Zero Five

First thoughts on Zero Five - 10/07/97

The wait is over! Zero Five is now available for the Atari Jaguar, and overall it was worth the wait. For those who may not know, Zero Five is a polygon shooter with mostly arcade-style gameplay. Here's my capsule review of the game:

  • Plenty of 256-color polygons with judiciously applied textures.
  • Crisp sound effects and voices.
  • Pixel-shatter for various explosions and transition graphics.
  • Nice FMV-styled "cut sequences" before and after the levels.
  • Lots of cool intro screens and a good options screen.
  • Control of your ship, which can turn and twist in any direction (although you can't really move in true 3D space), is difficult to master. But the real kicker is that a single press of the fire button yields only one shot. Period. Given the frantic pace of the game, you'll have your entire hand go numb before you shoot everything, and apparently it only gets harder on later levels.
  • The difficulty of the game itself is also overwhelming. Expect to spend a lot of time losing up front, although you'll eventually improve.
  • The enemies attack in pre-set patterns, which is both good and bad. The patterns help offset the high difficulty of the game, but also keep Zero Five from being more than a simple shooter.
  • There are three distinct play modes in this game: 3D ship mode, 3D turret mode (kind of like Missile Command 3D), and the trench run.

In summary, I give the game high marks. It's got some problems with the control and difficulty that may outweigh the value of the game at the higher levels, but overall it's a real treat to immerse yourself in all the extra touches placed in this unusual 3D shooter. None of the cut sequences, textures, and so on are needed, but all are appreciated. The different play modes are all enjoyable despite the high difficulty.

Jaguar polygon games ranking:

1 Battlemorph
2 Iron Soldier 2
3 Zero Five
4 Fight For Life

Jaguar shooter games ranking:

1 Tempest 2000
2 Defender 2000
3 Zero Five
4 Raiden

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Copyright © 1997 by Carl Forhan. All rights reserved.