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Walker

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Released: 1993

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Psygnosis

Developer: DMA Design

Submitted by: Clarance Frank

Walker is a sideways scrolling shooter with a unique control system. You controller your Walker (reminiscent of the AT-ST from the Star Wars universe) with the Z & X keys for left and right movement and the mouse to control the firing cross-hair, right button to lock on target, left to fire. This unusual control system does work very well, although it does tend to make the fingers hurt after a while (old age maybe?).

There are four scenarios to fight through, (Berlin 1944, Los Angeles 2019, Middle East present day, The Great War 2420) and one of the most convoluted storylines, in way of explanation for this, that I have ever come across (something about time wars, time gates and time-travel enigmas (?)). Anyway ignore all that: -‘if it moves shoot’ it would have saved three pages of tosh in the manual.

The animation of the graphics is very good, especially the Walker which has particularly nice articulation of its head as itseeks out enemy. Enemy vehicles are also nicely drawn and animated, and there are many different types, each in the style of its particular time zone. At the end of each zone a themed boss emerges. Blast the boss lots and in different places and the boss will die…

The game hangs together very well, and its fun for the first level or so. However after a while it becomes rather repetitive (and rather difficult!), and while the opposition vehicles are many and varied it’s always the case of just locking onto the target and firing. And with no power-ups or bonuses in the game there is little motivation to continue further through – the game just starts to become a little tiresome. This isn’t helped by the rather clumsy save point system, where the player is placed back to a previous point in the level upon loosing a life.

Walker’s certainly unlike most shoot-em–ups, and is noteworthy in its attempt to try something a little different; it just doesn’t quite pull it off. Good for a quick blast, and very novel at first, but ultimately there’s little long term playability.