First ImpressionsZero-G Marines

The squad-based first-person shooter offers new twists to the action genre.


Zero-G Marines

Zero-G Marines, one of many games in Strategy First's 2001 lineup, is a squad-based first-person shooter where you fight it out with humans who have been infected with a mysterious virus. As the second ranking officer of the newly formed group known as the Zero-G Marines, you must infiltrate and recapture the stations seized by the diseased humans. Before each mission, you have the opportunity to customize your exo-shell space suit with three different types of loadouts--heavy, army, and scout--and because they all have different characteristics, you have to factor the exo-shell's abilities into your overall strategy.

Perhaps one of the more interesting features of Zero-G Marines is the way in which you progress through missions. Instead of taking the traditional "go from point A to point B" approach, Zero-G Marines lets you undertake the missions in any order you want, and in some cases, completing certain missions first can drastically increase your chances for success in other missions. For example, at one point in the game, you can choose one of three paths with the main objective being to infiltrate one of the bases. You can either decide to raid a prison block to retrieve people willing to fight alongside you, or if you want to stock up on ammunition and weapons, you can attack an armory.

In the single-player mode, giving missions to your allies is incredibly easy, and fans of flight simulators will probably feel right at home. At any time in the game, you can order non-player-controlled allies on your team to attack, guard, or perform reconnaissance on the area. Of course, in the multiplayer cooperative mode, other human players take the role of these soldiers, which may or may not make completing your objectives easier. But, if you find that you're not able to work well with others, there are also deathmatch and capture the flag modes in the works.

Zero-G Marines offers a number of other noteworthy features such as realistic physics, a detailed battle-damage system, and the ability to drive vehicles. Since you're fighting in space, the exo-shells are equipped with inertia dampeners that prevent you from flying out of control whenever you fire a weapon. But it's also possible to deactivate this feature so whenever you fire a projectile weapon you move in the opposite direction. Different parts of your exo-shell can also absorb damage, so targeting specific areas is much more beneficial than just firing a barrage of bullets at your enemy. If you do enough damage to the right arm of enemy's exo-shell, they can no longer use weapons equipped on that side of their suit. Lastly, like in Tribes, you can control vehicles that help you cross areas of stations that seem otherwise impassable.

Zero-G Marines is currently scheduled for release late this year.

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