The future. Earth has suffered a severe attack from a group of insect-like aliens from the nearby star system Sirius. Reasons for the attack are totally unknown. The resulting nuclear winter has caused terrible suffering and so the remaining people of the Earth have banded together in self-defence to form the Fist Of The Earth World Government.
The alien enemy was more technologically advanced than we were, so work had to be started quickly and now, at last, Earth has an answer: the FOE-57 attack spacecraft.
A space station called Solbase has been set up in the Sun's orbit and will be your home for the next few months as you help the Fist Of Earth defend the motherland from these six-legged aggressors.
A typical day in the life of a '57 fighter pilot starts with the reading of the day's orders. The first couple of missions are desgined to get you used to flying the ship and to practice docking. With that under your belt you are ready to take on proper missions, which usually involve 'Quad Jumping', a sort of hyperspace travel, to a different star system and then flying around using standard motors.
You view all the action through the ship's front window. To start with, flying around is very confusing - especially at high speeds. Fortunately, there are a number of automatic pilots to help you (though things still look very confused at times!), and these include autopilots that lock on to your primary target (which does not have to be the enemy) and onces that point you in the direction of travel - this may sound silly, but the laws of physics apply in space and yu may not always be going in the direction you thought you were. There are also artificial head-up displays just to prove you are moving and weapon status displays.
The missions range in complexity from simple patrols to runs after smugglers and encounters which fleets off the enemy. It's got long into the game, though, that you meet one of the nastiest creations ever to wander the galaxy: The Berzeker, an alien ship that seems to hate all organic life, your enemies and yourself alike. Dealing with him takes some fine flying and devious thinking but he can be destroyed, and you will have to discover just how it is done for yourself. A '57' pilot's lot is not a happy one, but it sure is exciting.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
There is a very atmospheric intro soundtrack and the in-game effects are great too. The filled 3D used throughout is well done and everything moves swiftly and smoothly. All the information screens (star systems, planet orbits and so on) are also very good. The overall impression of Warhead is that it is a highly polished game which, though it does not rely on the graphics, has nevertheless been well designed with obvious attention to detail.
None of the missions take hours to complete, but some do take a while and you will be lucky to finish them all first time. More missions would be nice, but the ones there are will not disappoint.
Imagine all the special missions taken out of Elite and plonked into one game, and that will give you some idea of what Warhead is all about. Each mission is not as deep and won't take as long to complete as an Elite mission, but the number makes up for that. A great game, not brilliant but near enough to merit a good look.