4_1Apocalyptica was released for the PC only. A console version of the game was promised as well, but never delivered – perhaps dropped out of sheer embarrassment. The reason for this is because Apocalyptica does everything wrong. It promises an epic battle between good and evil, but features some of the most mundane gameplay imaginable. It’s supposed to contain jaw-dropping action sequences, awesome weapons and enemies that are both intelligent and witty in combat. Nope, nope and nope again. This game blows.

I also don’t quite know what the deal is with Japanese import games, but they seem to come in two shapes – those with great stories and those with crap stories. The background narrative in Apocalyptica truly is laughably bad, making one wonder what exactly got lost in translation. The game is set in the distant future, where space colonization is the norm, but features fantasy-themed swordplay and sorcery that are more akin of a fantasy game. Anyway, the big red guy is back it seems, and is waging war with humanity on planet Earth, devouring their souls and summoning a demonic army. But this isn’t your average Satan you have to fight against – he’s resurrected and is badder than ever, and gets an appropriately badass title to match his wicked badassery – “Neo-Satan”. Da-da-duuuummmb!

You play Apocalyptica as a regular adventure game with some role-playing flourishings and an odd team-play gimmick that makes you notice the appallingly simple AI at work. For the role-playing part, you can choose one of four starting characters as you protagonist – templar, seraph, robot or… nun. Each of them have various stats that make them good in either close combat, ranged combat or spellcasting. Then, for each mission, you choose some characters to go along with you as you clear level after level of bad guys, collecting new gear and ridding the earth of Neo-Satan’s evil influence.

Gameplay is just a matter of mashing buttons, containing no depth and very little amusement. Team-based gameplay was pointlessly thrown in, together with some basic commands such as “Follow Me” or “Guard This Area”. Alas, team members are all too quick to be distracted and ignore your instructions. For this reason, missions that require your team members stay put and guard certain locations while you run off to do something else quickly devolve into annoying fail-fests. Dumb luck becomes about as important as skill to succeed.

System Requirements: Pentium III 1 Ghz, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB Video, WinXP

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