Delphine Productions got my attention many years ago with "Out of This World." They stole it again with "Flashback," and they are making it a perfect three in a row with "Fade to Black." Once I began to install "Fade to Black" I was instantly entranced. From the classy autoload Windows95 install, to the graphically intense menu screens, this game jumps out at you. When the game actually starts, you are already wrapped up in the dark mood of the game. Stunning 3D graphics really add a sense of realism to the game, not found in the 2D prequils. The familiar Delphine software gameplay remains, and the level of control is intense. A long involved mission follows, as you work your way through this game.
If you have a Pentium-90 with a 64-bit PCI video card, 16MB ram, a 4x CD-Rom, and run Windows95 go out and get this without a worry. Otherwise, look at your system carefully. A 486-66 with a 2x drive, a 32bit video card, and 8MB ram is the smallest machine I would try this game on -- and expect to get the full effect. Also make sure that you have a fair amount of free space on your hard-disk. Although it will run on a smaller machine, the higher video modes and smooth scrolling have a big effect on the game feel. Running FTB on our slower machines just didn't have the same effect as our 486dx4, and pentium machines. And if you are not running straight Dos with no special memory configurations, or Windows95 -- you better start making your boot disks now. OS/2 decided that Fade to Black was best left to the dual boot option, and merely left the game to lock itself up in a dos box. Windows95 automatically kicks you to dos to play this one as well.
If you can afford the 8MB fast 486 price tag that this game brings, it is a wonderful advance to the Delphine line. The 3D environment gives you a whole new world of control, and perspective. The biggest let down in the game is the longetivity. Once you have successfully worked through the game, you easily learn the tricks that you need to go through again. For most, this game will be a once, or maybe twice, through game before it gets left on the shelf. It is, however, worth the price for that first time through.
The 3D graphics are a wonderful new addition to the Delphine line, as is the high resolution.
Graphics : 22/25
This game can be summarized in two words "total control." I was very impressed with the 3D control of your character, in all respects.
Gameplay : 23/25
Much like "Flashback," "Fade to Black" is a once through game. As soon as you find out what you must do, there is not too much challenge in doing it again. Altough that first time is pretty incredible.
Longetivity : 15/25
Although on a high end system running Windows95 compatibility could not get any better, for the average user this game will be a stretch, and possibly a pain. Be prepared to read a few readme files, and prepare a boot disk to get this running under any non-standard setup.
Compatibility : 15/25
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