Why was this game rated so poorly? Oh, Jeff Gerstman, that explains it all.
movie floating around the net from developer Scavenger. The last game
demoed on that movie file is by the Lemon team, which also made A.M.O.K.
on Saturn. The graphics of that last game demoed and A.M.O.K. are very
similar, and the soundtrack of both the game and the promotional movie
are also very similar. As for the game itself, if it had made it out in
time for the 32X, it would have been the equivalent of the US
"Darkside". Texture mapping and smooth animation that'd make the
Playstation scream, this game was definitely lost in the shuffle even on
Saturn. The framerate is always rock solid, and with the amount of scaling weapons fire and enemies in this game, that is a feat.
When you move your mech close to the mountains they appear
lit but not textured in places, Scavenger (the developer) was
always good at using unique techniques to attain a smooth look, even on
the Genesis (Subterrania, Red Zone). The ground is textured, and since
it started on the 32X it must be polygonal grounds rather than a 2D background scaling. In addition to that there are voxel objects, 3D objects such as guns and enemy tanks and vehicles, and 2D bitmaps such as trees, mines, and foot soldiers. The combination is gives a very smooth and detailed look rarely seen in the 32-bit generation.
Gameplay wise, the game plays more like Mech Assault (Xbox) than Gun Griffon or Mech Warrior (Saturn), and that's only about six years before Mech Assault was released. The levels are missions, typical for the day but adequately detailed, seek and destroy, defend the transport, etc. Rather than limit yourself to only two Saturn mech based games, A.M.O.K. is a unique take on the genre that has not actually been surpassed in another game for this generation of systems. It is more than worth looking up, and was when it was released as well.