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Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (N64)

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire N64
Genre: Action
Perspective: 3rd-person, Behind view
Setting: Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Published by: Nintendo of America Inc.
Developed by: LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC
Released: 1996
Platform: Nintendo 64 (N64)

The plot of the game is based on a story invented specifically for Prince Xizor - a character from the extended universe of Star Wars, who wanted to take Darth Vader's place and become the Emperor's right hand, but, as we all understand, nothing came of it. On this occasion, even there is a book of the same name, I must say, the reading is quite average and uninteresting (even by the standards of the genre "book on SW") and, sort of like, some kind of comic book. But now (more precisely, then) and the game.

We have to reincarnate as Dash Rendar, a mercenary, by the will of fate (as well as a significant monetary reward) called on to fight on the side of the Alliance against the sinister Empire. In addition to the empire, there is also Xizor, who, of course, fully supports the emperor, but pursues his personal motives. The head of the criminal syndicate "Black Sun" has his reasons to hate Darth Vader (not only because he occupies the highest post in the hierarchy of the Empire), and therefore he decides to destroy Luke Skywalker and then take Vader's place at the throne of the emperor.

The whole thing happens somewhere between the Battle of Hoth and the destruction of the second Death Star, and so the locations and characters are quite recognizable. Among others, among the NPC were seen Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. The first one is looking for a second one, which, as far as you remember, at the time of the beginning of the sixth episode was an ornament in the palace of Jabba. She is also helped in this by Dash, who is Khan's friend since their joint smuggling. Well, with Luke everything, in principle, is understandable: both Vader and Xizor want to hustle it, and therefore it only remains to sit and wait to find out who will succeed.

The genre of the game is difficult to define in one word. From the closest analogues, one can recall the equally incomprehensible Beyond Good and Evil or a whole galaxy of videos, diluted with a pseudo-game process. The most capacious definition, perhaps, will be a "game on Star Wars". In principle, the game has a lot in common with a specific dilogy Rebel Assault and Super Star Wars, which (shh!) Officially on the PC did not come out, but you can play it on it.

Judge for yourself. To begin with, we will soon have to deal with the imperial self-propelled guns on the surface of the planet Hot. Dashing turns and tangling legs AT-AT cable - available. Then we fight through the ruins of the Echo base, so that, sitting in the starship, we can engage in the extermination of the enemy in outer space. Bodrenkoe beginning resembles the entry of a favorite hit, recorded on a poor-quality medium: the minute of the song is played, after which either the film chews, or the laser jumps to the wrong track and everything starts on a new one. In the future, the variety of a stormy stream on the player will not be spilled in any way, unless, of course, we consider him to be an average quality race on the speeders.

In general, the word "mediocre" is perfectly applicable to everything that is available in the PC version of the game: in spite of the fact that the disk with SotE is crammed to the point that it does not physically fit into the cartridge from the N64, at the last game the game simply did not exist competitors, and it happened, let's say, in the topic. On the PC there is, say, an excellent Dark Forces. Will you compare with him a simple third-person shooter with uncomfortable control, one kind of weapon and five additional types of ammunition? (something I do not remember that in the characters characters indulged in self-guided cartridges for the blaster)? Hardly. In addition, the game is inherently disgusting jumps over the abyss, which are performed at the angle offered by the local camera, that on the PC, which on the N64 is absolutely impossible. More precisely, it is possible, but for this it is necessary to have a truly Nordic character, so as not to break off the fragile analogue of the N64 pad or not to break the keyboard into a rattle. Ah, I did not say? You can not really save yourself ...

Scenes, claiming the title of "simulators", lose not only X-wing'u, but also straightforward Rogue Squadron'u. True, for the sake of justice I note that the episode of the battle with AT-AT on Hoth looks at times more beautiful than the local attempts of Dash on the TPS image.

In order to partially preserve the nerve cells of players, developers periodically toss us different bonuses. Jetpack, several types of first-aid kits, life (hurray!) And mysterious Challenge Points - collect them all and get one more life. Or some other bonus.

Having gained experience in jumping on platforms and having learned to shoot more or less accurately in the specified direction, we get the opportunity to fully demonstrate all of our talents in relation to adversaries living in the open spaces of SotE. The four parts of the game, in turn, divided into ten stages (at the beginning of their development there were 19, after a while - 12, then ... well, you understand), a thin layer of 16 types of enemies are smeared, plus six bosses. The latter included odious individuals like Boba Fet and IG-88. As for the bosses, for some reason, the AT-ST was referred, while his older brother AT AT is an ordinary opponent. All would be well, do not be the destruction of individual enemies so dull process, which can stretch out for a very long time.

All this is not equipped with the worst graphics and decent sound, as, indeed, with music. About the last worry is not necessary: ​​Lucas Arts in those days has not yet broken the paralysis of the brain, but because the developers skillfully used a few strengths of the game to inflame the atmosphere. The stages of TPS completely lose the fight with the "simulator" levels in terms of graphics, but in terms of the gameplay they look very worthy.

If you manage to tame the wayward management of Shadows of the Empire, you will receive the next dose of Star Wars-drug in the worst version of it. Although, frankly speaking, SotE is not the most powerful game of the universe. However, those who have experienced acquaintance with the Republic Commando, in my opinion, in principle, it is impossible to frighten anything. Let's just say: the fans of the universe should like the game in any scenario, everyone else - I recommend that you get acquainted with the first part of the game, if you are fascinated, you can go to the end (the good that by that moment 30% of the game has already been passed).