Look Out!! Aliens attack!! So what else is new?
Tyrian 2000. I can describe it in two words. Simple shooter. Despite some "improvements", nothing is at all surprising about this game.
Let's start with the story. Reading the box, playing the game, I couldn't find any plot at all. The storyline is left completely up to you, whatever your twisted mind can come up with. I've prepared an example. Pamela Anderson's breast implants (now removed) get a mind of their own. The two of them, being so admired for so long on Baywatch, hunger for the attention again, and decide to build some fantastic space machines to conquer the world.
However, no matter what you think the plot is, you save the world by pushing your way through level after level of alien ships. Not very exciting. What I would call, "tedious." Stealth Productions really went out on a limb on this one. Nothing about the game is exciting, let alone new.
So, here's the lowdown on the basics. There are over 65 levels spanning 5 episodes. There are also three separate modes of play and three different difficulty levels, just in case you want to shoot more aliens. There are over 16 other hidden modes and levels as well. In Arcade mode, you are assigned a spacecraft with the lowest form of guns and the standard shield and generator. Mowing through hundreds of easily defeated enemy vehicles, you earn new weapons, yadda, yadda, yadda. Same ol, same ol.
Every so often, you reach a boss, which is basically a bigger version of the hundreds of other little ships you have just annihilated. Defeat him, then you move on to the next level, pushing forward, your enemies getting stronger and stronger until you defeat the episode. Pretty standard as far as shooters go.
Then there is career mode. You begin with a certain amount of "money" and beef up a vehicle of your choice. At first, you are given only one choice, but as you progress and collect what are called 'data cubes,' you earn better ships. Guns you can buy range from your standard vulcan laser cannon to your mucho macho plasma cannon. There are shields of every kind, companion ships with their own set of cannons to help you out, and some rear cannon choices to shoot homing missiles and such.
You also get basic overhead shooter types of weaponry. There are over one hundred different weapons, according to the box, but alas, you will not be able to access them right away. At the outset, you are very limited. There are about 30 different weapons and accessories to choose from when you build your own ship. The box also says something about 10 pre-made ships. Who knows where those are? Overall, there is nothing really exciting to report, or really anything to report at all. The only new addition to the game that I can think of is the addition of a shield feature, which I have never seen in this type of game. What does it really do for you? Nothing. Nothing at all. Definitely doesn't raise the playability of the game.
The controls are fine. There really isn't too much to report there, either. The steering can be a little sticky at times, but nothing to get angry about. The weapons, however, can be a little annoying. They can be held down for a constant stream of fire, but require constant tapping to achieve full power. Although this seems a small thing, it gets really irritating, especially when you have about a thousand enemies to shoot down each level.
The graphics, they... well... suck. Primitive and blocky, it looks as if it was pulled straight from the old SNES console. I'm not kidding, just click here to see a full size screenshot. Are they kidding? Is that VGA? No 3D effects, no lighting to speak of, and no graphic effects that really struck me at all. I can't believe a game that looks this bad came out in the year 2000. I can't believe they dared to put the number 2000 in the title.
If Stealth had really wanted to get people to buy the game, they could have put in some sort of in-game movie, or even an intro to illustrate some sort of storyline. Possibly even better looking bosses. It's a PC game, for goodness sake - we expect some sort of graphic indulgence.
Overall, the game is supremely lacking. Really only aimed at a few, very select gamers who are stuck in the old Aero-Fighter genre of shooters, Tyrian 2000 is just a more complicated version of 1942. This genre has been basically beaten to death; everything that could be done has been done. This time, they didn't even bother to update the graphics. My recommendation: don't bother even looking at the box.