Review: Lock 'n Load
“Multiple aliens ahead… let none survive”… “Target! Target!”, the aliens scream and you wheel around blasting as you go. Two monsters take multiple shots and die a horrible death… you stagger on, bleeding, searching desperately for a first aid pack to keep yourself going.
You get the idea. This is a classic first person perspective shoot-em-up, similar to the original Doom but scaled down significantly for the handheld. For example, the aliens are fairly stupid (OK, so they were stupid in Doom, too) and the labyrinthine corridors somewhat monotonous (even when you get ‘outside’, starting at level 5 (of 10).
The levels start out very easy - an experienced gamer will take only 15 minutes to complete the first three. Thereafter, it’s a much harder and bloodier affair and you have to be very quick on the Jog-Dial to out-shoot the bad guys.
Control is, unusually, via on-screen movement icons (not shown here), but you do get used to these very quickly and the gameplay throughout seems quite well thought out. Even hardened Quake veterans should take a good few hours to work their way through the mazes, given that every time you die you have to start from the beginning of that level all over again.
The folks at Synergenix have really mastered the art of top 3D game performance under UIQ - the frame rate and animations in Lock ‘n Load are first rate and the sound effects (and vibration) are atmospheric. Its memory needs are modest (700K) and you can resume where you left off, if interrupted. And, best of all, for those with a poor memory like me, there’s a good auto-map facility. So, if you get really stuck, you can cheat by referring to the map.
The ‘Rise of War’ subtitle implies that extra mission packs will be on their way, hopefully including more varied environments and I, personally, can’t wait… This is a bargain at $13 and definitely something to show your friends, as long as you don’t mind them wearing out your Jog-Dial…
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at