by J.R. Antrim
Like that girl with large, knowing hands who you fooled around with at a party last week, Cybermercs is not what it may seem. The box says you can assemble a "team of nano-enhanced mercenaries," but the box is a liar and a rogue; the sort of na'er do well who'd say anything to steal a look at a lady's ankles. Cybermercs is no tactical-RPG. It's really Diablo. In. Spaaaaaaaaaace!
|"Time to take out the trash!" (and other captions that write themselves.)|
The year is 2114. The future of mankind is at stake. And it's up to these chumps to save us:
The son of a Wisconsin cheese baron and a West Indian immigrant, Amerd Neilson is the loner of the group, though not by choice. Ever since the rest of the guys read the game manual and discovered that Amred gets "excited with tools," he hasn't been invited to a single Cyber Mercenary Gala Event.
Her strength and prowess is twice that of most men, as is her number of male first names. The manual says she is "rarely satisfied," which left me waiting the whole game for her and Amerd to get drunk and explore the forbidden pleasures of Ace Hardware. Sadly, it never happened.
Hollywood is snatching up the rights to videogames at Ludicrous Speed (which, if you recall, is one notch above Ridiculous Speed.) It's only a matter of time before some coked up producer discovers Cybermercs. And with the good looks of Griswold the Blacksmith, the lead role would no doubt go to Brett Barry.
You can bet that in a crisis type situation, Brett Barry would be the one yelling "Run!" and "Go faster!" and, if the situation were dire enough, "Run faster!" Such heroes are necessary when facing an alien horde, least everyone freeze up, wet themselves and admit defeat. (Sort of like I do whenever I try to talk to a woman.)
I could find no information on Cybermerc's developer, Digital Impact, but something tells me they ain't from 'round these parts. The script reeks of pungent foreign food and cheap French-to-English dictionaries. With objectives like "Kill the Freddy," I was only mildly surprised when the computer announced, "Mission Incompleted." (That's almost bad as the voice actor from Last Alert who didn't know how to pronounce "stingy". Apparently, he thought it had something to do with bees.)
~Kill the wabbit, kill the waaaabit!~
Throughout the game it is hammered into your big lumpy head that cloning is good. In Cybermercs, cloning works rather like a continue. Plunk in a quarter (of a million), and after you're eviscerated by rancorous aliens, your clone will charge into action to avenge its death (and possibly loot its own corpse).
|Bad AI (Alien Intelligence.)|
The aliens are so polite, they let you walk up and shoot him in the back of the head.
There are even Goofus & Galliant-style fables; gruesome little stories that all end with, "and so he died because he wouldn't get a clone." For example, Freddy "The Freddy" Alpion was too prideful to make a clone of himself, "a mistake that cost him when he fell under the alien's control. Now a sadistic murderer, any mercenary working to recover the mineral mine must destroy him." Then there's Blood Joe, who despite his good Christian name was "also too proud to make a clone of himself."
After a while it started to sound like an infomercial. I expected a creepy Raelian Frenchmen to try and get me to invest in Clonaid. (And what sort of a name is Clonaid? It sounds like a sports drink made from clones, ha-ha! That reminds me of a little joke: If vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from? Ha-ha! So much funny! I bet you're really glad you you're reading this right now.)
Can love bloom on a battlefield?
Being chased by Freddy clausterphobic corridors was exciting — at least until he started squatting for no reason, allowing me to shoot him. Somebody get that Zombie some Pepto Bizmo.
If you had asked me a week ago, I would have given some snappy answer like, "Yes, but only in America's new weapon against terrorism — the Pink Berets." But that's just what happened. I started out playing Cybermercs specifically to mock it. At first jokes came fast and hard (like the Pink Berets, ha-ha!), but after a few hours, it hit me: I was addicted.
I mean, the games reviewed here are supposed to be bad, right? Well, it is. But why then was I up until 5AM, prowling alien infested corridors for that last hostage? For hours I was in denial. "I'm just looking for material," I told myself as I gleefully blasting away Xenoids.
|Screw humanity, I've got to guard my "special" crop.
I was in heaven, but it was a bittersweet heaven splattered with dead aliens. For after just a few short weeks of bliss, Jarrod Pritchard won the auction.
Now I am alone, an empty shell of a man.
Jarrod, if you can read this, I beg you, give me back my game. I'll give you a refund, I'll pay you double what you paid me! Please, can't we work something out? Perhaps you want someone hurt. I won't ask any questions. I can make it look like an accident.
I'll do anything, Mr. Pritchard... anything.
- J.R. Antrim managed not to use that "Game over, man! Game over!" quote from Aliens.
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Created by J.R. Antrim. Content copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.