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Mercenary 3 - The Dion Crisis

AL Mobile

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Did you know Atari Legend is fully responsive and mobile ready? You want this site to behave like an app on your phone or tablet? Simply open the site in your favorite browser and look for the 'Add to homescreen' button. In Safari on IOS, first press the 'share' icon, than this pop up appears. In Chrome on Android, you press the button at the top right, and select 'add to homescreen'. Once you have done this, the famous Atari bee fits nicely on your homescreen and you can enjoy AL with the tap of a finger.

Written by indigo

March 9, 2005
Comments

Three dimensional gaming on an Atari machine was an altogether mediocre experience. Games like Castle Master pushed the genre to its boundaries, while other titles barely justified the use of the contemporary graphic structure. However some individuals saw the potential in a truly 3D environment, one such pioneer was Paul Woakes- creator of Mercenary.

The series introduced a fully 3D world or in later titles a star system to home gamers- a pure science fiction setting to explore. What made the series so astonishing was the ability to jump into the cockpit of a space ship and fly around the planet in a matter of seconds. While other titles at the time claimed total freedom, the Mercenary series truly delivered.

Imagine waking in a cell which to your delight is momentarily unlocked, outside an alien planet- full of wonderful cities to explore. But how do you get to them? Walking or running would take hours- luckily this culture has introduced the useful idea of public transport. Taking a taxi to the spaceport lets you take in the sights while the driver happily gives you a quick insight into the local and system-wide news. Finally arriving at your destination, you sit in the space shuttle cockpit behind the pilot and watch nervously as you blast off into space, and then you think- I did all that in the five minutes?


Graphics, Sound & Gameplay

Today the graphics look dated, yet the sense of charm and functionality of the environment and information display have not vanished, the genuine thought and initiative gone into making the series is apparent from the first time you step onto a new planet to the time when you leave it.

Sound effects cheerfully alert you to environmental situations and somehow the lack of incidental music adds much atmosphere to locations. Gameplay is straightforward and using a keyboard to move becomes instinctive, controlling a ship or car is easy at slower speeds, however loosing sight of your objective while travelling at a thousand miles per hour can be slightly alarming.

The scope of Mercenary 3 is somewhat bewildering at first and it is easy to forget that you are playing a game with a certain mission. Comparisons could be made to the Grand Theft Auto series and to be honest there are genuine parallels, while graphically both stunned audiences at their launch, Mercenary 3 genuinely feels as though you can go anywhere and do anything (and you can with the aid of a spaceship!).


Conclusion

Overall a great experience, should you stumble across the game in cyberspace be sure to download a copy and take a trip to an alien star system!






Score
  • Graphics: 7
  • Sound: 7
  • Gameplay: 8
  • Overall: 8

Review Comments

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Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

Cybernoid - The Fighting Machine

March 28, 2020 by Morcar

When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.

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