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Hired Guns

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Hired Guns is a role-playing video game developed by DMA Design (published by Psygnosis) for the Amiga and the PC in 1993.

When I think of this game the picture that comes to mind is of co-op campaign mode and some funny moments such as friendly fire or an ally accidentally preventing a wounded player from escaping. Also some puzzles as "move there, stay, I'll click this so you can move and click that".PGC

The game is set in the year 2712, in which the player controls four mercenaries selected from a pool of twelve. One of the features of the game is that all four characters are on screen simultaneously, each in their own window.

 

Story

A team of outlaw mercenaries, led by the character Rorian are hired to destroy all of the illegally bio-engineered organisms on the planet Graveyard via means of a fusion induced thermonuclear explosion. This is to be achieved by collecting four fusion power core rings, and depositing them in the corresponding field coil generator located at Graveyard Central Spaceport. The secondary mission objective is to reconnoitre ground installations.

 

Gameplay

The game uses a system of four simultaneous Dungeon Master-style first-person perspective viewpoints in the world. Each character is individually controllable and occupies their own square, unlike Dungeon Master, in which the entire party occupies the same square. Each character can be made to follow another character, simplifying large group movements when only one player is controlling the party. The gameplay was advanced for its time, allowing up to four players to play simultaneously, using mouse, keyboard or (modified) Sega Mega Drive joypad, with a parallel port adaptor allowing four joypads/joysticks to be used at once.

The game area is in real 3D, and monster/enemy AI have free movement around each level environment. This is unlike other games of its time, in which enemies cannot pursue characters up stairs. An array of light and heavy weapons (including robot sentries, similar to those seen in Aliens Special Edition), incendiary devices, mines and grenades can be used to take out the enemy (or friends!) either on the same level as the player or below.

Players have to manage their inventory, too, as the combined weight of the items in a character's inventory is limited by carrying capacity. If this limit is exceeded the message "Too heavy!" will be displayed on the character's viewpoint and they may not add anything more to the inventory until enough items have been discarded or consumed to bring the total weight below carrying capacity again. Different characters have different carrying capacities. E.g. a heavy combat droid can lug around more weight than a human female.

Also included are devices called "Psionic Amps" that can be used to create strange effects on the player or on the world around them — e.g. one type of Psionic Amp can be used underwater to create an area of air so human characters can breathe.

Underwater areas affect gameplay in two major ways: Human characters will drown if they stay under for too long while weapons and equipment will take damage at varying rates until they are destroyed outright. Energy weapons are particularly susceptible to water damage and most types will be destroyed in mere seconds unless protected by a suitable psionic amp which must be activated before entering the water. Neither robotic nor human characters can swim, but are relegated to walking around on the bottom in the same manner as on land.

Media

  • Release Date: Thursday, 01 April 1993
  • Genre: Role-playing
  • Platform: MS-DOS, Amiga 500
  • Director: Scott Johnston, Steve Hammond
  • Mode: Single-player, Cooperative