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Marathon Infinity Review



Now the tools are in your hands!

In Marathon you saved the colonists from the evil Pfhor, in Marathon 2: Durandal you reawakened the ancient clans of the S'pht, now comes Marathon Infinity placing you firmly in control of your own destiny.

Marathon Infinity actually has two facets to it. It contains a twenty level scenario entitled "Blood Tides of Lh'owon," Bungie's own map editor "Forge," and the all-powerful physics tool "Anvil." Marathon Infinity is a Marathon addict's best friend. By selling us their level editor, you too can make your own Marathon world.

First, let's begin with "Blood Tides of Lh'owon," Bungie's continuation of the story line. Unfortunately, for someone who has played the earlier parts of the series, this scenario just isn't long enough. It does have some new additions to both the plot line and your arsenal.

In Marathon 2, you were under the direct control of Durandal, the rampant AI. You now have freed yourself of that obligation and left Durandal to fly around the universe in his refitted Pfhor vessel, "Boomer." Unfortunately, he's just not going to leave you alone. Tycho is back and badder then ever. You remember Tycho... one of the three surviving AI's from the original attack on the Marathon. (And you thought Doom-type games couldn't have a plot!) Now, you play ping-pong between the two dueling computers. Sometimes you're fighting for Tycho, attacking Durandal and killing the Bobs. Sometimes, you're on Durandal's side, out to protect himself and kill the Pfhor. Each level, you have different objectives, but be warned, don't anger either computer, they have no problem transporting you into the vacuum of space.

Some other new additions include one new weapon and better equipped Bobs. The Bobs are the humans that you rescued from the Pfhor slave ships. In Marathon 2, they got pistols and then got revenge. In Marathon Infinity they've got vacuum suits, plasma guns, and an attitude. When they are on your side, they are a definite boon, but watch out when you're against them; it's not a cake walk to kill these guys anymore. The big news, however, is the new weapon (dance of joy). You now get to use a fully automatic, deadly accurate Flechette gun. It shoots faster than a jackrabbit in a dog race and is a lot more accurate than your old battle rifle. Happy Hunting.

At this point you're asking, "What could be better than that?" Well, I'll tell you. Ever wanted to design your own levels? What about your own enemies or, dare I say it, weapons? The benevolent programmers of Bungie have now given you that power. The designers are letting you have the tools they used to create the Marathon universe, and leaving the ongoing saga up to you.

Forge is the map-making tool. Ever wanted the Pfhor to raid San Francisco? What about your school? Well, now you can make that dream a reality. Forge allows you to create the polygonal backgrounds seen in the Marathon series. Easy to use, the only limit to the maps you make is your imagination, and your time.

Forge is only one piece of the puzzle. While it allows you to manipulate the levels themselves, Anvil allows you to edit everything else. It allows you to edit the shapes, sounds, and physics of the environment. As you play around with it more and more, you can create new creatures, new weapons, and new sound effects. You can also edit the physics of the game. Make aliens act differently, lower their health. You can even effect shots, i.e. make a gun shoot a dead body that bounces, screams, and explodes. (I've seen it!) With Anvil and Forge, all the power is in your hands.

Kudos for Bungie on a job well done. Marathon Infinity is the last game that will be released on the Marathon engine. Bungie knew that there was still a call for more levels and more carnage, so they offered their own level editors. Once you master these tools, the adventure will never truly end.

A- Revolution report card
  • + Excellent plot.
  • + Powerful editors
  • - Doom-type doesn't appeal to everyone
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