Hell's teeth and buckets of blood, as my old Gran used to say and I bet she'd have loved this. There's gore all right and it comes in buckets, skips and any other large receptable you can think of.
Assuming you've got machine that any Amiga owner would die for (like Nick's, which is what I've been playing playing Malice on, not least because it's got some 72Mb of RAM) and assuming you've out Quake yourself (though you surely won't have yet, but there might come a day) the next thing you're going to want is an add-on. Something like Malice should suffice.
Here the Quake engine is taken to the 23rd Century and you play the part of a lovely mercenary called Damage. In this day and age, law and order to remain in good health you have to rely on the large corporations that run the show.
The city you live in (and it ain't the City of Angels) is run by two warring corporations. Takahiro Industries and the B.O.S.S. underground crime syndicate. Fortunately, you work for the latter (well, who wants to play a game about time and motion studies anyway?) and as such you're a paid mercenary working for the head honcho, Colonal Bossman (he's some kind of Davros character in that he's encased in a metal box). He gives you mission orders and it's down to you to carry 'em out.
Just like Quake, Malice is dark and moody. Unlike Quake though, the baddies you come across are most definitely human. Sure, coming across a huge Shambler can put the willies up you when you're playing Quake, but you'll be surprised how scary a flame-
And that's the first departure from the Quake rules that Malice introduces you to. There's also no armour in this game - every shot you take hurts and that means you have to be slightly more cautious all the time. To compensate, the designers have been liberal with the health bonuses, but it only takes a couple of blokes behind you with Uzis and your health can hit zero in seconds.
This changes the whole flavour of playing the game. In Quake you could, at times, rely on your armour and the run button to get you out of trouble but in Malice everything's so much more immediate. There's also no Mega
...it only takes a couple of blokes behind you with Uzis and your health can hit zero in seconds.
Likewise, there's no Quad Damage either because Malice remains firmly in the real world (shyeah, right) and doesn't give you any magical or enchanted items such as the Pentagram of Protection.
What it does give you is a whole mess of new weapons to play around with - the beautiful Min
As in Quake, you default to the biggest gun you've got ammo for but, unlike Quake, you do have to keep reloading things. Again, this subtly changes the gameplay because should you wander into a room with several baddies in it, you've got to figure out you're going to be reloading a couple of times and that valuable time might not be yours to spare (maybe there's another way? Maybe a couple of grenades from above would do the trick?).
Another departure is the addition of a couple of extra, what the game calls, toyz. You take damage falling off a high ledges in Malice so they've provided you with a parachute - fall off a building, hit the jump button and float to the ground painlessly. You could even strafe the unwary enemies below while you're doing it.
There's also a hover board (just like the one in Back to the Future) to scoot around on, and a probe for you to play with if you want to take a look somewhere but don't actually fancy poking your head round the corner and risk having it blown off. When you're playing around in the underwater sections of the game you can either don your scuba gear or, if you can find one, get in the lovely mini-
These sexy bits of kit come with an unlimited air supply and auto-
As well as the new things to play around with and the whole load of new enemies, there are some added scenery effects such as the pushable crate. On the later levels these need to be pushed around to solve puzzles (oh yes, it's not all blood 'n' guts, there's a wee bit of thinking to be done too) and reveal hidden exits.
In one-player mode you've got a whole new 18 levels to try and if you're one of the lucky few who's going to be able to play in a Deathmatch then you've also got another five levels of that to play around with. However, to be frank, that's hardly worth considering.
What is worth considering is how well Malice plays. OK, so Quake did the hard work, but the well-designed levels and subtle changes of game style ensure that playing Malice is a cracking experience.
It's a shame you're still going to need a top-end Amiga to get the most from it, but if you've upgraded enough then you'll enjoy putting all that extra hardware to work. Top stuff - it should be on the top of your list of 'Quake Things To Get' once you've exhausted that game.