PC REVIEW: PSYCHOTOXIC

What is missing from PsychoToxic is soul. It's not a unique game by any standards. It's a regular shooter with average graphics and sounds. It mixes the reality of a FPS with supernatural forces that feel more like power-ups than anything else. It's so unmemorable it fails to leave a lasting impression. When everything is said and done you'll likely forget you even played this game.

PsychoToxic is not bad but it's like fast food. It will satisfy but it doesn't nourish. If you're looking for depth you better look elsewhere. Many of the levels are linear and the AI is always gunning for you. Virtually everyone you encounter is an enemy so you can shoot at anything that moves. Enemies can be easily killed with the assault rifle. It's a little too forgiving, not to mention that you can tag a body part like a hand or foot and it will be considered a kill.

Angie Prophet is the heroine. She's a gun-toting savior chosen to protect the world against nuclear Armageddon. Events take place in New York City in the year 2022. Since this is a first-person shooter we don't get too see much of Angie except in cutscenes. It would be nice to be able to change to third-person so we could see her butt once in a while instead of the butt of gun. Is that a sexist comment? I would think it was more along the lines of discrimination because I really don't want to look at a guy's ass.

Angie has some interesting supernatural powers which allows her to become invisible, heal herself, slow down time and invade peoples' dreams. These dream stages are the most interesting and should have been the prime focus of the game. With cartoon and nightmarish worlds you have more freedom than in the "real" world where you are forced down linear paths. You can't even open most doors or shoot out windows to gain access to other rooms. It feels like you're trapped in a painting. Some things are destructible but only the most obvious of items. Getting into these dream worlds is the only time you'll have any real sense of freedom. There is a park in which you can explore in the "real" world but it's so big and repetitive that it takes too long to locate the enemy and you don't appreciate the scenery in the meantime.

Although we are well aware of Angie's situation we don't bond with her emotionally. We don't know enough about her. We're unsure of her motivation which doesn't gel with her background. The developers could have run with this and make her character very complex. Instead she comes off a female Rambo. The storyline is befuddling and so loaded with filler that it's difficult to figure out. If it's any consolation the story is not important to the gameplay - I just with it was.

All of the production values are average. There are no major bugs or problems other than some blocky graphics and stiff animation. The game looks like it's about 10 years old; as though it was sitting on a shelf in the back of a warehouse all this time. I would only recommend it for beginners with little expectation.

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System: PC
Dev: NuClear Vision
Pub: Whiptail Interactive
Release: March 2005
Players: 1
Review by Fenix
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
2.5
CONTROL
3.0
MUSIC/FX
2.5
VALUE
1.0