After years of war, their defenses crumbling, no longer able to utilise the complex weaponry at their disposal, the people of the Union created Cybercon. And boy did they live to regret it! The first Cybercons were man'' saviour, defending the Union against the attacks of the evil Alliance, then advancing to pulverise them. Peace, love, and free local phone calls quickly spread over the whole globe. Delighted children the world over played with Cybercon models and watched Cybercon cartoons. There were even plans for "My Little Cybercon" complete with realistic blood.
After all that, you'd think they would have quit while they were ahead but, fortunately for US Gold, they decided it would be a "neat idea" to create their ultimate nightmare: a computer which could not only think for itself, but which was entirely self-sufficient and equipped with enough weapons to control a Celtic-Rangers match. Cybercon III (The Return) was born. Ho-hum!
In his formative years, Cybie was a well-behaved lad, and his patrolling warbots became a comforting sight to a populace wearied by incessant wars and repeats of old Wogan shows. In time, though, he began to grow up and started to cut off all contact with humans as he learned to fend for himself. Hardly anyone could remember where his control centres were located, and even fewer were bothered.
Of course, the same lethargic populace became rapidly more bothered about Cybie when his silos started spitting out nukes. As their cities began to vapourise around them, humans finally saw the logic in the old proverb: "He who builds dirty great computer and gives it nukes is playing with fire, and will need a lot more than a stitch in time to save his hide".
Cybercon III revolves around humanity's desperate last attempt to avoid annihilation. As Cybie's public relations droids scour the countryside for people to educate in the ways of the next world, the ever-generous Union equips you, its most gullible - er - experienced warrior, with a suit of power armour in which you must battle your way through the vast complex that is Cybercon III.
All you have to do is avoid or neutralise robots, fixed guns, traps, and very deep chasms of the most formidable defensive complex in history, reach its core, and destroy Cybie's brain stem. No sweat.
The complex is made up of a variety of sectors, each of which is defended in different ways and demands a different approach from the aggressor. To proceed, you have to find various Sonic Key codes to open doors, extend walkways over gaping crevasses, and the usual "find you way through the 3D labyrinth" sort of stuff.
Your power suit, which should really be equipped with tactical nuclear weapons, sports a plasma weapon which blips out little purple balls of what looks like chewing gum. The stuff destroys most Walker and Floater droids with ease, but you'll have to use tactics against some of the more dangerous obstacles.
The suit also contains some quite complex controls for auto-repair facilities, and comes complete with such optional extras as sensors, a video camera, shield, and power-assisted jumping. Would Sir care to take her for a spin?
If you're a fan of the Castle Master series, or games such as Interphase and Infestation, you'll enjoy Cybercon III. If not, you'll probably hate it. Movement is slow, the action is hardly frenetic, and for sheer challenge, the puzzles don't compare with the stubborn refusal of the controls to do what you want them to at critical moments.
Perseverance, I suspect, would bring its rewards, as the game is undoubtedly very large and complex. Fans of the type will find a great deal to keep them going. The rest of us, however, will wisely give it a miss.