Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chaos Engine


Not too dissimilar to the mighty Gauntlet, the Bitmaps unleashed Chaos Engine back in 1993. It's a top-down arcade shooter where you get to choose from a selection of cool characters before running around sexy-looking levels with only one purpose - kill the baddies. Okay, there's minor puzzle element but this is all about reaping death!

Each character has their own unique skills so I advise that you should play each one to find out which you prefer. The environments are extremely interesting, both their wicked mechanics and visual styles which enhance the wonderful Victorian theme. Co-op is enabled whether you're alone or with friends and I love having a computer controlled player fighting alongside you. This really helps, especially in the later levels, and is implemented well - to help with the killing without ever annoyingly taking over. However, it is embarrassing when he grabs the coins quicker than me!

The graphics are outstanding with smooth scrolling that puts to shame other developers who released rush ports, like Cannon Fodder! In fact, Chaos Engine goes one step further to support the enhanced hardware within the Atari STe - it plays at the same pace but feels a lot sprightlier. Sprites are simply divine with gorgeous artwork in their design, it's obvious just how much love went into this. Sound effects are really nice but it would have been a good opportunity for the Bitmaps to have used the DMA hardware. I do wonder why they didn't, a missed opportunity...

If you like games to be addictive with action-packed gameplay then you will love this!! I have always ranked the Bitmap Brothers as one the best developers and Chaos Engine proves this remarkably well. [play it on Atari STe]

LINKS

 - 8BitChip and D-Bug have created hard drive installable versions which are both superb!!
 - If you need Chaos Engine on floppy disk then Stonish have Adrenalin #37A  #37B Menu CDs.
 - Fancy some level codes? Well of course you do, right?
          -> World Two = T6MV6J4LGLCZ (Thug + Mercenary)
          -> World Two = 73VBPXY1PZV1 (Brigand + Navvie)
          -> World Two = QLVKM4YKJQVS (my own code!)
          -> World Three = 4WQZTTRG61MZ (Navvie + Gentleman)
          -> World Three = 2#YNLN7SR94W (Navvie + Brigand)
          -> World Three = JSP99G416LY2 (I've no idea where I found this!)
          -> World Four = PK2R9J6G5W4K (Navvie + Gentleman)
          -> World Four = C8737KFPBCDB (Navvie + Preacher)
 - ST Format featured a fantastic guide and a walk-through solution (issues: #51 #52 #53 #54)
 - Bitmap Bros have a cool website with maps, guides and more!
 - Let's Play have a great page with many info.