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Whenever the Bitmap Brothers made a game- it was compulsive to take a look. That's because you expected something special, nine times out of ten you would be blown away! The high standards of design and ingenuity were present in all their games and other developers could only dream of reproducing the Bitmap style. The Chaos Engine is a prime example.
Graphics, Sound & Gameplay
We have all seen top-down shoot-em-ups before. But presented with the choice of having your character aided either by lets say- your best mate or directly controlled by the computer AI, the co-operative nature of the game was at the time unsurpassed. What also made this game unique was the scale of the playing area, while exploring a single level it could take you hours to eventually find all the secrets- a tribute to the deviousness of its creators.
Starting a new game you were presented by a lavish menu giving you a choice of tough mercenaries for hire, all were strangely memorable in appearance and played differently. Then it was time to enter the game worlds, each having a specific fresh gothic style teeming with godless monstrosities just waiting to be blasted into oblivion.
The game worked well as your pair of merc's hunted down and eventually destroyed nodes which opened the doorway to the next level. At the end of each section you could eagerly upgrade your characters stats, preparing for the battles ahead. I should point out that the competitive nature of the game sometimes put players at odds when stumbling over power-ups, it then became a race to see who picked up the weapon upgrade first (as seen in the Gauntlet series).
It should also be mentioned that the excellent atmospheric music was supplied by Bomb the Bass, who contributed to the Bitmaps' other classic game Xenon 2: Megablast.
With the advent of true three dimensional gaming, with such titles as Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto- it is sometimes easy to forget where it all began, in the ingenuity of game studios like the Bitmap Brothers who influenced a generation to strive for new creative standards. Overall The Chaos Engine is a cornerstone in style and gameplay and is well worth dusting off a copy.
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March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard
What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.
April 4, 2020 by Morcar
Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.
March 28, 2020 by Morcar
When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.
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