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Loaded (Saturn) artwork

Loaded (Saturn) review


"The problem with Loaded is that, in its attempt to be an overhead dungeon crawler and shooting hybrid, it doesn't try hard to be either. When you first travel through the grim corridors that dominate the game, it feels like you could easily get lost, even with the aide of the map. However, you quickly realize it's just an illusion; walk a few feet in any direction at the start of a stage, and you'll be greeted by colored, locked doors. You'll continually bump into them until you find a co..."



The problem with Loaded is that, in its attempt to be an overhead dungeon crawler and shooting hybrid, it doesn't try hard to be either. When you first travel through the grim corridors that dominate the game, it feels like you could easily get lost, even with the aide of the map. However, you quickly realize it's just an illusion; walk a few feet in any direction at the start of a stage, and you'll be greeted by colored, locked doors. You'll continually bump into them until you find a corridor you can move through, where you will eventually find a colored keycard. Find the door with that matching color, move through its linear maze, find another keycard, and repeat the process for the entire game. There are two stages that stray from this formula, though. Instead of collecting keycards of the rainbow, you will be tasked with fetching four gas cans or four bombs! Such variety! Apparently, Gremlin Interactive stopped using their imagination after creating the screwed-up cast of convicts (a giant man-child with diapers and The Joker's bastard child, naming a few) to choose from.

On the action front, there's many aspects that went wrong as well. The most noticeable one is a flaw that triggers a domino effect for the others: the view. The strangest thing is that the default view happens to be an extreme close-up of your character. What purpose does this serve? Did the developers wanted players to see the details of the graphics that badly? Thankfully, you can zoom out... but it doesn't zoom out enough. Obviously, this creates problems in combat, since you really won't spot rushing enemies until it's too late.

Over the course of Loaded's 15 levels, you will easily learn just how annoying the rushers are. Thanks to the combination of the camera not panning out enough and the irritation of watching your character at times walk too close to the side of the screen, your opponents will have the advantage every time. This, in turn, presents a new problem to wrestle with... The bastards stick to you like glue! While you're desperately trying to reposition your avatar in the right directions, this gives the magnetic foes the opportunity to suck your life away. It comes off as a mild nuisance early on, but as the game goes on, and more enemies grope at the same time, it can turn you into a foul-mouthed geek in no time.

You know what's really messed up? Even if most of those problems were corrected, Loaded still won't feel like a lively, action-infested title. No matter how smart or strategic you try to be, the enemies will always hurt you. They just attack way too quick and accurate to dodge, and that just blows. Unlike other, similar games that require you to be sharp and dodge the wrath of their AI, Loaded just wants you to shoot blindly ahead, into the unknown, and hope for the best. You'll kill tons of people and things, but you just won't feel fully satisfied about it. This is most evident in the game's finale, when you face the antagonist: a slightly enhanced mini-boss with lame weapon upgrades. To rub it in, after you defeat him, your reward is a GAME OVER screen...

Loaded draws you in with its cast of freaks and promise of excessive violence, but in the end, it's just a game with shallow play mechanics.

Rating: 4/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (July 16, 2010)

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