X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse Review

Fans of the X-Men comics series might very well enjoy this game. But if you are just looking to prolong the life of that Quake file sitting on your hard drive, your money could be better spent.

X-Men: The Ravages of the Apocalypse is a Quake Total Conversion developed by Zero Gravity Entertainment. As might be surmised from its name, the game is based on Marvel Comics' popular X-Men series.

The setting of X-Men begins with Earth having been ravaged by war for years by something (or someone) called Onslaught. While defending the Earth, such stalwart characters as the Fantastic Four and the Avengers have perished along with countless human defenders. The remaining X-Men are down on their luck and regrouping to fight again someday. In the power vacuum left after this great struggle, the nefarious Apocalypse, with the aid of a Mystery Ally, has created an evil army of cloned X-Men warriors to fulfill his quest to rule the world. Your character is a minion of Magneto, a rival of and potential foil to Apocalypse in his goal of world domination. Your job is to kill Apocalypse and then find his ally.

Although the background of X-Men: The Ravages of the Apocalypse is as fanciful and fun as any good comic book yarn, that does not mean it translates well in good gameplay. The Quake engine gives X-Men a familiar feel in movement and sound, but I found that it fell short in providing the immersive atmosphere that Quake is renowned for. Surprisingly, when running X-Men in GL, it moves slowly at times and the characters lack the fluid motion of those in Quake. The level designs range from bland to fairly detailed, although the pastel colors are quite unappealing.

Another drawback is that the game is actually hard to play. After selecting the "easy" skill thinking I would be in for a turkey shoot, I found that the weapons provided were not adequate enough to kill the enemies and still retain enough health points to survive an encounter with the next group of mutants. For the most part, the weapons are clumsy, and if you're not careful, they will do a better job killing you than the bad guys. Weapons included are the power fist, shotgun, chain gun, plasma cannon, flamethrower, orb launcher (grenade launcher), dual rocket launcher, and the Nuclear Energy Radiation Launcher or NERD for short, which is something akin to a BFG.

One example of a poor weapon design is the shotgun. It fires two shells in rapid succession, pauses, and then resumes firing. The timing was a pain to adjust to and it took as many as four to eight shots to kill a single opponent. Also, the shotgun and chain gun use the same ammunition, so if you get too overzealous trying to cut down your enemy with one, it renders the other one useless. The chain gun was also annoying because it paused after short bursts of fire. As the gun heats up, the pauses increase in duration, which makes effective strafing impossible.

To the game's credit, the objective is not only to kill off the cloned X-Men, but also to destroy the components of their creation: A supercomputer and a cloning lab are among them. In your quest to defeat Apocalypse you must also assemble a weapon composed of several hidden pieces. Each level contains one hidden component, which must be collected before you advance to the next level. You cannot defeat Apocalypse without the final assembly of this weapon.

The manual suggests playing X-Men: The Ravages of the Apocalypse on a system with at least a 75MHz floating point processor, 16MB Ram, 2x CD-ROM, 100MB of available disk space, and a Sound Blaster or compatible sound card. It supports both joystick or mouse input (three-button mouse recommended). The game also supports multiplayer modes with modem, network, and IP (Internet). Also, the full registered version of Quake must be installed on the system for X-Men to run and 80MB of hard disk space is required.

Fans of the X-Men comics series might very well enjoy this game. But if you are just looking to prolong the life of that Quake file sitting on your hard drive, your money would be better spent on one of the many excellent Quake add-ons, such as Scourge of Armagon or Dissolution of Eternity.

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X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse More Info

  • First Released Nov 30, 1997
    • Amiga
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    Average Rating34 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    WizardWorks, Zero Gravity Entertainment
    Published by:
    Alive, MacSoft, WizardWorks
    First-Person, Shooter, 3D, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Animated Blood and Gore, Animated Violence