From its unoriginal story line to its standard array of weapons and power-ups, there’s not a lot about Havoc that makes it stand out from the crowd of first-person action games. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a kick out of it — especially with a friend via network or modem — but there are definitely plenty of more exciting shooters too choose from.

1_1Set in a post-apocalyptic future in which mega-corporations have taken the place of nations and governments (where have we heard that before?), Havoc puts you in the seat of one of three combat vehicles — the sluggish but powerful HyperTank; the speedy but vulnerable BattleCycle; and a state-of-the-art HoverCraft that provides the best of both worlds. Starting out in the deserts of the Badlands, you’ll have to battle it out with a host of bad guys and find three keys before you can advance to the next area (where have we heard that before?).

Even if you cut your teeth on Descent or Doom, it might take a few tries to figure out how to stay alive long enough to find those keys; enemies tend approach two and three at a time, and even with the fastest vehicle at your disposal, you can get caught in deadly crossfires. Toss in airborne enemies, and things get a bit rough.

But as challenging as it is, Havoc just doesn’t have the atmosphere to survive as a single-player game. The enemies might as well be ladybugs rather than futuristic vehicles, since they just zip by before you can even get a good look at them. And even if you do get a good look at these baddies, you’ll probably be thoroughly unimpressed; the texture-mapped polygons will remind you of a colorized Spectre VR.

4_1Havoc redeems itself somewhat with good multi-player options. The game comes with an extra disk you can give to a friend for modem and network play — even against Macintosh owners — and up to 16 players can compete on a local-area network. But even with the multi-player features, Havoc is far too bland. There’s hardly enough gameplay here to challenge the likes of Duke Nukem 3D or Descent II. Unless you’re determined to play a game on a Mac network, you’ll find better action elsewhere.

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

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