Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller

Take 2’s strange Stygian ride.

9Somehow in this world of 2094, the gates of Hell have been opened and demons are allowed to enter our world. They’ve even taken over the Pentagon, although the in-joke is that there’s not much difference between the pre- and post-demonic military establishment. In Hell, you play either Rachel Braque or Gideon Eshanti, top ARC agents who must scour the streets of Washington. You’ll make several visits the netherworld to both battle the demons in control there and to gather the information needed to solve the mystery and perhaps even bring down the Hand of God.

Almost all of the characters are 3D-rendered creations. The rendering gives the figures an other-worldly feel that would not have been possible using real actors, even with the best makeup and prosthetics. The figures do move rather stiffly, compared to filmed live action, but not so much as to detract from the game. Beyond the characters themselves, the overall look of the game is nice. Effective use of shadows and dynamic color schemes give Hell a truly unique look. An interesting point is how hellish many of the earthly scenes look.

Unlike many games in the genre, Hell is fairly non-linear, in that you don’t have to follow any set progression. There are certain things you must do, and certain people you must speak with, but the order in which you do these things is up to you. One word of warning, however — the way you deal with a certain character may have repercussions in other areas of the game. There are more than 42 separate puzzles within the game with varying degrees of difficulty.

4The game interface is for the most part effective, giving you access to all parameters by simply moving the cursor to the top of the screen. Maneuvering your characters is a bit tricky, but it’s doable. If you need to talk with someone, you just place the cursor over that person. Same process goes for picking up an object. While many companies during this time were content to simply string together live-action video segments into something resembling a game, it’s refreshing to see Take 2 go one step beyond that fluff and produce an adventure that goes one step further.

System Requirements: 386SX/33, 560K RAM, SVGA, 20MB HDD, Win 3.1

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