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Price: £24.95

The last of the Obliterators is called upon for his toughest mission since the Clone Wars. The Obliterators, an elite fighting force trained from childhood, reflexes, strength and senses all genetically enhanced. Sent out on suicide missions during the war, Drak was the only one ever to return.

A strange, alien ship has entered Federation space. Its apparent mission, the destruction of the Federation home planet, Earth. The Federation sent a starfleet to curb this alien menace, but in the ensuing battle nearly all the starfleet was destroyed; the alien vessel was untouched.

The Federation beam Drak aboard the alien craft in an attempt to stop its unchecked advance into Federation space. The Elders reveal to Drak that the only way to stop the ship is to perform several tasks in a set order, firstly disabling the plasma drive, then bringing down the ship's battle shields, and finally disabling the weapons systems.

On top of this the Federation want Drak to recover any computer data packs containing information on the technology of the ship. But as soon as the main ship armaments have been knocked out there is only a short time before starfleet start their attack run.

While the game is loading you are presented with a great full screen animated sequence of Drak levelling off his gun and firing, with the expression on his face showing more emotion than most of the Vietnam films.

The game proper starts with Drak being teleported to a random location on the ship. Armed only with a pistol he sets out to singlehandedly defeat an intelligence far superior to his own macho mind.

The ship is split into several levels, each connected by a series of lifts. There are a few doors leading to minor decks for Drak to investigate, but nothing of any consequence lies behind most, except for nasty, green, bug-eyed things which are armed and extremely dangerous. You do have a limited body shield to protect you, but if this wears out you'll either be vaporised or blown apart in the nicest way possible.

The control method for Drak is very similar to that in Barbarian; a joystick can be used for up/down/left/right and fire, though this is not recommended. The easiest way of controlling Drak is through the icons at the bottom of the screen, representing the directions of movement as well as attack, pick up, defend, jump and enter. You can enter several desired control commands at once, but this often leads to confusion and Drak running off in the wrong direction or getting zapped.

Obliterator boils down to being a case of a brush up and a new lick of paint, as anyone who has ever played Barbarian will notice. Extra weapons, and the aliens being reset after every visit to the locations, help to give Obliterator the feel of its predecessor.

The run of the game is very basic; explore the ship, avoid and destroy the aliens and find a piece of equipment. A game format which has remained basically unchanged for many years, and Obliterator is no exception, even if it is extremely pretty.

The Aliens and Drak are well defined, coloured and designed, but are let down by the lack of frames in a movement, and they tend to slow down considerably when the screen gets busy. Extra touches are added to some movements, such as when Drak has been shot, he then proceeds to do a bit of a flip and land face down on the ground, looking the total opposite to his image.

The backdrops are clear and go well with the foreground characters, the only gripe being that there is not enough change of scenery. An atmospheric soundtrack plays throughout your adventure.

If you have Barbarian and like it you should like Obliterator, but you might not find it as puzzling. If you have had no past experience with Barbarian, you should still give Obliterator more than a casual look - after all, we all want to save the Earth at some time, don't we?