Aliens and a lot of pixel blood
Review: Project Firestart (C64)
Time for another classic game review: today it’s one of my very favorites back on the C64, the space horror action adventure Project Firestart!
It was back in July 1989 when I was reading the game review of PF in the cult and now abandoned German game magazine Power Play written by Michael Hengst, I was instantly hooked and had to buy the game!
Let me tell you that the game’s pixel blood level is very high. The story is about a research ship near Saturn that doesn’t answer anymore on the space radio. So you jump into your fashionable green lined bodysuit to be sent to the ship to look if everything is OK.
Shortly after entering the ship you will encounter the first splattered corpse which shows up in a very shocking atmospheric scene. The developers managed to get a lot of claustrophobic feel into the game design and to me this game still causes shudders on my back when I play it. It’s like this ‘you don’t know behind which corner the next alien jumps onto you’-feel!
Truly the atmosphere on the vessel with all it’s corridors and lifts and it’s complex structure is very dense! You have to run half through the ship to the terrarium support room to do something there to get on in another part of the ship! While that of course crossing a lot of mean monsters. And weaponry is very few what makes the mission a hard challenge!
The plot thickens
While the Gameplay proceeds, the plot of the story takes it’s branches. So you are going to find out that there are some survivors, a woman in Cryo sleep and a villain agent who is making things more tricky. Not to mention about a super alien breed that starts to slip from his egg soon.
You have to think actually how to get rid of that beast because it cannot be killed by usual weapons. But there are some areas on the ship to lure the creature into. You know extreme radiation or cold are not very healthy!
There are a lot of things to take care of before you can leave. I don’t want to spoil it for ya but you can’t get back, the way you came along! And will you rescue that chick in the cryo chamber or not? It’s up to you! Yes this game already offered some more non-linear plot!
Let me calm you down a bit! Until the game ended you kill the beasts, save the girl, blow up the ship and payback the villain! ….. well unless you didn’t became tripped fodder in between!
The game graphics are great for their year and the dramatic music adds a frightening mood! There are several rooms to discover on the ship, some of them which I still wasn’t able to enter because I got killed immediately … perhaps that one special room ends always up in a kill scene then?!?
One minus thing about the game to mention is the slow disk loader and the floppy DJ’ing, but then again a C64 emulator with speed-up option becomes magic!