Songbird Productions has managed, once again, to secure the code for another game that was never released. Prior examples of this wonderfulness have been seen with the Jaguar game Protector, and will (hopefully) shine again with Ultravore. But first things first: It's time for Cyber Virus!
"In the near future, the military has developed a new breed of intelligent cybernetic soldiers -- cybots for short. Enemies of the state inject the central BRAINCORE computer with the Sir.vive.X virus which sends the cybots on a deadly rampage.
"The virus spreads rapidly, wreaking havoc around the country. The BRAINCORE monitors all significant troop movements and threatens to launch nuclear warheads if the military engages the cybots.
"Your objective is to eliminate the cybot threat in the southwest region of the USA. Your superiors hope that if they send a lone commando on search and destroy missions, the cybots won't identify you as a significant threat.
"Good luck, soldier. America is counting on you."
As this game uses the BattleWheels engine, the graphics are superb. The enemies scale in and out as you move, the terrain is nicely shaded giving it a bit of detail, and there are plenty of special effects like explosions, and flashes of lightning in certain levels. The enemy animation is adequate and they appear to be made up of about six or so frames. (Big deal. Even Doom didn't have all that many frames of animation.) The in-between game graphics are nicely detailed and the cartoon scenes are a nice touch.
Sound effects are not something I typically pay much mind to. They're usually cut and pasted from other games and Cyber Virus is no exception. I have heard a few BattleWheels sound effects such as the explosions, "walking," and other sound effects. But these were excellently done in BattleWheels, so they carry over to Cyber Virus as well. In addition, Cyber Virus has some new sound effects which are very nicely done. Some of the music can become annoying fast, but I've most definitely heard worse from the Lynx.
The gameplay and powerups in Cyber Virus are nicely balanced. You will often find yourself blowing everything up with only a few munitions to spare, usually lasers. So, it's very important to conserve your ammo as much as possible. This precludes that Cyber Virus is more of a "hide and destroy" type of game and you not get very far with the "rush-in" method. (Trust me, you will face death more often if you play it Rambo-style!) Your best bet is to blast all of the enemies first and then take out the targets with no opposition. You have to be a bit more thoughtful with Cyber Virus than with other first-person perspective games.
Control is excellent and is much improved over BattleWheels. In that game you could only walk (slowly) forward or backwards and turn left or right. Cyber Virus' controls have been tweaked to allow the player to run and sidestep as desired. Both of these moves are virtually required to get through the missions and these are very welcome improvements indeed.
One thing I truly like about Cyber Virus is the huge variety! There are a total of 16 missions which will keep even the most adept gamer busy for awhile. There are several terrains, sprites, explosions, bombs, enemies, power ups, and other graphical treats in store. In addition, the radar is very useful both on the main screen and in the special screen.
My primary knock against Cyber Virus, is the moderate to high difficulty. This is not a game where you will sit down and breeze right through your first time and that may cause novice gamers shy away. (But then, who are we kidding? Novice Lynx gamers? C'mon!) Another negative to Cyber Virus is the lack of items on the radar screen. You might be asked to find object X, but without a target on the radar, you will have to hunt for it the hard way.
Even with these few negatives, Cyber Virus is a definite must-own game for the Lynx. The graphics are superb, the sound is nice, and the gameplay is satisfying. If you can look past the difficulty level you will most definitely want a copy of Cyber Virus!