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Action packed but simplistic
Lovers of the likes of Trantor, Turrican and Contra might be tempted to check out After the War, a little known scrolling shooter/fighter that packs a whole heap of action into its short running time but which sadly falls short of these classics. The game takes place in a grim, post-apocalyptic future, which seems to have been ravaged by nuclear war and charges players with exploring a city which bears a certain resemblance to New York, beating up and blasting the various denizens which lurk within. There are two distinct parts to the game but they don't differ greatly in terms of action, with the second part merely adding in a weapon to bring some variety to the fighting action. It's all pretty simplistic stuff, with the player required to do little more than plod along, occasionally stabbing away at the fire button to take down the hordes of enemies which constantly swarm you and while it is mindlessly enjoyable for a short while, the entertainment value soon fades and you're left with little more than an old-school button basher. Visually however, After the War scores some fairly serious points as for its time, the graphics are pretty impressive. The sprites are massive and chunky with a good deal of personality to them, while the backdrops and environments are highly detailed and extremely evocative, doing a great job of creating a post-apocalyptic atmosphere so if you're a bit of a graphics hound, there's much to enjoy here. Beyond this however, After the War offers little that hasn't been done better elsewhere so unless you really love this kind of thing, it's a less than vital play.