Swarm (1998 video game)
|Release date(s)||March, 1998 (PC)|
|Genre(s)||Third Person Shooter|
Swarm was first released in 1998 by Reflexive Entertainment, in its early days as a video games developer. It is a top-down space shooter with pre-rendered 3d art. In the game, the player controls an assault craft, battling against alien creatures in order to obtain special minerals. In 2008, Reflexive released a slightly updated version of the game entitled Swarm Gold. The updated version was by no means a sequel, but was simply an improved version of the old classic.
Gameplay and level design
The game is set in the Praulac Nebula, which is inhabited by a strange insectoid race called the Clagnor. Negotiations between humans and these creatures have failed, leading to an all-out war between the two races. The story follows a prison convict, by the name of Rawl Mastesen, who is given the task of fighting the Clagnor for a year. After this, if by any chance he survives, his name will be cleared forever, unless offered another year on the job for "twice the pay".
Each sector (level) consists of a finite wrap-around space area, in which Clagnor, asteroids, weapon power-ups and EZT (Endron Zymithium Trisistaline) nodules (a fictional substance described as a fuel source) are placed randomly. The player enters and exits each level via a jumpgate, which disappears shortly after the level is started, and reappears once it is completed.
There are three types of levels in Swarm: "Get all the EZT" levels, "Kill them all" levels, and bonus levels. The majority of these are "Get all the EZT" levels, in which the player's primary mission is to collect all the EZT found in the level, while fighting against the Clagnor, and avoiding obstacles (such as asteroids and space junk). In the "Kill them all" levels, which are mostly every 10 levels or so, there are no EZT crystals and the player's goal is to destroy all the Clagnor drones in the level. In the bonus levels, which are usually every 5 or 10 levels, there are neither Clagnor nor EZT, and the player can travel around and collect weapons, ammunition, and shield bonuses freely for a limited time.