It took me an incredibly long installation process (30 minutes, give or take) to install Accolade’s Eradicator, a typical first-person action game that tries to infuse some new ideas into what was an already saturated market. We’ve seen dozens of Doom clones after all, and with games like Duke 3D and Quake, it takes quite a bit of originality to get noticed. Eradicator doesn’t compare favorably, visually speaking, to either shooters.
As a design, Eradicator is derivative, taking the multiple characters from Heretic and Hexen (but adding unique missions for each), the mission-based structure and mouse control from Terminator: Future Shock and the interaction with the environment from Duke Nukem 3D. Also from Duke is the inclusion of a complete level editor, and like all of the games (minus Terminator), full network play via ICP/TP is supported.
One thing Eradicator makes use of is an optional third-person viewpoint. It’s something of a mixed bag; you may find yourself switching to first-person for most of the game. The reason is obvious. All third-person games have to track the player while avoiding obstacles, and Eradicator’s “Smart Camera,” like almost every other game’s, is anything but. The camera still finds itself blocking the view and the switches to first-person if you’re too close to the wall is very disorienting.
The game’s pseudo-mission structure sounds more impressive than it really is, as the level design forces the player on a linear path. Later levels, though, incorporate many more puzzle-like elements, which elevate the game above yet another “find key to open door” game.
What’s ultimately odd about Eradicator is that, despite its derivative nature and primitive visuals, it works. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why, but it works, providing further proof that solid execution is better than innovation. You’ll definitely won’t have as much fun with it as with Duke or Quake, but it does manage to rise above the fold of average Doom clones.
System Requirements: 486/66 MHz, 4 MB RAM, DOS
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