If you like action films and have never seen Demolition Man, watch it, watch it right now. If you’ve never played the SNES game based on the film, run, run far away because those who’ve been subjected to it are already long gone. On the face of it this seems like a no brainer, Sly vs Wesley in an action game can work. In no way does this game work. If you’ve read my article on Flying Edge/Acclaim you’ll see this was to be expected.
Ignoring the grainy intro screens, the graphics initially look pretty good. The backdrops and stages are well detailed and Sly’s character John Spartan (hee hee!) is also well drawn. Then things take a turn for the worse. After bungee-ing into action with a Sly “heads up” (he says that a lot) it heads into mundane platform action where you’ll die, a lot. Spartan and all his foe are animated poorly with terrible collision detection. Grenades should be a lot of fun but coupled with the inability to duck (yeah!) you can’t vary the distance which makes hitting enemies bloody difficult.
The level design of these platform stages (I’ll get to the other variant in a mo) is abysmal. They’ve tried to use a 3-D effect for pipes and the like but all this means is that you’ll end up missing ledges and platforms.
Sometimes Spartan does a leap across big holes but this feels random and you’ll often fall to your death a couple of times before working it out. You re-spawn from where you die, which is fine unless you’re in one of the many points in the game where you can get stuck – you’ll need to reset.
Interspersed with these platform levels are Smash TV-esque shoot em up levels which look terrible, play worse than Smash TV and Acclaim haven’t even bothered to port the SNES Smash TV controls, instead using the MD controls which are horrendous. Throughout the game, Wesley’s character Simon Phoenix (ooh la la!) appears, shoots at you a bit, laughs and then disappears. I’m assuming that the game progresses until you can put Phoenix in his place but the game is so bloody hard and buggy I never got past the fourth level!
This is one game franchise that fortunately won’t rise from the ashes.