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Disruptor (PlayStation) artwork

Disruptor (PlayStation) review


"Instead, level your Phase Repeater -- a rapid-fire, tri-barrelled instrument of piercing death -- at them. It emits an unstoppable wave of laser fire which cuts your robot aggressors down with little troubles. The lone survivor of your onslaught will cock his shotgun once more to try and avenge his fallen brethren, but you've already cut him clean in half with your Plasma Lance."



If Disruptor is anything to go by, the world of tomorrow will be a crazy place. Humans are not alone in this galaxy, and most of the other life-forms they've encountered want to shoot them over the intergalactic equivalent of stealing your neighbours newspaper every morning. To counteract the rising tensions and police the galaxy, an elite group of enforcers are recruited. Known only as the 'Lightstormers', you find yourself a rookie within their ranks -- it's a family thing. Your father died during his service and your older brother is currently still active within the force. You told them you wanted to be a vet when you grew up, but they didn't listen.

Regardless whether you want to be there or not, you're ushered through your training where you do all the FPS basics like shoot, dodge and get hit by hostile resistance. When you look at these basics, there is very little to distinguish this from the masses of shooting games out there and perhaps you'd be quick to dismiss it as another one of those Doom clones that have long littered video gaming -- but you'd be wrong to do so.

Being an elite ranger, you obviously get a neurological implant drilled into your skull, as is the style of the times. This painfully-aquired little device lets you unleash the odd psionic attack based on how much mental energy you currently possess. These rather unique skills range from thieving psionic strength from foes to top up your own bar, healing your injuries to some extent or smacking targets up with telekinetic blasts through obstacles such as crates or even walls.

What makes these skills even more noteworthy is that you can use them in conjunction to the wide array of firearms at your disposal. Let's assume that you've strolled around a corner only to come face-to-face with a bunch of decapitated and rusting droids. With no time to wonder how the headless swine can even see you, let alone get a lock on you, they open up with a barrage of fire from their equipped AM Cyclones. These guns, one of the many you yourself can use, act as supercharged shotguns capable of delivering up to five explosive blasts. The onslaught they offer would easily tear you to ribbons.

Unless you play clever.

Spam your psionic powers and utilise the handy shield skil, then watch the shells shatter against your psychic wall. Gloating at your little victory will have to wait though, as your barrier will fade fast so instead, level your Phase Repeater -- a rapid-fire, tri-barrelled instrument of piercing death -- at them. It emits an unstoppable wave of laser fire which cuts your robot aggressors down with little troubles. The lone survivor of your onslaught will cock his shotgun once more to try and avenge his fallen brethren, but you've already cut him clean in half with your Plasma Lance.

Toasty.

And now those who tried to fill you full of space-age shotgun pellets are nothing more than broken scrap metal that you can acquire ammo from. But even aggressors as viscous as this are pretty low on the food chain. Expect to encounter alien-esque flying fangs, space-aged versions of Robocop and unexplainably weird xenomorphs that cling to the ceiling as to drop venomous sludge on your head.

Each one of the nasties call the claustrophobic and atmospheric environments that you need to explore home. Creep through the well-lit corridors of an unmanned space station, filled with expensive-sounding hydraulic doors and hi-tech gadgetry. Explore the icy wastelands of Antarctica to investigate a forgotten research encampment, or trek across the vast and open plains of Mars. If the Red Planet isn't your cup of tea, perhaps you'll feel better in the lava-caked mines of Io or the military encampments set up by the Lightstormers themselves. There's 13 differing levels to experience in Disrupter and each is better than the last. The fact they are all charmingly produced in a plethora of well-crafted textures and drizzled in mood-effective lighting certainly doesn't hurt at all.

Nor does the brave decision to have live actors play out the obligatory between-missions cut-scenes that spell out just what the hell you're doing. The acting within is unusually tight, and lends a cinematic air to the proceedings. It's this attention to detail and high standards of presentation -- including an especially enjoyable and almost operatic soundtrack that fits snugly into place -- that puts Disruptor above the throngs of Doom clones and average shooters. Within, you'll find an under-appreciated classic that hits all the right buttons. Violence! Explosions! A cunning dual weapon system! A cleverly-used plot with perfect pacing!

But best of all, the ability to stand reasonably unique in the overcrowded First Person Shooter world. And that, in itself, is as big a recommendation as I can give.

Rating: 9/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (November 05, 2005)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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