Dead Reckoning is a significant update of Goldtree’s 1996 underdog Cylindrix, a fun 360-degree, 3D action game set in a cyberpunk-ish universe. Similar to Cylindrix, Dead Reckoning is a “pure” arcade shooter: there is nothing to distract you from the shoot-everything-in-sight gameplay. Even the plot is simple and virtually negligible, although it does exist for anyone who cares about this sort of thing in an action game ;) |
Visually, Dead Reckoning is a giant leap above Cylindrix: the images of the aliens and their ships are weird and wonderful, with excellent detail and shading. Dead Reckoning also offers a more sophisticated gameplay than Cylindrix: in addition to the simple arena combat, you can now select two wingmen as well as their ships to help fight the enemies. Choosing the wingmen is crucial to winning the game: you will almost certainly die if you try to go it alone. The levels are well-designed, although the gameplay does get repetitive as each new level is basically the same as the last one: just another arena with hidden passages or interesting terrain like Descent. This makes the game ideal for multiplayer, and here Dead Reckoning has plenty to offer: you can compete against up to six players over the Internet, modem, or serial links.
Overall, Dead Reckoning is a fun, unassuming game that would have undoubtedly been much more successful had it been released 2-3 years earlier. The visual effects in Cylindrix were startling at the time of its release (1996), but by the time Dead Reckoning came out in 1998, the world had already seen the likes of better-looking and more addictive games such as Descent series. Well worth a look nonetheless for its great visuals and wingmen concept, but there is nothing here that will keep you hooked for long.
Reviewed by: Underdogs