Rampage Print E-mail
Written by Layden   
Sunday, 12 September 2010 08:52

Rampage

Developer: Activision
Release date: 1988
Review machine: Amstrad CPC (128K)

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Gameplay

A lab experiment goes haywire!  Three human beings are mutated into giant monsters.  The army is despatched to deal with them.  With an old B-Movie style plot like this, what can go wrong?

Rampage offers mindless carnage for up to three players, with each player assuming the role of one of the monsters.  The game takes place over a series of street levels.  Each level has a number of buildings which have to be flattened to the ground by the monsters.  While they are working on the buildings, they have to contend with a constant barrage of attacks from the army.  These have to be destroyed (or eaten!) by the monsters or they will deplete the monster's energy.

Occasionally, innocent people and food appear in the windows.  These can be eaten to gain extra points.  Players controlling the monsters can also decide to work together or fight each other.  The choice is theirs.  Once a monster's energy is depleted, it will revert back to its human state and it is then game over.


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Graphics and audio

The presentation screens in Rampage are nicely drawn.  The in-game graphics are less impressive.  The buildings are blandly drawn and there is little variation in their design or colour.  The levels all look the same.  The monster themselves are a different story entirely.  They look very smart and are brilliantly animated.  The way they scurry around and munch on victims is very funny indeed.

The sound is dire.  Sparse and basic sound effects are complimented by "a piece of music".  Yes, the music will drive you insane.


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Conclusions

Rampage is a decent conversion of a quirky coin-op.  The gameplay on offer is fairly refreshing when compared to the standard shooters and platformers of the day.  There's a gamplay fault in this conversion (and others too) where eating food and humans does not add energy to the monsters.  This makes progress through the game harder, but fortunately does not harm things too much.  The game is fine in one player mode, but it's more of a party game.  Much more fun is on offer if played in multiplayer.

Scorecard

Other formats

Rampage is based on a Bally Midway coin-op released in 1986.  The game was converted to just about every 8 and 16-bit system around at the time, most of which received a decent conversion.  The coin-op is obviously the one to play but, for the most part, the CPC version is as good as any of the other conversions.

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