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Yar's Revenge review

£7

Manufacturer: Atari

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

An Atari 2600 classic returns 30 years later as an on-rails shooter, but while Yar's Revenge works in concept, overlong levels and a lack of variety hurt the overall experience.

Yar's Revenge is quite the reboot. It's a refreshed take on the characters and settings of the original Yars' Revenge, a somewhat abstract Atari 2600 game released 30 years ago. Note the placement of the apostrophes in those titles - the original game was about a race of space insects, the Yars, fighting against a swarm of their predators, the Qotile. In the new game, you play the last living Yar, a young female warrior again battling the Qotile hordes that want her dead.

For better or worse, the gameplay is a departure from the 2D psuedo-shoot-'em-up style of the original. Now, it's a deliberate clone of the Panzer Dragoon games and Sin & Punishment 2, where you primarily move a reticule and fire weapons as your character flies along a set path. The surreal stages go from organic landscapes to futuristic industrial complexes, and the trance-y music and slick menus help enhance the atmosphere.

Yars Revenge

Each level is several minutes long, but Killspace Entertainment seems to be stretching itself a little thin nonetheless. While the environments look very nice, very little changes as you fly through - something that even the old Panzer Dragoon games consistently nailed. Eventually, the backgrounds just blend together and feel like they're looping, cookie-cutter sections, not to mention that you're always fighting the same four or five enemy types in predictable wave patterns.

I didn't have many problems playing through Yar's Revenge the first time through. At the same time, the stages were just too long and uneventful to really tempt me to replay much of the game in its co-op or challenge modes – where you're given certain limits in your powers – and the majority of the achievements pertain to things like surviving a stage without dying, or killing 1,000 enemies with your missiles.

Yars Revenge

If the free demo intrigues you, you'll probably have a good time going through the rest of the game. Re-imagining something as simple as an Atari 2600 game makes it pretty easy to be creative, and the new Yar's Revenge is definitely that. But while it has the looks, and is a decent clone of games like Panzer Dragoon, it needed a little more attention to be able to match them.

Gamepro Advisor

Yar's Revenge Expert Verdict »

OS:Windows XP SP2, Vista SP2, 7
CPU:Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 or AMD Athlon X2 4400+
Memory:1 GB
HD:1.5 GB free
Video:Radeon ATI Radeon HD 2600 or NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or faster. Other integrated graphics, such as the Intel G43/G45 Express, are not supported
Sound:DirectX® 9.0c compatible.
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

Yar's Revenge is fun, but only in small doses.

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