Like the great-looking but ultimately lackluster Incoming (1998), AquaNox is ultimately better at showing off the capabilities of your machine’s rendering power than the game design capabilities of its developers. As a sequel to the 1997 submarine shooter Archimedean Dynasty, AquaNox brings back Emerald â€œDead Eyeâ€ Flint, a sort of Han Solo of the deep sea, only not as exciting. The story is mildly compelling, but the dialogue is delivered via poorly drawn cartoon characters and truly god-awful voice actors.
The combat is more involving than the story, fortunately. The default control setup is for the standard mouse/keyboard layout, although thereâ€™s also joystick support. AquaNoxâ€™s 30 missions are short and easy: you can just circle-strafe and press madly on the mouse button to destroy most enemies and installations. The AI wonâ€™t slow you down either, as enemies never act intelligently and arenâ€™t very good shots.
So what does this game have going for it? Well, it delivers the sort of graphics that were top of the line in its day. Itâ€™s simply stunning to look at. Sadly, in addition to the crap voice acting, the gameâ€™s techno beats will have you either tapping your toes or (like me) turning off the music altogether. AquaNox isnâ€™t exactly bad, but it just doesnâ€™t have the solid story and gameplay needed to make this tech demo into a full-fledged game.
System Requirements: Pentium III 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB Video, Win98