Genre: Run-‘N-Gun Developer: Lightstorm/Beam Software Publisher: Acclaim Players: 1 Released: 1994
So you’re looking for a new shooter since you’ve played MERCS to death and know every one of the enemy’s move and every last detail in the game. You’ve played Twinkle Tale but didn’t like the kiddie stuff. Well, there’s another overhead shooter waiting for you called True Lies. Yes, the one based on the movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Everybody knows the movie by now, since it was a great hit in the ’90s, and while it’s always popular to the bring big blockbuster movies to video games, most of the time they suck. Just look at the game adaptations of movies like Cliffhanger, Dracula Superman and many more, but occasionally, they were actually good, just like this one.
Just as in the movie, you start in the mansion where you have to find the computer and upload personal data while going through some bad guys and innocent party people. Then you have to make your escape through the wilderness while being hound by skiers and helicopters. Other stages range from a mall where you follow Aziz the terrorist to a factory and oil refinery. In the later levels there is some flying to do, which is a nice change from all the walking. The levels are long and sometimes hard, but there is plenty to do and enough ammo and secrets to be found among hidden walls, which are everywhere. Here’s a giveaway: in the first level, go to the book case in the right corner and stand behind and walk down and ta-da! – you’re in the garden where you can find the flame thrower.
Arnold is heavily armed, as you’d expect with a major shooting game. He starts out with a hand gun, and on the way he can pick up a shotgun, Uzi, a flamethrower, grenades, and land mines. The guns you will use the most are most likely the shotgun – effective against bosses, the Uzi to spread a wall of bullets across the screen, and grenades for the man with the mini gun (trust me, you’re going to need them). The flamethrower is a great weapon, but it’s scarce so use wisely.
As for the presentation, the visuals are just great and True Lies contains blood, while its SNES counterpart does not. I liked the little things sprinkled around the game. For example, there are civilians that walk around or just stand in your way, and when you start shooting men reading the newspapers will jump on the ground with the newspaper on their hands. Also, when loading your gun, the magazine clicking in the gun sounds very realistic. These are just some of the neat little details that make this game really great. Most of the stages look great, and only the oil refinery looks a little bland compared to the others. The audio, while decent, is nothing to really exciting. The explosions are nicely done, and music is simple but nothing to write home about.
The controls are also good. The responses are great, and everything works pretty easy, and I have no complaints in this department. Shooters are based on dodging quickly and dispatching foes in one fluid motion, something True Lies does right. Anyone who has played their fair share in the genre should feel right at home.
Overall, I really liked True Lies. There’s a lot of shooting and exploring to be done, and there are passwords after each level so you don t have to play every stage over from scratch. So, if you’ve played through MERCS and Twinkle Tale and want a fresh, fully packed action game grab yourself a copy of this one. It was released in America and Europe and isn’t hard to find. It’s just a shame that no one really paid it much attention since it was developed near the end of the Genesis’ life span.
SCORE: 8 out of 10