Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

PC Gamer Replays Hell

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In the mid 1990s PC gaming was a bit of a wild world.  Consoles were clearly embracing the 3D as an up and coming technology – Star Fox, Virtua Racing, and Donkey Kong Country were just a taste of things to come – and PC developers all had various approaches to making the next big thing.  During this time a series of point-and-click adventures, often with embedded action sequences, made their way to your Windows 95/DOS platform that featured voice acting from stars, adult themes, and horrible early 3D renders.  

hell

Some of these games caught on and have quite the cult following.  Sometimes it’s quality, like Tim Schaefer and LucasArts’ Grim Fandango, and other times it’s the creator’s reputation, like Roberta William’s Phantasmagoria.  Still others are a complete anomaly, like D.  One of the more buried projects that released was Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller, and before you think of it as a victim of circumstance it really is a terrible game.  Your guard should always be up when words like “cyberpunk” and “thriller” are in the title instead of the description and the big sticker that proudly announced voice work from Dennis Hopper was a red flag even back then.  I spent a lot of time and chunk of change getting my hands on a copy of this game for the 3DO – I tend to grab old PC games on this console because it’s easier to just drop the game into my 3DO than try to get it to work on a Windows 7 device.  Needless to say after one hour it was a dust collector in my game closet.  Fortunately for all of us, Richard Cobbett over at PC Gamer covered the entire campaign and gameplay in a more-words-than-it-deserves addition to his Saturday Crapshoot series.  If you don’t know this game, this well written piece is a much better way to experience Hell and I chose to cover it because there’s no way I’m ever going to review it.  Check it out!

Written by Fred Rojas

January 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

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