|Publisher: MacPlay Genre: Action|
|Min OS X: Not Supported CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 650 MB 2x CD-ROM|
When it comes to heroes, I like mine reluctant. You know, the brooding, Byronic Hero type who does their job well, but has an aversion to the whole affair. They recognize their ‘hero’ qualities as a curse, and only use their skills when they have no other options.
In pop culture this sort of anti-hero was summed up best for me in the film Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford’s character Rick Deckard reluctantly takes up the task of finding and ‘retiring’ the renegade replicants.
Recently, a variation of this hero-type was brought to the Mac gaming world with Deus Ex (I know, I know this is a SIN Gold review – I’m getting there), where unknowing agent J.C. Denton, due to situations beyond his control, finds himself questioning his loyalties. In that game, where the line between right and wrong is sometimes ambiguous, a gamer can easily adopt the role of reluctant hero.
I enjoyed Deus Ex immensely for that aspect alone. It was cerebral, and yet still full of action and suspense. In fact, so unwavering was my fixation with Deus Ex that while I was making my way through the game I was worried that my girlfriend would soon become the new ‘ex’ in my life.
When I heard that I would be reviewing MacPlay’s PC-ported, Quake 2-based, first-person shooter SIN Gold, a game which was often mentioned in the same breath as Deus Ex by other gamers, I was excited….
…and a little wary.
The GameSIN carries a reputation in the gaming world as being a bit extreme in its use of over-the-top violence and gore. And it looked to me (just from examining the eyebrow-raising cover of super villainess Elexis Sinclaire) as though SIN developers Ritual Development had taken the low road to the hearts (so to speak) of gamers.
Opening the game for the first time, it appeared as though my concerns were well founded. You see, the flip side to the reluctant anti-hero is the gung-ho, ass-kicking hero. The trigger-happy, Rambo super hero that appeals to adolescent males of all ages.
Well, in SIN, that’s exactly what kind of character you get to be.
His name is Colonel John Blade and introduction to him comes in the form of the game’s 80-page booklet, half of which is Blade’s journal and scrapbook.
Blade is a member of HardCorps, a quasi-military security organization that beats up the unlawful types in the wild and wooly city of Freeport in the 2030’s. He's big and muscular, likes girls and guns, and perhaps girls with guns - you know the type. As a law enforcer he also has concerns about the odd things that are occurring in the streets of Freeport, as he spells out in his journal: "I swear, it's not even midnight yet and already the city's gone to shit."
Aside from the rampant crime in Freeport, much of which is caused by the abuse of the street drug known as U4, there is also a corporation making the news in 2036 - SinTEK.
Essentially the Microsoft of the 2030's, the incredibly powerful SinTEK is also known for its CEO, Elexis Sinclaire - the malformed creature on the cover of the SIN Gold box.
My own view on the questionable taste of the game’s designers becomes irrelevant here because Mr. Blade seems to like her. In his journal beside her circled picture he writes: "Lookin' mighty fine! God, I need to get laid." Hmmm.
Such is the essence of SIN. If you like to ponder over the finer things in life then you might find SIN somewhat tasteless. However, if you get your kicks out of watching people’s body parts splatter all over the room – then you’ll love Sin.
Personally, I prefer my games to be a little more subtle. However, as it turns out, I really enjoyed this game.