I'm a mutant. He's a mutant. Wouldn't you like to be a mutant too?
Jail. That's where you are. Spending the rest of your life rotting away in an 8x10 cell. However, some nutball gets it in his head to start experimenting on inmates. He discovers a plague that brings out the worst in humans, code-named Abuse. Unfortunately, the plague is released, and everyone in the jail is infected. People begin to transform into misshapen creatures bent on the destruction of everything. Only you, it appears, are immune to Abuse. After finding a discarded battle suit, you prepare yourself for some death and destruction as you attempt to save the world from this genetic nightmare. Just another day in video game land.
Bungie and Crack Dot Com have teamed together to bring the hit Abuseto the Macintosh. Of course, the Mac version is a little more refined than its PC predecessor, but that is to be expected because it came out a little later.
The graphics for the Mac version of Abuse have been improved. With smooth movement and sharp characters, this game is pretty fun to watch. My only complaint on a graphics standpoint would be that the common beasties look way too much like the things from Aliens (I'm talking about the big things, not the face huggers.).
The control of Abuse is one of the easiest and smoothest I have ever encountered. You use the keyboard to move your character around, but use the mouse to aim and fire. This allows you to shoot while running away (a tactic I hold dear.). It's at this point where old Mac users are screaming, "That's not new, why I used that interface with Dark Castle!" While this interface was seen on the original (I'm talking B&W, little boxes.) Macintoshes with the release of Dark Castle, it is now smoother and faster then ever before.
The sound does a good job of spooking you in this game. You can hear the aliens before actually seeing them. This leads to some very tense moments when you know that about eighteen mutants are ready to pounce on you, but you don't know from which direction. Very well done, indeed.
While Abuse is just a "kill all that you can see" game, it does contain a lot of secrets and tricks. Many walls can be destroyed to uncover secret weapons stashes. Also, because you are in a jail, you can use many of the jails defenses against the beasties. Time it right, and you can eliminate an entire group of mutants with the flip of a switch. I bet Rambo never thought of that! (Though he could do that lip thing, so Iguess we're even.)
Bungie's most recent craze seems to be releasing level editors with their new games. They did it with Marathon Infinity and they didn't want Abuse to be left out. Build your own maps, and challenge your friends to beat the mutant hordes. As with any game that is released nowadays, you can also network Abuse and kill your friends instead of your enemies. You can also use the map editor to tell you where the traps are on any level where you get stuck, but that's cheating.
All in all, Abuse is a game of sheer carnage. If you thoughtDoom was violent, you ain't seen nothing yet. It is a refreshing change to see a side scrolling bloodbath, in the spirit of Contra. If you want a game that saves on the brain power and is a lot of fun, go with Abuse.