Virgin – Messiah review

Photo of Virgin – Messiah
£35

Hi my name is Bob. I still wear a nappy despite being very, very old – in fact I’m immortal – and I sound like a whiny, spoilt brat. And it’s my job to save your planet. Lord help you all.

Such is the fate of the Earth in yet another dismal far future scenario. A madman called Prime has found his way into power and is ruining the world, sacrificing the inhabitants to his wicked schemes, ruling with an iron fist, and leaving the toilet seat up after he has used it. Never has such a foul being polluted the Earth’s atmosphere with its rancid breath, with the possible exception of… hmm, better not.

And it’s Bob’s job to sort this mess out; no doubt he’ll expect a shiny five pence piece in return too. Cast in the role of Bob, the intrepid player must use the wily angel’s powers to solve the various problems this 3D action adventure game throws at him from all angles.

As Bob is a tiny child-like cherub of an angel, he’s pretty weedy physically, and only has two real powers of note. Obviously, he can fly a little with his stumpy wings. The ace up Bob’s sleeve, however, is his ability to possess biological beings.

Certain areas of the futuristic city you start in can only be accessed by certain individuals; cops can get into policed areas, radiation workers into hazardous waste sites, and so on. There’s an ongoing story in the city too, as the police are cordoning off areas while sewer-dwelling mutants invade the outskirts.

So whoever you are possessing will determine whether you can get into certain areas, and indeed whether you will be attacked or not at various points in the game. A good portion of blasting is included – this adventure is not light on the action and there’s plenty of meaty weaponry from bazookas to railguns.

There’s a host of puzzles too, some more conventional adventure material, although many of them involve body swapping antics, as this is a central tenet of the gameplay. You’ll find some platform leaping action in here too, some of which can be a tad frustrating!

While the plot of Messiah is very well crafted, it is also extremely linear, and if there’s one weak facet to the game it’s this channelled nature, coupled with the fact that there’s only the single player game, no multiplayer options or trimmings. Having said that, what’s here is fantastic, and it looks breathtaking too, particularly on a fast system on which you can really crank up the details. Also top notch are the sound effects and musical score.

Company: Virgin


Verdict
Messiah is a thoroughly absorbing action adventure, with the very novel idea of body snatching as its central theme. Graphically and sonically it's up there with the best, and the only downside to the experience is the linearity of the adventure.