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                              Review: Damage
                             By:  Ken Anderson 
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Firstly, a warning: don't let children read this review.  In fact, don't
let kids, your mother, right-wing politicians or anyone else remotely
sensitive anywhere near Damage.

Damage is sick, twisted, violent, and inevitably great fun.  For reasons
not explained (or required), Micheal Modelcitizen turns into Mr Damage,
hell bent on ...  well, being anything but a model citizen.  This generally
means shooting things, stealing things, and injecting things into other
things.  Shooting things requires bullets and a weapon; to acquire this
you'll either have to steal it or buy it.  To buy it, you'll need to steal
money.  To steal it, you have to hit people.  You get the idea - there's no
working for a living in this game.

To kickstart the whole process, you're initially equipped with a baseball
bat.  With a nicely realistic thump, you can club down the first old lady
who totters past.  Her walking stick flies into the air, the blood starts
gushing, and the first kill has been notched up.  Soon after, the police
arrive and start fighting back.

It's all presented as a side-on, flick screen game.  The graphics are very
small but well detailed and animated - a shot fired produces a believable
amount of recoil, and a baseball bat to the back of a policeman's head
gives a nice stunned reaction before he collapses.  Coupled with the sound
effects splattering and booming in all the right places, Damage is an
enjoyable experience, especially after returning home from crowded shopping
centres.

Just to spice things up, there's various different narcotics you can pump
into your veins to speed things up, slow them down or temporarily paint
them a different colour.  There's even a suicide needle if things get too
much.

The controls are a bit on the sluggish side, meaning under heavy fire it
can be frustrating trying to escape up a side street.  There are times when
the drugs and violence go just a bit too far - fair enough, it's only a
game, but necrophilia?

There's not much more to Damage, but isn't cheap and twisted violence
enough for you?  It's certainly the first game in a while to have the score
measured by the number of people killed.  Cheaper than a Swedish blond
masseur, it's the next best thing for stress relief after a long day
conforming.

Pros: Wonderful carefree realistic violence.  Small but well animated
graphics and satisfying effects.  Perfect for fans of "Falling Down".

Cons: Good God it's sick - Damage will have even the hardest
pint-swallowing nutter exclaiming "euurr" after a while.  There's only so
much to be offended by - plodding around killing things can get boring ...
sometimes ...

Damage costs 10UKP and is available directly from:

Suomi-Peli
PO Box 93
45701 KSNK
FINLAND

http://www.sci.fi/~damage