Martian Gothic: Unification
|Martian Gothic: Unification|
|Developer(s)||Creative Reality (PC)
Coyote Developments (PSX)
Take-Two Interactive (PSX)
|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
Martian Gothic: Unification (a.k.a. Martian Gothic) is a survival horror video game for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation. It was developed by Creative Reality for Microsoft Windows and Coyote Developments for the PlayStation, and published by TalonSoft for Microsoft Windows and Take-Two Interactive for the PlayStation. Programmers Neil Dodwell and Martin Wong, designer Stephen Marley, animator David Dew, modelers Julian Holtom and Paul Oglesby, and music & sound effects by Jeremy Taylor. The PlayStation version was one of a number of "budget titles" released near the end of the system's lifespan.
A unique feature of this game is that if any of the characters meet face-to-face, the bacteria that has infected them draw all three characters into a 'Trimorph,' at which point the game is lost. Because the characters cannot meet face-to-face, they can trade items using a system of "Vac Tubes," which can transport 4 items to other Vac Tubes at a time. Also, when the player needs to leave an item behind, she/he may do so by leaving the relevant item into various hatches, which can hold up to 4-6 items. Using the hatches may leave the player confused about where she/he left the item, but the player can use any in-game computer to bring up a list of the contents of every hatch, including ones that have not been accessed yet. In order for the character to unravel the events before their arrival, they may search dead bodies for letters or micro-recorders which may contain information about the character, plot, passwords, and the method in which they might have died. Many recordings have been stored on some of the base's computers, which also contain information about the person or the storyline, to provide information that can further the player's progress through the game setting.
In terms of player control, Martian Gothic is very similar to the early Resident Evil game titles: the Vac Tubes function the same way as Item Boxes, and the control of the characters and the camera angles are almost identical (often called the 'Character Turret' or 'Tank' system of control).
In Martian Gothic, the player is able to assume the roles of three characters sent from Earth to a Martian base called Vita 1 to examine why it has been silent for 10 months, after a base member broadcasts a final message of "Stay alone, stay alive." Upon arrival the player finds that all the residents are apparently dead and must gradually uncover the secrets and nature the last undertaking by Vita 1's crew; the discovery of ancient Martian "Pandora's Box" which, when opened, started a chain of chaotic events that led to the base's downfall, and death of almost all of its inhabitants. However, during the player's progress of uncovering the truth, searching for any possible survivors, and solving Vita 1's many mounting problems, the player finds that the dead crew have become re-animated like zombies who wish to feast upon the team of three's flesh.
The Vita 1 base was constructed in 2009 by the Allenby Corporation, implied to be Earth's most powerful megacorporation, to research potential alien life from microfossils on Mars, after discovering in 1996 that a Martian meteorite found in 1984 contains ancient bacteria which had crashed in Antarctica in 11,000 BC. Vita 1 is situated very close to Olympus Mons which can be partially visited by the player upon access to the underground "Necropolis" zone - the human-excavated ruins of an old Martian city - of Vita 1.
The Allenby Corporation has sent a group of three members to its Vita 1 via spacecraft which crash-lands just outside Vita 1's airlock entries, to investigate the ten-month-long radio silence. This investigative team consists of Kenzo Uji, an infomesh expert ('infomesh' being an in-game term relating to human-computer virtual interface) who describes himself as a "techno-zen hippy;" Martin Karne, the security escort of the team who volunteered for the mission; and Diane Matlock, a scientist who has friends in Vita 1. These three characters are controlled by the player. However, other non-player-controlled characters are encountered such as MOOD, the main computer of Vita 1 who has her own personality; Ben Gunn, the only living survivor of Vita 1's outbreak, who is shown to be possibly insane; and Judith Halloway, the Vita 1 project director, who was last person to contact Earth with the final message "Stay alone, stay alive."
Taking place on June 17 of 2019, ten months after Vita 1's last contact to Earth with the message "stay alone, stay alive" on August 8 of 2018, the investigative team of Kenzo Uji, Martin Karne, and Diane Matlock approach Vita 1 on Mars in their spacecraft. Vita 1's main computer, MOOD, seems to sense their arrival. Whilst Kenzo, as pilot of the spacecraft, is forced to make a crash landing on the Martian surface and its crew depart into different airlocks of Vita 1 base, MOOD apathetically predicts that, although three have entered, only two will leave alive. Now separated into different airlocks, the three take radios from their spacesuits to stay in verbal contact with each other. All three go through decontamination, but each notes something is "wrong, something very wrong" concerning the decontamination gas they are exposed to. Initially, only Kenzo can enter the base, as Karne and Matlock's airlock doors have been locked. Kenzo stumbles upon various dead bodies in the silent hallways, including the corpse of the base's leader, Antonio Fellicci. By listening to his recorder, Kenzo discovers that the base's downfall came about when people started shooting at each other in the base hallways. Kenzo finds Fellicci's room, but finds a dead man supernaturally levitating in the hallway. Using Fellicci's computer, Kenzo manages to unlock the door to Karne's airlock. However, after using the door controls, the dead body of Fellicci's girlfriend suddenly comes back to life, and tries to attack Kenzo.
Karne exits his airlock and enters the base in a different area than the one Kenzo has explored. Not long after traversing the hallways, Karne notices that his watch now displays the impossible time of "48:62", a passcode to a nearby hatch - this, along with various other small details, are the work of MOOD trying to help the three survive. Using a passcode discovered by Kenzo, Karne enters the arboretum, obtains a gun form a corpse, and encounters a Trimorph; a mutated zombified mass of three people, which blocks the way to the recyc oxygen treatment room.
Martian Gothic: Unification was met with mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation version 64.75% and 64/100 and the PC version 58.65%. More positive reviews came from IGN and PlayStation Illustrated, who gave the game 8 out of 10.
- "Martian Gothic: Unification Release Information for PC". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Martian Gothic: Unification Release Information for PlayStation". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Martian Gothic: Unification (PlayStation) reviews at". GameRankings. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Martian Gothic: Unification (PC) reviews at". GameRankings. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Martian Gothic: Unification (PlayStation) reviews at". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Martian Gothic: Unification review by PlayStation Illustrated". Retrieved 2014-02-19.
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