Monday, July 04, 2016

Substation


Mitushi Industries have developed a new type of energy that is extracted from under the seas. All seemed well for a few years until communication was lost with their underwater substation base. So they contracted the help of a Multi-Environment Marine from the American government. In case you are wondering, this is you - so suit up!

Upon starting, ditch the knife and hit key "2" which switches to a rather effective pistol. Now collect all the goodies here and exit. Outside this room is access to more goodies, however, there are a couple of ghouls lurking and they're gonna try and stop ya!! So will you risk it or will you run away scared, down that seemingly empty corridor?

  
Read your instructions carefully and take the mission seriously - so don't laugh at his mouth!!

Movement is actioned with the keyboard: arrow keys are used to walk/turn around with Insert and Clr Home keys conveniently used for sidestepping. Control key fires all weapons, the Spacebar opens doors, and punching the TAB key drops a bomb. Don't forget to make use of the map which is located at the bottom of your screen: this automatically tracks your movements and the keypad can be used to examine the already explored areas.

The baddies are an intelligent bunch who won't simply home in on your location. Expect them to use evasive tactics as they shoot a few rounds and then run to take cover! Use that pistol to protect yourself, remembering to sidestep oncoming fire. The chain gun is absolutely amazing and Arnold Schwarzenegger would be proud to carry. Your weapons are superb - I only wish it didn't take so long to find them all.

  
Watch out. This mono-soldier is armed so let's unload a few pistol rounds inside his belly!!

Graphically, I'm both impressed and unimpressed in equal measure. I love the eerie atmosphere and the use of light-sourced sprites with great visual effects and all within a minimum framerate of 25fps on an 8MHz Atari STe!! However, the walls have no texture mapping because UDS opted for faster Gouraud shading to maintain the smooth framerate. This is disappointing because games like Destruction Imminent and Wolfenstein 3D prove the ST is more than capable. I feel UDS missed an opportunity for optional textures for those with faster computers.

Audio is spot-on perfect. Substation uses the enhanced hardware so we're able to hear distance and directional sound effects. This helps to identify where the baddies are lurking surprisingly well. Equally impressive are the tunes, also played at 25Khz for excellent quality. You're gonna love this so crank up the volume!

  
This tough soldier got too close and felt the wrath of my shotgun!! Only his boots remain lol

Technically speaking this is one of the most impressive games ever released on ye olde humble Atari STe. Think about it, a first-person engine that is capable of maintaining a brisk 25fps. Not only that but it also features distance and directional stereo sounds with light source sprites and intelligent enemy AI. There are over 30 colours on-screen and you can even play others over a network. Heck, even faster computers support smoother framerates...

However, if you're expecting Substation to be like Doom then you will be disappointed because it's more like Wolfenstein. Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad and it is brilliant in its own right so shouldn't be compared to Doom at all. Gameplay is challenging and the missions are tough but interesting to keep you coming back for more. Substation is one seriously awesome first-person shooter so pick up your guns and have yourself some fun!!

  
Weird robot thing decided to try its luck but didn't realise the arsenal I had at my disposal...


- ESSENTIAL SUBSTATION STUFF -

Download on floppy or best of all for your hard drive.

ST Format featured a basic preview level on cover disk #72.
They also held a competition and the winning game is on cover disk #75.
Fancy a trainer? ST Format cover disk #76 has all the answers!
[ all ST Format coverdisks can be downloaded off Exxos ]

Substation tips and maps can be found in ST Format issues #74 / #75 / #76 / #77.

We all love cheat codes and to get all weapons just type "PUNK"
"NIRVANA" gets you health and "PFLOYD" unlocks doors.
"SKRAPAN" credits extra bombs and "FALUKORV" allows extra time.

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