Contents | < Browse | Browse >

===========================================================================
                    Review: Nemac IV Director's Cut CD
                           By:  Jason Compton 
===========================================================================

Nemac IV was a Doom-like game whose existence got somewhat drowned out in
the midst of the Alien Breed 3D 1 and 2 excitement.  The game, from Zentek
of Germany, has a lot going for it that AB3D didn't (CyberGraphX support,
for starters) and is worth a look even now.

Nemac is very tolerant of a wide range of Amigas.  ECS, AGA, and
CyberGraphX are supported.  There's even a Graffiti mode.  An 020 is
mandatory, an 060 is rewarding.

The plot--well, plot, schmot.  You do seem to be a large battle-mech sort
of thing with a vast arsenal at your disposal.  Unlike most other games in
this vein where you "find" advanced weapons, in Nemac you come ready to
shoot the bad guys with various types of guns.  You of course have to keep
stocked with ammo along the way, but the advantage to this system is that
all of your weapons are available all of the time.  Most of your enemies
will be mechanical in nature as well--all of Nemac has a very polished,
spaceship feel, although you're really sealed in a large bunker with a mad
supercomputer that must be stopped.

There's even support for the I-Glasses, for those of you who were too
compelled by Escom's efforts to sell them to you.

The CD comes with a variety of 3D animations, which really give you a sense
of mood and location.  A lot of these Doom clones have failed to establish
atmosphere.  The main game of Nemac is not quite enough to generate this
sort of atmosphere, so luckily the animations do the trick.  (The corridors
are just a bit too wide, the ceiling and floor textures just a bit too
painted in nature.)

Did I say ceiling and floor textures?  Yep.  The game allows for full
texturing, which can be toggled off and on as you play.  The game window is
also very sizable, and you choose which screenmode you'll be using in the
main startup configuration window.

The game has a good balance of "shoot your way through enemies to reach the
exit" and "find the keys to open doors", without getting too wrapped up in
complex maps early on.  There's something of a break with tradition--doors
open automatically when you touch them, rather than requiring a tap on the
space bar.  Some, but not all, devices you can activate rely on a space bar
hit.  (There's an odd but useful twist--if you shoot or blow up something,
it activates it, which is how you can get keys from rooms you can't fit
into.)

Installation to hard drive is easy and relatively painless.  The game
installs about 4 megs onto a directory, and requires that you play with the
Nemac CD in the drive.

There's a neat feature built-in to the game--you can take screenshots with
the touch of a key, provided you activated the option when you started up.

Control in Nemac is easy--shooting is not always so.  You may find it
difficult to draw a bead on your enemies, and they typically shoot at you
with great speed and little warning, so you have to be quick with the
strafe key.  Grenades are very effective, but also very scarce, so be
careful.

There are three difficulty levels, and the introductory level should keep
you occupied for quite some time.

Nemac uses a "heads-up" approach to weapons and health status, which
despite its large font is surprisingly unobtrusive.  A very good job on
Zentek's part.

The Draco is even supported, although no audio is available.  Nemac was
written before AHI, although my gut tells me that had AHI been around the
support would have been there.  At least CyberGraphX works beautifully, 3D
animations and all.

Nemac has by far the best presentation of all of the Doom-type games I've
played on the Amiga.  It doesn't have the brutal charm of Gloom or the
well-established environment of Alien Breed, however, and the fact that
you're supposed to be controlling your battle pod by remote control does
make you feel very detached from the action.

In all, I was suitably impressed with Nemac IV.  It doesn't have the same
excitement of most of the other games in its genre, but its graphical
capabilities are second to none on the Amiga, and is worth checking out.

Developed and published by Zentek.
Provided for review by:
ClickBoom (North American distributors)
Box 969
31 Adelaide St. East
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5C 2K3
http://www.clickboom.com