Daikatana: It’s been four years in the making and comes from John Romero, the man responsible for the likes of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Heretic and Hexen, so it can’t fail to impress. Right? Wrong!
I had such high hopes for this too, since I loved most of the above (could never get into Heretic and its followups as I just wanted to blast away. I gave up spell-casting when I finished Dungeon Master on the Atari ST), but I’ll try to remain balanced.
First off, there’s a crap storyline about two warring groups, one of whom hires a guy to make the best sword in the world …ever, a Daikatana. (I’m saving mention of the Japanese names because it just looks like someone’s had an accident with a Scrabble bag.) But, D’oh!, they should’ve just got Homer Simpson to create it because he then goes and gives the new weapon to the enemy.
The storyline seems like worthless guff because it’s just another first-person-shooter, this time set in four different time periods and locations of Japan, Greece, Norway and San Franscisco and that’s all you need to know at this point.
Graphics, Sound and Playability
Well, the graphics look reasonable – on the box. It appears no different to anything that’s gone before – for a 1996 game – and has since been superceeded immensely by the excellent likes of Unreal and Half Life. As a result, Daikatana looks rather stilted in comparison.
A few echoey sounds reflecting your location and the sonic effects of dragonflies buzzing in my ear and frogs burping at my feet were all I managed to attain because I couldn’t even get off the first level it was that hard – even in the ‘easy’ mode. I’ll just give this bit 1/5 because I could hear something.
Playability: None. As it is, it’s way too hard to be able to even get into the game. Couple this with having to find ‘save gems’ in order to save your game, which is what annoyed a lot of people with the initial games of Tomb Raider on the Playstation while PC owners could save wherever they liked and didn’t have to go back to specific locations.
I tried the cheats I found on a number of websites, activating the console – which did work – and then typing in ‘god’, etc. and all the other usual cheats, but none of them worked. I’d like to have used them just to get off the first level!
On top of all this, it was a pain when I went to save a game or altering some options and to find that pressing ESC didn’t take me back to the game. May seem like a trivial thing but every other game like this that I’ve played has allowed this and it means that when you go back to the game, you can have your fingers poised over the keyboard ready, with the spare finger used for hitting ESC. Now, I’m likely to get killed as I reposition my fingers when having to use the mouse to click “RESUME”.
Can it get worse? Yes, as I’ve been saving the worst till last. In similar fashion to Unreal, which was that game’s only bug-bear with me, everthing stops instantly as you pass certain checkpoints and the PC needs to load in the next part of the game! When once there was action, noise and movement, now there is just silence and stopping.
What makes this even worse is that if you get to the next part of the level and something comes at you, it’s likely to make you step backwards to take a better aim, but don’t step back too far otherwise… yes, it’ll load in the previous part of the bloody level again!
I could try this game again, but it’s just so damn frustrating. In fact, I got so bored with the whole thing, I broke off to do the housework!
- Publisher: Eidos Interactive
- Players: 1
- System requirements: Windows 95/98, Pentium II 233 Mhz (PII 300 Mhz recommended)
SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.