Mass Destruction

Mass Destruction
Game Name: Mass Destruction
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): BMG Interactive
Developer(s): NMS Software
Genre(s): Shooter
Release Date: 1st January 1997
Serial Number: MK81089-50
Region: PAL

Mass Destruction Screenshot

Mass Destruction. A game which, for once, the title really does say it all. If you’ve never played it, you should still be able to guess that it’s not a puzzle game. Nor is it a complex RPG which will take you days just to get into. Mass Destruction is a 25 level shooting fest that does exactly what it says on the tin.

The game is set in an isometric 3D environment across an assortment of terrains such as Urban, Jungle and Arctic. The best way to describe the game would be like Desert/Soviet Strike but much more fast paced and in a tank! Before each stage you are giving a briefing screen showing your primary objectives as well as secondary objectives. These are generally standard fare such as destroying communication centers, power stations, rescuing downed pilots and so on. The location of your goals is displayed on your radar and map. There are also plenty of hidden objectives to be found along the way.

Mass Destruction ScreenshotStopping you on your way will be an army so big that it seems grossly unfair that you are out here on your own. Tanks, mobile rocket launchers, gunships, aircraft, infantry and numerous other enemies stand in your way. Don’t fear though because there are a couple of things in your favour. Firstly your tank is tough, and I mean tough. Heavily armored, it can take a hell of a lot of damage. Also it’s weaponry packs a lot of punch. Each stage you start with unlimited chain gun ammo and rocket shells. That’s right. Unlimited! None of this “oh damn I’m out of ammo” nonsense. You can shell away till your hearts content. If thats not enough you can also collect limited extra weapons such as cluster bombs, hi-explosive missiles, mortars, mines and even a flame thrower.

However, the real fun part of the game is that practically everything in the game area, and I mean everything, can be destroyed. Trees, buildings, walls. The whole set is just one big target range for your tank. Many of the bonus objectives are found by just rolling into a compound and destroying everything within it. If your lucky it will be revealed that you’ve just taken out a command centre of something similar.

Mass Destruction ScreenshotThe graphics contribute nicely to the game. The general levels are quite well defined and there is a good use of colour. A lot of detail has been given to how objects react within the environment. For example destroying a building on the banks of a river will lead to debris falling and rippling into the water. Most objects moving over or in the water also have reflections. The explosions are big, bold and spectacular, which is needed because there are many of them! One gripe I do have graphically is the men on the ground. Sometimes it is hard to spot whether that mark on the ground is a RPG wielding enemy or just a scorch mark. Some might say this is camouflage but I feel it’s more down to them being poorly drawn stick men. Either way that’s a minor gripe and, although nothing spectacular, the graphics are fairly pleasing.

The same could be said about the sound. It ‘does a job’. All of the music is atmospheric and has a feeling of building tension, from the title music to the in-game stuff. The sound effects are OK but a bit more variation would have been nice.

Mass Destruction ScreenshotMass Destruction is a game you can pick up and get into straight away. The controls and general gameplay are straightforward enough for you to not have to read page after page of manual, and the missions are also simple enough for you to know what your doing first time. Your tank moves fairly quickly and the action keeps frenetic most of the time. One gripe would be that the game is fairly easy. If you go exploring and destroying everything then each stage can take you on average about 25 minutes to complete. However if you just perform your objectives and get out of there straight away then you will beat the game very quickly. Another issue is that all the stages are very similar. This means that it does become very repetitive playing for any length of time in one sitting.

I find the Saturn has a lack of old-fashioned arcade-style action games. Games that make you think, or games with expansive story lines, are fine but sometimes, when you’ve got half an hour to kill, you want something just to have a blast on. Mass Destruction isn’t the best Saturn title but it is still a decent one. If you’ve not got it in your collection then try and track it down. It’s relatively cheap and well worth the addition.

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