|Developer(s)||Psygnosis (PS, PC)
Perfect Entertainment (Saturn)
Assault Rigs is an action game developed and published by Psygnosis, released in 1996 for MS-DOS and PlayStation, and a year later for the Sega Saturn in Japan. The game takes place in the future, where real sport has been overtaken in favour of virtual sport, the most popular of which is Assault Rigs, a tank simulator set inside a 3D virtual environment.
The goal of the single player game is to collect all of the gems in a level, while destroying or avoiding enemies, ultimately reaching the exit. There are 42 levels featuring jump ramps, elevators, skyways, trenches, movable blocks and push rods. There are 20 weapon power-ups, viruses and Dolby Surround sound. The game has four themes of tanks/environment: VR, Industrial, Military and War.
Assault Rigs also has the capability to utilize the PlayStation Link Cable, enabling two players to connect two PlayStations and play head-to-head on two televisions. This setup unlocks 15 additional levels that are only available for play using the cable.
Players control their rig to collect all the gems in a level and get to the end goal of each of the game's 42 levels. In the Saturn version all of the levels were the same as the PlayStation and PC versions, but they were given different names. Along the way, they can collect various types of weapons from missiles to land mines. Throughout each level, they must contend with various enemies from turrets to enemy rigs. Aerial enemies called "viruses" also attack the player's rig, while hazards such as electric gates and enemy mines dot each level. There are also mild puzzle-solving elements such as pushing blocks and building bridges.
Air Hendrix of GamePro gave the PlayStation version a mixed review. He criticized the oversensitive controls, lack of split screen multiplayer, background flicker, and inappropriate music, but praised the diverse gameplay, focus on problem-solving, and futuristic graphics, and concluded that "Noodling through Assault Rigs will be great fun for those who like a touch of thinking with their shooting." Maximum gave the game credit for its "increasingly complex level designs" and the diversion of the arena levels, but asserted that "This game, while sounding quite entertaining in theory, unfortunately has a variety of problems in practice", citing poor camera angles, glitching graphics, and an overly easy and linear progression. They gave it 3 out of 5 stars. Both GamePro and Maximum compared the game favorably to Cyber Sled.