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Standard blasting fare
Followers of classic shooters like Gauntlet and Alien Breed might be tempted to check out Universal Warrior, sharing as it does the high octane, top-down gameplay of these titles. However, to do so would be a fairly substantial mistake, as unfortunately, Universal Warrior is almost entirely lacking in the qualities which make these games the entertaining rides that they are. The game gets off to a decent start with some nicely atmospheric visuals and presentation which set up the futuristic world quite well and hopes are high as you get into the game properly. It all starts out with some straightforward equipment management, which although you can't do much to start with, as you earn cash by completing levels, you'll be able to improve your robot's fighting strength. Speaking of which, the main game finds you in control of a sort of remote controlled robot which must make its way through a series of mazes blasting away at mechanical beasties and racking up the cash. In addition to upgrades, you may also have to invest in repairs so drive carefully if you want to spend the money on the fun stuff. There are a few options which add to the appeal, including two player hot seat and cooperative modes and these are the best ways to play if you really must, with the single player version getting old quite quickly. Universal Warrior is not a complete dud and if you're looking for some undemanding blasting thrills, it'll keep you entertained for a short while, thanks to its decent level design and pleasant, if unspectacular, visuals. However, it lacks the charm and intensity of Gauntlet 2 or even Alien Syndrome, so if you're after some truly top notch top-down action, check out the classics first.