Interactive Magic – Mortyr 2093-1944 review

Photo of Interactive Magic – Mortyr 2093-1944
£40

The game that kick-started the 3D gaming revolution in the early nineties was Wolfenstein 3D, a highly popular title that saw the player attempting to escape from and destroy Castle Wolfenstein, where all sorts of weird experiments were going on. With enemies that included soldiers, dogs, zombies and mutant humans, Wolfenstein 3D was great fun and is still enjoyable to play today. The game was not approved of in Germany – not because of its subject matter, but because games that involve killing dogs or other animals are generally frowned upon there.

Mortyr 2093-1944 is essentially Wolfenstein 3D brought up to date. Although developed by a completely different team of programmers, this game has a similar theme – it’s you against the Nazi hordes. This time around, though, the story is a little different. From a future (2093) in which Germany won the Second World War, you are sent back to 1944 in an attempt to change history. To do this, you have to (of course) kill a lot of people, but there are also puzzles to be solved. The 20 levels take you through numerous locations, with locked doors, hidden passages, puzzles and power-ups, until you eventually make the trip back to the future to finish off the job.

What makes Mortyr so unique, apart from its reliance on human opponents rather than aliens, zombies or other monsters, is that its proprietary 3D game engine and artificial intelligence are grittily realistic. Shoot a wall and you’ll see sparks. Shoot a soldier and you’ll see blood. Fail to kill him and he’ll run off for reinforcements, or attempt to pick you off from behind a barrel. Your weapons include a knife, a Luger pistol and an anti-tank device, along with several more interesting devices for the levels set in the future.

Rats, birds, snow, rain and strange noises all add to the atmosphere of doom and foreboding in Mortyr – this is certainly not a light-hearted game. You don’t get much warning of approaching soldiers, either, which makes for a jittery playing experience. Perhaps that’s partly what sets it apart from other 3D action games: it’s one of the few that can genuinely make you feel nervous and apprehensive – perhaps even scared – as you progress through its huge levels.

Company: Interactive Magic


Verdict
Not exactly reeking of political correctness, Mortyr is unlikely to please those eager to forget about the Second World War. The fact that the game was created by a team of Polish developers probably adds fuel to the fire. But if you look beyond such matters, Mortyr is an excellent game. It looks real, the NPCs have excellent artificial intelligence, the levels are highly atmospheric and the weaponry is intensely satisfying. It's a Wolfenstein for 1999, and there's no higher praise than that.