Zip, zip, zip, zip. Wassat? It’s us, fast-forwarding into the future of Speccy games. Okay, let’s put it on pause, take a few screenshots, take some notes and present this month’s previews!
We are a Bad Lot. No, not just the CRASH lot, but everyone. The entire population of the planet is useless. Earth’s a dumping ground and the human race is mucking the place up, Depressed? You should be, because according to the scenario of Pandora’s forthcoming title, Dominion, we’ve got one chance left to prove ourselves worthy to roam the planet.
There’s a race of beings called the Chitona who rule the universe. They’re perfect and only exist as forms of pure thought in the 0th Dimension. Now, obviously they can’t just pop down to the planet one Wednesday morning and give us a good ticking off, so instead they send a Mentor, a life-sustaining probe, around every 35 million years or so. Last time Mentor arrived the dinosaurs were causing trouble so the thing disposed of them pretty sharpish allowing us mammals to get on with life. Now Mentor’s back and us mammals have screwed the place up. It’s not happy.
But, like we said, there’s one chance left. The Mentor plucks an average example of the human race, which just happens to be you, and promptly dumps him in an artificial environment and watches what happens. And that’s basically it. You start the game without much of a clue what you’re supposed to be doing, just get on with whatever you feel like. At the end of the game Mentor assesses your actions and decides whether you should become guardian of the Earth or just blow the place to bits.
Dominion is, essentially, an arcade adventure featuring a range of interactive characters, all created by Mentor for you to investigate and deal with how you see fit. Some are mean and need disposing of and some are good and need your help.
There are plenty of puzzles in there, too. Most of them revolve around the idea of collecting objects and using them to test your intelligence but there are a few that will examine your morals. The programmers aren’t saying exactly how the game should be played because it’s a game of experience (a bit like life, really).
Yes, it does sound an ‘interesting’, and indeed, novel game, doesn’t it? And if it sounds a bit too much for you, don’t worry, it can be played as a shoot-’em-up (which sort of undermines the whole concept, really).
How’s it looking, then? Particularly groovy. The graphics are incredibly smart, with both colour and detail in abundance and the scrolling really shifts! The screen shows a display of your view (there’s hundreds of locations) and also features three windows — one’s a menu window which gives you access into loads of other menus, allowing you to perform all manner of actions, and the others are object windows. Add to that a stunning sound track, one of the best we’ve ever heard on the Speccy, and it looks like Dominion will be a welcome resident in Hitsville when it arrives in a couple of months.