regaining 1,024 energy points as you do so.
Once inside the chamber the pods appear; they can be destroyed by aiming and pressing fire. If the pods are left alone they gradually grow larger until they reach the final red stage and disappear back into the tomb in a weak form so that they have to be collected again.
Finally, when all the pods have been destroyed, you have to face the guardian of the tomb who is, as you may have guessed, not all friendly.