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Stylish but unsatisfying shooter

Hellraider is a fairly poor little shoot 'em up that boasts some stylish visuals and some reasonable blasting thrills but which fail to combine into a fun game. It's not exactly brimming with originality, mixing as it does elements of shooters and platformers like Gauntlet, Boulderdash and Starquake, and is sadly less than interesting stuff, making it barely worth checking out. The player takes on the role of the commander of the HMS Raider, a sort of mining ship with privateer-like tendencies and it's up to you to explore the fiery world of Hell, collecting any treasures that you can find while taking out the bad guys who are trying to stop you stealing their precious resources. The Raider is capable of collecting diamonds, which form the majority of the treasure, but you also have access to four Orbitals, which are actually used to explore and destroy your enemies. The Raider is usually controlled by the computer but you can bring in a second player if you have one, making this an unusual but sadly less than compelling co-op game where team work is absolutely vital for success. While Hellraider could have been an enjoyable twist on a familiar genre, it sadly gets pretty much everything wrong. It starts out well enough, with the distinctive graphics lending the game some personality but once you get rolling, it all goes downhill. The action is fun to start with but it soon becomes apparent that there's little of interest going on and it all gets repetitive and boring very quickly. Couple this with the poor controls and sound and you're left with a distinctly forgettable overhead shooter that is easily passed over in favour of Alien Breed.

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