In the media
The Official Dreamcast gave Incoming a 6 out of 10 citing repeating similar feelings to that of Millennium Soldier : Expendable (Rage Software’s other launch title) that while the game looked great it was very short-lived entertainment. The most revealing comment is perhaps the note that they had failed to play the game for more than an hour at a time. DC-UK repeats these feelings and mentions some slowdown issues eventually settling on a 5 out of 10 rating. It’s Dreamcast Magazine that gives Incoming its highest rating at a puzzling 80%. They really love their arcade style games and Incoming is no exception.
Playing the Game
Incoming was first released on the PC and was packed in with the Voodoo 2 graphics card largely as a means to impress. This is where many first came across it but few would recall playing it for any length of time beyond the initial “wow” factor. This lineage is obvious in the Dreamcast version as it does look good now, if a little barren, and the looks are further preserved thanks to VGA compatibility.
The story reflects the old adage - simple game play = simple story. The year is 2009 (well it was the future back then!), the aliens have invaded and it’s up to you to fight them off. To fight them off you take control of one of several different types of vehicle and blast anything that looks vaguely alien to dust, while avoiding doing the same to your allies.
While the different vehicles add a little variety the basis of the game play varies little - hold down fire and wait for things to explode. Do so for what seems like an inordinate amount of time and that phase will end, you’ll then move on to another vehicle, repeat and so on. If you are particularly unfortunate there might be a pointless delivery mission to do first. Complete around 10 phases and its scenario complete. You then get to do the same sort of thing all over again – the only real difference being the colour of the landscape to represent a location change.
While this lack of variety would not necessarily render the game as repetitive as the Official Dreamcast Magazine and DC-UK reviews suggest there are further problems that compound this problem. The game play itself feels very slow and there is little urgency to proceedings. The aliens attack at a leisurely pace for the most part and do so in a very orderly manner. Also the controls seem to go out of their way to make things more frustrating than is necessary.
Incoming is a game which seems embarrassed by its arcade style nature and suffers horribly as a result. It has the mechanics of a straight forward arcade blaster but extends the levels to the point of boredom in a failed and unnecessary attempt to provide a more in-depth experience. On the bright side at least its now 2011 so the aliens have clearly called of their invasion.
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