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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Electronic Arts
What it's all about:
The year is 2190 AD. The solar system has been invaded and taken over by a race of alien lizard men called Morphs. Morphs can "morph" into any shape at will. Under the control of auxiliary-master brains, the
Morphs have reduced mankind into a whimpering population of indecision and paralysis. Enter you.

You are Conrad, a man plucked from cryogenic sleep in your drifting spacecraft and imprisoned on the moon. You are befriended by John O'Conners, who is also a prisoner, and the two of you escape prison to an orbital base operated by O'Conners' resistance organization. Being so recruited, you run covert missions as saboteur for O'Conners and attempt to destroy the Morph empire one step at a time.

The Review:
Fade to Black is a virtual style adventure game - something like an advanced Alone in the Dark. You begin with a pistol, a watch, a shield generator, and a map scanner. As you explore, you find better ammunition, usable items, different shields, and a variety of scanners (careful of the different scanners; some of them drain shield energy to operate, which is very bad for you!). The virtual style graphics in Fade to Black are pretty impressive. Conrad moved pretty fluidly, with few body jerks and movements, and a good job of simulating actual body motions. The view is a second-person, or "tracking" style, which follows Conrad as he moves or looks from left to right. This is realistic, but gets annoying sometimes when you turn to run and suddenly lose track of the Morph shooting at you.

The graphics and the motion of the virtual reality were some of the best I have seen for this type of game. The puzzles are challenging, but not so overly hard that you get stuck and frustrated. However, the biggest gripe I had about Fade to Black was the controls. The programmers were attempting to give you control over every possible movement Conrad could make, but in doing so, they ended up with a jumble of combination commands which are hard to all do at once.

A joystick of some type is a must for this game. But even so, you need to have a joystick with several secondary buttons such as the Gravis Firebird or Phoenix to really have the necessary control over Conrad. This is because with keyboard and mouse controls, Canard's movements during intense situations were confusing to do and difficult to get the computer to acknowledge multiple commands at once (i.e. run, stop quickly and shoot, and run again). In addition to the complex controls, the way your view follows Conrad makes it difficult for precision when controlling his movements. Getting him to nimbly duck into a narrow hall while being shot at is next to impossible without soaking up some bullets in the attempt.

--Brent Hegarty