Retro Review: Extreme Violence (Commodore Amiga)

Review-Extreme-Violence-AmigaYou’ll probably look at the title above, presumably glance ever so briefly at the screenshots and more than likely scroll down from this article and read the latest gaming news instead. If you haven’t then you must be reading this so perhaps carrying on with the article was a good idea. Below is an in depth study on how making a game in the comforts of your own home and sharing it for free with the world is truly independent of publishers and third party developers who want to add skimpy clad ladies to the front cover for no reason. Below is what happens when you design an interactive experience for two people around that ever dying human emotion called fun.

So the game is called ‘Extreme Violence’ and it’s most likely about violence and its quite extreme. Well, yes, but unwrap the misleading title and there’s a game here which can also be described as a friendship breaker, boredom beater, five minutes of fun and so forth. A game that was free, allowed to be fun and copied numerous times by the same person in the space of an hour doesn’t sound as if it would fit today’s gaming community. The fact that an ‘indie’ sat down and took the time to create an image of his thoughts and then give it out for free without receiving any payments for it what so ever (no pop-up advertisements whilst the disk was loading) seems by today’s standards to be totally ‘insane’ and completely incoherent of what we now class as fully independent these days. It’s called Freeware. Totally free – apart from the obvious gesture of subsidising someone who took the time to copy it for you and the payment of the spare disk they used – it was free.

Moving onto the most important part of the article, Extreme Violence was created by an unknown guy ‘Si Green’ who acted as the coder & designer. That’s pretty much all anybody knows. Oh, also we have the address of Simon Green who resided in Kent. Simon declares during the boot-up screen that the game is freely distributed, but if you send just five pounds to his house, he’ll send a registered copy of ‘EV’ fully updated with a single player mode, multiple bullets, new power-ups and much more! I’ll speak out of party here and declare if anybody did this, has a copy of this or they know what this updated game actually played like, please let me know.

Unwrap the misleading title and there’s a game here which can also be described as a friendship breaker...

Back to the article, Simon Green as we know him obviously had the mind set that visuals shouldn’t overtake the gameplay in terms of design. This is pretty evident in the games design, blocky, top down maze shooter with no special effects other than the message that’s being broadcast – kill the other player. The version we are talking about here is 6.9 (written in AMOS) and is probably the most popular, so someone obviously gave Simon the five pounds in post. The game sets itself within a maze environment consisting of two players battling it out to the death. The idea being that both players will aim to eliminate each other with an automatic weapon. When one player dies, albeit in a cascade of blood, the other player will gain one point. The game will start again but in a new environment.

Once the game picks up speed and players undoubtedly start to share more of the spoils of war, the game automatically ‘adds’ more wall walls to the top down perspective level, thus making the maze more intricate. Once the maze becomes more and more intensive, it becomes harder for the players to find each other on the screen. It may seem like the game is punishing the players a bit here, adding more walls to confuse and stop the flow of killing, but the objective becomes clear when both players finally meet each other on both sides of the split screen, its panic stations and carnage prevails. This is really an ingenious bit of design. Making the players kill each other in an open top down environment for ten minutes will get dull, repetitive and predictable. Adding an incentive such as ‘work harder’ and ‘look for them’ by adding more of a complex level design after each kill gives purpose and mission to the game. There’s method to the gameplay however, with the added inclusion of the somewhat untrusting radar at the bottom of the screen. Weapon upgrades are a huge feature here, magic bullets that can fire through walls and missiles that basically turn player one & two into a delectable spew of red pixels. Just a side note, the ‘noise’ that the bullets make when traversing across the screen, through a wall and into the opposition player is quite impressive.

There’s really not that much to say here. The game tends to play out its own end by consuming the players with everything it’s got, boredom, thumb blisters and people interrupting you is the games downfall. It lends itself to almost infinite gameplay, yes there are a set number of levels but dependent on version the good old random access memory will delegate an odd number of ways that the maze structure can play out. Considering this is most likely the product of a bedroom creation, thought and effort has surpassed any worries of the game becoming tiresome after half an hour.

It is what it is. But the ‘is’ part is strangely un-cumbersome.

Extreme Violence (Commodore Amiga) Gameplay

Link: Download Extreme Violence (Commodore Amiga) ADF


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