Apocalypse is an impressive blend of shooting action and mild strategy with a strong element of tactical awareness. It is the sort of game you'd happily tackle with and although it's hard it keeps you coming back for more! The game was released exclusively for the Commodore Amiga computers and is one of the latest games for the OCS/ECS Amiga chipsets.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Mission Apocalypse! The island Majipoor is occupied by enemy forces talking hundreds of prisoners. Chosen among the Elite pilots you must fly into dense jungles and destroy the enemy, rescuing as may hostages as possible. Interrogations have revealed that the enemy has ground and air forces plus an array of surface to air projectiles. The hostages can be found inside enemy buildings so you must first destroy them. Note that those buildings may hold enemy troops that will instantly get out and shoot at your chopper using machine guns and deadly missile launchers. Apart from rescuing prisoners, you must also find five key enemy bases situated somewhere on the island and attempt to destroy the battleship docked secretly. A medical team is at your disposal in order to rescue any wounded prisoners. The game's story can be closely related to the Vietnam war. Your chopper is heavily armed with a machine gun as its main weapon and several (but limited) types of rockets, heat-seeking missiles and mines (which can be dropped to protect your boys on the ground). Fortunately the Army will drop ammunition for you, so you must go and pick them up during flight to refill your arsenal. Apocalypse is not just a common combat chopper shooter. You need certain strategies to complete each mission successfully. Taking certain flight paths and avoiding enemy air and ground support is the main point. You may easily pick up prisoners and return them to the US base but it is also very easy to crash on the mountains or hit by enemy fire, losing a number of available prisoners in the area. Note that each mission indicates the number of the total available prisoners and the number of rescued needed to complete a mission (much like the...Lemmings game!). The ground troops can be eliminated by firing your mounted machine gun with the chopper's nose down (much like the Wings of Fury game!). The missiles and the rockets can be used to destroy airborne enemies (other heavily armed choppers) and armored ground forces (tanks, mounted guns, rocket launchers and turrets). The game is hard but it surely keeps you coming back for more.
GRAPHICS The game has great visuals running in EHB (Extra-Half Bright) mode. That is up to 64 colors on-screen using this special effect of the Amiga hardware (32 colors + 32 same colors but half the brightness). The jungles' atmosphere is pretty authentic with dense forests, glittering waterfalls and the chirrup of insects through tropical mists. Each level has multi-directional parallax scrolling and the backgrounds change as your chopper keeps flying, giving a convincing feeling of flying over the terrain. The air forces (choppers) and ground-moving sprites (tanks, cannons, troops etc) are nicely polished and have some cool animation touches. The explosions are very impressive too.
SOUND The game's sound does the job pretty well. Every sound effect is sampled such as the rotor-blades roaring, the machine guns and missiles firing, the explosions, all combining greatly to portray an authentic war zone atmosphere. The most interesting here is the jungle ambience (chirrup of insects etc) as well as some south-Asian-war movie-like sounds that add a lot to the game's atmosphere.
In-game music sample:
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs