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 Fade to Black

Developer - Delphine
Publisher - Electronic Arts
Players - 1
Extras - Memory card

The bit on the box

"Spend an eternity rotting in a prison cell or grab a gun and fight your way out, destroying the Morph empire on your way. Hidden equipment, secret doors and maze like levels make sure you don't have it all your own way. Stunning 3D graphics for unlimited camera angles. Advanced shading, texturing and motion capture on characters. Atmospheric sound and effects using the power of the PlayStation."


Long before Tomb Raider came to existence this game by Delphine Software was one of the first if not the first free flowing 3D action adventure. The graphics are not overly detailed but everything runs smoothly with no slowdown, and the camera angles are very good, including the shooting stance that zooms in so you can target enemies easier. Delphine have an excellent reputation for their past titles having superior animation, and Fade to Black is no exception. Conrad appears motion captured and the enemies all move fluidly making up for their overall lack of detail. The main problem with the animation is that you can be caught out in battle as Conrad has to finish an animation before doing any other moves (a similar flaw to many of the motion captured soccer games available).


Fade to Black opts to use mostly incidental music and sound effects that take place when something triggers (such as an enemy attacking or an alarm going off). Coming from the makers of such cinematic masterpieces as Another World and Flashback the atmosphere in the game is superb, building both tension and action in various ways with the use of sound. The music is also used to warn of impending dangers (similar to the style that Tomb Raider uses) and this can really make the player apprehensive about what may be waiting for Conrad around the next corner, causing you to tread carefully and not go running headlong into danger and losing your life too easily.


Even though Fade to Black is a very difficult game, the player can save anywhere and therefore it feels more like an adventure than an action game, and with as many levels as this game has it may take some time to complete. Combat is pretty straight forward, though sometimes having to stop to target something all the time can get you into a tight spot, especially against multiple enemies. As well as the exploration and shooting going on there are also many puzzles to complete, ranging from easy to tricky at best, rounding the game off nicely. The game is slightly tarnished however with flying stages that don't seem to really fit with the rest of the game, and mainly act as fill-ins to make the game slighter larger and more varied.

I feel a verdict coming on

It's a shame we don't see more games from Delphine these days as they do have a good reputation for high quality games. Fade to Black falls into this category and with the controls now converted to the PlayStation controller (as opposed to the PC version using keyboard) the game is just that much more fun to play. Perhaps there could have been a few more cut-scenes (I know i'm being greedy as there is plenty of CG scenes thoughout, but the ones that are on offer are so good I can't help but want more) and the flying levels could have been better (or left out altogether), but overall the game's size and playability make up for any misgivings. This is definitely not a rental title unless you don't care about not finishing a game, and at it's lower Platinum price it's a bargain.

Review by D.R.T.Barrett