Monday, July 1, 2013

GC9X Post-Mortem - Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri

June's game was Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, an underrated mid-90's PC mech shooter with tactical squad elements by Looking Glass Studios. While Terra Nova fell in between System Shock and Thief and faded into relative obscurity, those who have played it think the game is totally rad. Thirty-seven missions full of roasting pirates in mech suits and dismantling war machines, none of which take too long either. Playing a mission is like munching on a handful of kettle corn: Soft and sweet with MANY more kernels left in the bag to eat. It's not too tough a game either; most of the missions don't necessarily need you to command your squad. You can just get into close range and zap baddies with your laser, or at least that's the way I played it and won in 90% of the missions. But even if it got a bit formulaic, it was still danged fun every time.

This podcast will probably be a tough act to follow after the epic (and epicly-delayed) treatise on Madden NFL '95, but that's not a slam against Terra Nova itself. It's a very well-built and solid game, but it's hard to think of much to comment upon it. The game itself is very self-explanatory, failure is a slap on the wrist considering how short most missions are, and even the full-motion cutscenes aren't totally embarrassing! The main villain is somewhat hammy and he engages in a bit of somewhat homoerotic dialogue with the hero Nikola after a spoiler-laden point in the game, but that's as silly as it gets before things quickly get serious.

My main thought with TN all throughout playing it was how underrated it and its developer were back in the nineties. While System Shock and Thief certainly had their fans, they didn't bring in enough money to keep Looking Glass afloat, and they disbanded at the beginning of the new millenium. Terra Nova was posted at a considerable loss for the company, but it's really a shame as it's one of the more unique FPS games I've played. Most definitely a fresh breath of air aside from all the Wolfenstein and Doom ripoffs from the early and mid-nineties, though it was released the same year as Quake which may have dogged its potential for success. For how underpromoted it was, I personally had a lot of fun with Terra Nova and I hope everyone else did as well. As for the month of July, we will see either Treasure Hunter G, Ogre Battle 64, or Master of Orion. If you want to add your vote, register or sign up and let your opinion be heard!

1 comment:

  1. one of my favourite game ever : unique gameplay, perfect atmosphere.