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Zeitgeist (zeitgeist: laser fighter) (pc game)
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  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.

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Poor excuse for a blaster

Sci-fi junkies in need of a shooting fix might be tempted to check out this intriguingly titled and somewhat obscure game but would be well advised to give it a wide berth. It's a sort of on-rails blaster, a bit like Panzer Dragoon or Chaos Control, which sees players hurtling through space on a fairly vague mission, but which basically involves blowing the living daylights out of everything which stands in your way. There are a number of quite diverse levels to enjoy, from the depths of space to the interiors of massive space stations and even planets themselves. The range of enemies on display is quite diverse, with some imaginatively designed aliens, while there are also the obligatory boss battles and mother ships to take down. Zeitgeist isn't quite a pure on-rails shooter, as it allows some limited movement, but it's close enough. There are a couple of different weapons to play around with and while the choice is disappointingly slim, the game does commit a cardinal sin of not including any power-ups or upgrades, which in a shooter is a definite strike. Unfortunately, it's not the mistake the game makes. The graphics are decent enough, but the inclusion of some terrible FMV sequences loses some marks, while the ear-shattering sound effects lose a few more. At least the sound can be turned down but there is a bigger problem which cannot be ignored so easily. The controls are so sloppy as to make the game nearly unplayable, with collision detection that is equally as imprecise, so when you add all the negatives together you end up with a game that is definitely worth skipping.

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