Fire And Forget 1 logo

Titus/Entertainment International
Price: £ .99

Following their first, and largely forgettable release, Crazy Cars, French software house, Titus, have now ventured into the 16-bit market once more with what appears at first sight to be the same game - only worse.

Borrowing heavily in its inspiration from the classic Atari coin-op, Road Blasters, Fire and Forget uses the 3D road routines from its predecessor with some tepid blasting action bolted onto this already poor foundation.

The Intergalactic Liberation Organisation have destroyed many of the Earth's major cities and are threatening to take control of the whole planet. Only the 'Thunder Master' - a heavily armed, V-16 triple turbo, four-wheel drive car - stands in the way of their plans. As commander of the world's ultimate fighting machine, it is the player's task to negotiate the major conflict areas, destroy the ILO's forces and avert a full-scale nuclear war...

The action takes place across six combat zones set in different locations around the world. These are accessed individually from a map selection screen which appears at the start of the game and also in between each battle.

Luckily for the Thunder Master, the ILO's forces have stationed themselves along the roadways which traverse the otherwise desolate landscapes. The route is lined with sentry posts, gun emplacements and vegetation while the road itself is littered with mines, blockades and tanks. The Thunder Master is also assaulted from the air, as helicopter gunships frequently zoom overhead spitting a barrage of lead death.

The only limitation on the TM's progress is its fuel level, which is depleted as a matter of course, and also on contact with obstructions and enemy fire. The car's ample fuel tanks are refilled, though, on collision with conical fuel canisters which appear at intervals along the route.

Fire and Forget also offers a two-player option, where the second combatant takes control of the 'Thunder Cloud' - a small, winged craft which mimics the speed of the TM and can be guided left and right of the screen in order to fend off attack from enemy aircraft.

On paper this sounds like it could be lots of fun - as indeed its arcade role model is. Unfortunately, the reality is far less appealing. The amount of obstacles to avoid and the speed at which the enemy craft appear is ludicrous: you really DO have to fire and forget, since you have no real hope of avoiding all of the oncoming objects.

The graphics are no great shakes either: the road movement is only moderately effective and the frame update on approaching objects is not particularly smooth, relying on speed to hide its deficiencies.

After several frenzied and rather dissatisfying battles, Fire and Forget's appeal soon wears very thin. Each combat zone is much the same as the next, bar differences in the colour scheme and a small variety in the ground-based obstacles, and the driving aspect is reduced to going at full pelt, since the car never actually leaves the road but simply slows down on contact with the rough terrain to either side.

This lack of variety together with the tediously repetitive blasting, conspire to make Fire and Forget a real boredom-inducer. And great news: Titus' next release, entitled Off Shore Warrior looks like Fire and Forget on water - I can hardly wait...

Fire And Forget 1 logo

Titus, £24.95 disk

The world stands on the brink of holocaust: the Intergalactic Liberation Organisation is threatening to destroy the Earth. A powerful force is needed to restore freedom to the world and - wouldn't you know it? - that force turns out to be you.

Equipped with the Thunder Master - a four-wheel drive armoured vehicle with a roof mounted missile launcher and an optional air assault craft called the Thunder Cloud (hard, or what?) - you must drive through six key areas to destroy the ILO craft. Enemy tanks and helicopters can be vaporised with your gun, for bonus points; in two-player mode a friend can control the Thunder Cloud. The aircraft's fuel supply is maintained by boarding the Thunder Master from above.

Kati Hamza I played the ST incarnation of Crazy Cars, this game's predecessor, and found its 3D depiction of events quite effective but play itself was unexciting. Fire and Forget on the Amiga retains the latter quality but is desperately short of convincing 3D as well. In an attempt to generate a frenetic feel to the action, Titus made an obvious choice in having the car tear along at a rapid pace while obstacles and, more importantly, enemy vehicles approach at a frightening rate. To do this, they've taken the easy way out, by removing numerous animation frames!
The objects are speedy but increase in size drastically between frames - in some situations a helicopter appears in the distance and flies over your car in two frames! The Road Blasters element does not work; you just pound away on the fire button hoping you will destroy everything in your path. The two player game adds a little interest, but not enough to make Fire and Forget memorable. What was this comment about again?
Paul Glancey This has to be one of the fastest games I've ever seen - in fact I'm sure your only hope of success is to slip into a parallel universe in which time runs slightly slower. Now I've said that you're probably thinking that driving and blasting at breakneck speeds is pretty exhilarating stuff, but I'm afraid it isn't. Speed has to be gained by compromising on animation and hence realism, so tanks, tank traps and helicopters appear on the screen only to disappear again almost immediately. Driving towards such a high-speed onslaught of obstacles is more a test of luck than skill and you just don't feel in control of the action. Consequently, for all its pretty graphics and raucous sound effects, Fire and Forget just isn't very compelling. Certainly not compelling enough to merit such a whopping price tag.