Messiah (video game)
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Tommy Tallarico Studios
|Programmer(s)||Michael Saxs Persson|
Messiah is a third person shooter video game developed by Shiny and published by Interplay. The game was promoted for its tesselation technology, which was claimed to drastically increase or reduce the number of polygons based on the speed of the system running the game. Messiah received a middling response from reviewers.
The player controls Bob, a putto sent by God to clean up the corruption and sin on Earth. After making his way through the world and defeating a genetically modified super-human, Bob is asked to return by God, telling him that if humans are prepared to tamper with His creations, there is no place for Him on Earth and leave them to their own devices.
Bob refuses and this act of defiance attracts the attention of Satan, who follows Bob and attempts to lead him astray. As the story progresses, it becomes quite clear that Satan is behind the corruption on Earth, and it is up to Bob to stop him.
The game is set sometime in the distant future. The environment is a comedic take on a cyberpunk city. The levels are large and relatively open in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The player, as Bob, is able to fly around at great heights, although his small wings can only carry him a limited distance from the ground, necessitating a combination of climbing and flying, and so the gameplay environment features a great deal of vertical movement and exploration.
While in his cherub form, Bob is defenseless and can very easily be killed; however, he may possess any biological lifeform by jumping into their body. The most common type of lifeform is human, and Bob will spend much of his time jumping from one to another. Other examples include rats, cyborgs and aliens. In more difficult levels, Bob can only possess another body when the target is oblivious to his presence, thus adding a stealth element to the game.
Once in control of a host, he can interact with the environment and non-player characters (NPCs) by using switches or weapons and fighting in unarmed combat. Some switches require a specific human host to activate (e.g. a scientist is required to access a secure laboratory area, or a radiation worker to handle live nuclear material); these form the basis for the game's puzzles. Other puzzles include using Bob's wings to access somewhere out of reach or too small for a host body to enter.
Most humans will ignore Bob, or be intrigued by him. The police and security force, however, will shoot on sight, as will the Chots - a separatist, cannibalistic humanoid race who regularly appear in street battles with the police in hopes of driving the Fathers out of power.
As Bob progresses through the game, his reputation precedes him, and he is actively sought after by the police, as announced by this in-game public address:
- 'All security personnel, be on the lookout for a humanoid measuring around two and a half feet in height, with wing-like protrusions from its back. Suspect is reported to be in violation of the following codes: Forty one dash nine. Infiltration of class A, B and D security areas with intent to sabotage. Twenty one dash one two. Purposeful destruction of property and personnel. One four three dash one. General mischief involving firearms. Suspect matches no known species ID and is therefore in violation of the genetic manipulation act or legal planet residuary order five one five. Approach with caution and consider it a threat.'
The game received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings. The earliest review came from Edge, which gave it a score of seven out of ten, nearly two months before the game itself was released in North America, and over seven months before its European release date.
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