As storytelling takes us to the stars, it often becomes tempting to move beyond the classic conflict of good and evil. But it can be tempting to return to the safe and familiar waters of biblical prophecy, theistic combat. In 2003 Konami teamed up with British developers Extreme FX to bring a tale as old as time to a more futuristic setting. That tale was Apocalyptica.
In the far future, humanity has taken to the stars, with spaceships and colonised planets. Unfortunately, the horrors of the old world have followed humanity as Satan is back and has decimated the Earth. You play as one of the last survivors of Neo Satan’s attack on Earth as you, and a small section of fellow survivors have taken arms against this new threat.
From the start, you get given your choice of 16 characters to take on Neo Satan. Some of these are spellcasters, and others bring both a sword and a gun to the fight. You get given a range of objectives for each mission and a whole host of bad guys attempting to stop you. I have got to say that there is a tremendous joy to slash corrupted demon-men with a sword. But you are not alone as on certain missions you are given A.I.-driven teammates to help. While the A.I. tries its best, your partners can be commanded, and I’ve noticed they can be more than helpful for when the fight gets nasty.
The world-building is a bigger draw, with this futuristic heaven and hell battle taking place from desert planets to the darkest corners of Hell. It is reminiscent of some other of the sci-fi world (Warhammer 40k springs to mind.) but the heavily religious tones of the game help it shine uniquely on its own. The characters too have certain distinctive designs, that help them stand out and surprisingly fit the aesthetics. The levels you face are broken down into objectives, that themselves feel crafted, it is surprising how these levels aren’t included in the multiplayer as there is plenty of scope for these missions to be completed cooperatively.
Apocalyptica gives us an interesting range of styles and combat options on your interstellar crusade against evil. At times, it can be quite cathartic to let loose against the servants of evil. Apocalyptica feels like one of the more memorable options from the bountiful crop of computer games circa 2003. While it shows its age in places, but who knew that the revelations and the end of days could be such a fun time?
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