|Cybermage from David Bradley (Wizardry) tried
to emulate System Shock. It's an action-adventure with the emphasis on
action. You play as a cyborg and are considered dangerous by the ruling
dictator. A special unit is sent to kill you which, needless to say, fails.
The story is told through hand drawn pictures. Bradleys roots as rpg developer
shows with the use of magic and mana, which is dropped by slain enemies.
A nice point is that you can hear your own footsteps and breathing which
adds to the ambience. The puzzles are sort of lame, and can not compete
with those found in System Shock. There are also less posibilities as
in System Shock, but this also makes for an easier control scheme. The
graphics aren't really impressive but you get to operate a tank and an
aeroplane. Unfortunately these vehicles seem to move on 'rails' which
limits both fun and realism. After some getting used to game still is
fun through some neat design ideas. For instance, to get into the city
from the ghettos you have to disguise as a gladiator, which of course
leads to some heroic fights with other gladiators. The second half of
the game is unfortunately of less quality than the first half. There's
no more dialogue to progress the story and one can't shake the idea that
the programmers lost their drive and just wanted to finish the game. The
game ends as a simple dungeon shooter. This is a shame because the game
promised much but doesn't quite deliver. The game unfortunately suffered
from the "too much ahead of its time" syndrome common to many Origin games
of that period: games with very high hardware requirements that only a
handful of gamers can afford. As a result, it never sold well.