Ashes to Ashes

If you were to take a headcount of all the successful (commercial and critical) post-Doom first-person shooters that have been released, you’d probably find yourself with a few unused fingers on both hands. There have been tons of me-too games — why more of them haven’t been successful is a mystery, but even more mysterious is the fact that the games that just don’t get it keep on coming.

34Take Corel’s Ashes to Ashes. It, like Doom, is a first-person shooter. But where Doom built on the basic appeal of senseless violence and destruction by creating a convincing world with real personality, Ashes to Ashes begins and ends without being fun. Ashes to Ashes does have attractive graphics and smooth animation; large outdoor environments with rolling terrain; and it even gives the player the opportunity to operate several different vehicles.

Instead of fighting your way through the confines of a claustrophobic space station, Ashes to Ashes takes the action outdoors, where a variety of terrain types helps create a little interest. Unfortunately, Ashes to Ashes complicates matters with a control interface that is so clumsy and disorienting you may die of frustration before the bad guys kill you.

In fact, the constant rolling and bobbing may literally have some nauseating side effects. If you’ve never experienced the motion-sickness many gamers feel when playing Doom or Descent, you might still want keep a bucket handy when playing this game. If you can overcome this problem and work your way deeper into the game, you’ll find there’s little to redeem Ashes to Ashes. The enemy artificial intelligence is terribly weak, presenting you with little challenge; the story is uninspired; and the chills and thrills you expect from top-notch shooters like Duke Nukem 3D or Quake are glaringly absent.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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