Cybernetics, eh? Now there lies some dodgy ground. Therea re people who build cranes out of Technic-Lego and drone on about how they're artificially intelligent, and then there are scientists. They simply carve up monkeys, try to turn them into cyborgs, realise they can't, and then come to some kind of 'scientific conclusion (like "if you take to an anthropoid with a chainsaw, it dies").
This new strategy/arcade blend from Millennium has nothing to do with plastic building bricks, but quite a lot to do with robots. This is fortunate, because the aim of the game is to conquer a world and, as most commanders will tell you, small yellow cuboids have a bit of difficulty handling heavy artillery. Cyborgs, however, do not - they tend to have uncannily large weapons uilt into various appendages. This makes them ideal fighting machines, but not so good at parties:
Guest: Hello, how do you do?
Cyborg: Fine, thanks - pleased to meet you.
(They shake hands)
Guest: I say, you've accidentally activated your heat-ray and severed my arm.
However, you're not going to be having any parties - this game's about all-out warfare. You start with a homeland and some dosh in the bank, and using these raw materials you must erect factories which can create robots.
You can also build extensions to the factories, which enhance their performance, but initially funds are limited, so your primary objective is to get some droids up and running. There are nine different types to choose from, ranging from big and powerful to small and crap. This is your workforce - they'll do all your dirty-work from spying on cities to destroying whole countries.
The thing is, you're not alone. There are other magalomaniacs (played by either the computer or your chums) who also own factories. If a conflict occurs, you can grab your joystick, and indulge in a bit of action (or pour yourself another shandy and let the computer do it for you). It's a sort of futuristic Dragon's Breath, really. Why don't you read on to see how similar it is? (Because I'm a lazy git. Reader's Voice.) Oh.
Toby: The middle ground between strategy games and arcade games has always been something of a no man's land. There have been many attempts but no memorable successes - the arcade element is generally too tame for die-hard shoot 'em up freaks, and the brain-taxing part too easy for war gamers.
But I was pleasantly surprised by this game. The introduction displays the blueprints of the numerous cyborgs, and though once you've seen it you won't want to again. It's pretty good the first time round. Into the game proper and you're confronted with an option screen - you can choose to either play the full game, the arcade sections or just the strategy bit.
Te best way to review this is to treat each section totally separately. Let's start with the shoot 'em up bit - it's skill. You start at the opposite end of a landscape to your opponent and it's a mad dash to find him and blow him away. It's neat against the computer, but when you've got a human opponent there's nothing like it.
Sharp graphics, beefy sound, smooth scrolling - a total thumbs up. But what about the strategy half? Er... it's a bit disappointing after the arcade game. Still, I was hooked to my Amiga for a few hours, if only to hear the smart in-game speech.
It's not really fair to mark it solely on the merits of the shooty section or just on the 'thinky' part, so I'll give it some sort of average - and then bang it up a bit, simply because the shooter's so good.