Great comic books don't always make great video games. Scud: The Disposable Assassin, a terrific comic book from the demented mind of Rob Schrab, proves the point in spades. The futuristic story centers on Scuds, slim yellow robots sold in vending machines and designed to kill. Once a Scud kills his target, he self-destructs. Through a freak accident, one Scud realizes just how short his future is and decides to keep his now near-death target alive. To pay the hospital bills, Scud goes freelance, killing anything for anyone. Although all of this makes for a cool comic, it doesn't translate well to the Saturn.
Scud: The Disposable Assassin is a basic side-scroller, with you (and an optional friend) taking control of Scud or his sidekick, Drywall. You run around, shooting at mannequins, prison guards, dogs, Grittites (don't ask), zombies, and other weird-looking creatures. And that's it - no real strategy involved, just good old fashioned gunplay. Occasionally there are some first person shooting sequences, but they're brief and don't really break up the monotony all that much. Scud also has an interesting option where you can use a light gun (such as the Stunner) and play the entire game as a more traditional shooter. In either mode though, the gameplay lacks depth and gets old quickly. The graphics in Scud are solid, but lack real detail. Each character suffers from this lack of vision, and all look pasted onto the dull backgrounds. The full motion video is also substandard - the game's mediocre FMV cutscenes are overshadowed by horrible video quality (which could be compared to a movie that's been projected onto a glob of cottage cheese). However the music, performed by an array of indie bands, is surprisingly good, especially the theme song by Minnesota's Unbelievable Jolly Machine.
If you're a big fan of the Scud comic book, buy the game - it captures its look and feel very well. The game itself, though, is merely OK, which is too bad. Unlike a comic book, you can't just buy it for the story, toss it in a polybag, and hope it acquires collector's value one day.