This is Bruce. Don't piss him off.

It's like 1984, but with laser guns!

Ok, no one's really impressed by atmospheric lighting effects anymore. But Apocalypse does a good job.

The game sports the expected variety of special weapons for special people.

"You know, I'd like to set those people on fire over there...but I'm way too far away to get the job done! If only I had some way to throw flame on them..." -George Carlin

I want it noted that I got all the way through this review without once uttering the phrase "yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker".


It is just about friggin' time that somebody did an intense action game that is actually fun to play. Apocalypse is here, and it is quite an adrenaline rush for any action fan, Bruce Willis fan, or just any gamer who wants a break from the usual boring shooter forumla. With a good plot, an intriguing game engine, and Bruce Willis, you really cannot go wrong with Activision's latest prodigy.

The story is a morbid religious complex about a crazed scientist who has taken his love of religion one step too far as he revives the dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse that are foretold in the Scriptures. This evil fanatic calls himself The Reverend, and he has got everyone and their mom under his mind control. Everyone except Trey Kincaid, his old pupil. You are Trey (who is dynamically portrayed by Bruce Willis), and you must go against the Reverend and his cronie religious freaks of nature. You start the game from a prison cell, but you will have to make your way through all kinds of futuristic streets, graveyards, rooftops, and much more as you search for your old teacher who always seems to be just one step ahead.

The graphics in Apocalypse are very good with slick texture mapping, and little pop up. Bruce Willis looks just like Bruce Willis (as I would hope so considering the amount of time it took for this game to come out), and the enemies are very clever with extremely cool moves and death animations. The landscapes are pretty creative also, with just a little touch of glitch here and there. The great lighting effects also should not go without mention, and neither should the awesome use of gameplay combined with FMV. It is so cool fighting with a bigscreen music video hanging on a huge building in the background. A lot of games like this have graphical problems due to poor collision detection (like you will be hanging off a ledge and you see your body pop through the floor), but these technicalities are nearly non existent in Apocalypse.

The music in Apocalypse is very, very awesome. Pumping rock and music from several big bands (and Poe too, heheh) makes gameplay awesome and enjoyable. I do not even remember a time that music got my blood pumping as fast as it does in Apocalypse. The whole audio system is incredible actually. Bruce has some good lines, even though he over-uses some ("You need a little more lead in your diet!"). The only problem with the music is the heavy looping and the abrupt way that it loops. Other than that, Apoc. is an adrenaline boy's wet dream. Even the baddies have some good lines ("Dont shoot... I have a wife and kids!"). The sound only suffers from a really poor bum deal inspired by the likes of a couple factors. First of all, the original intent was to have Bruce Willis as your trusty sidekick who covered your ass when the going got tough. After some massive discussion, it was made apparent that the public did not want to play with Bruce covering their ass, they wanted to be Bruce himself. So Neversoft went back to the drawing board, and totally re-did the game engine and totally scrapped the side-kick plan. The only problem is that for some reason, I guess they could not get Bruce back in the studio, so if you ever hear your character say, "Kid! Duck!", or "Do ya feel the burn, kid?", that is simply because they had to use some of his "buddy system" lines.

All these things are good but what makes or breaks any game is the control, and baby, Apocalypse has it! If you have got the analog controller prepare for the coolest use of the neglected right stick that you have ever experienced. The left one makes you run around (and it controls very nicely at that), but the right one controls your gun. In other words, as you run around, you simply point the right stick at what you want to shoot and you shoot it just like that. This makes for some awesome run and gun tactics that serve up the most innovative action game engine that I have ever seen. There is a massive assortment of guns to choose from. Everything from the standard machine gun, to flamethrowers, to rockets, to homing missles-- its all here. Praise the Lord, Pass the Ammunition!

Quite frankly, Apocalypse blows every other 3D Contra clone (including the 3D Contras) away, back again, and then away again for good measure. It is hella fun, innovative, blood rushing, and Bruce Willis kicks butt! Hail Bruce, the guy who likes to star in big budget hot items that are big words that start with "A" and have to do with the end of the world.

Andrew the Game-Master

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