Malice logo Amiga Format Gold

Having been quaking in his boots, Andy Smith is back for more teeth-griding, grenade launching gore...

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-thrower toting bloke can be too. Especially when you haven't got much health left.

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 Megahealth, so you're only ever going to be 100% fit. 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 Minigun, the subtle vertical-barrelled shotgun and the sublime Punisher (which fires a forced plasma beam. Scrummy!).

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-sub.

These sexy bits of kit come with an unlimited air supply and auto-guided missiles. This makes exploring underwater a very pleasant experience - until you come face to face with a frogman, barracuda or blowfish. But hey, don't forget them torpedoes!

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.

Malice logo CU Amiga Super Star

Price: £14.99   Developer: Quantum Axcess   Available from: Weird Science   0116 246 3800

You know about Quake, you know about Genetic Species, but did you know about Malice? Read on and all will be revealed.

One of the best things about Quake is that it is highly programmable. As you probably know, you can load in new weapons, new monsters and new levels. Some developers have gone a stage further and produced "total conversions": add-on packs so in depth that they represent an entirely new game. Widely considered the best of these is Malice.

Installing Malice to the Amiga is very simple, despite being originally intended for the PC. Just drag the Malice drawer from the CD to your Quake directory. The malice bat file which fires up Malice on a MSDOS/windows machine will work as a launch script in AmigaDOS. If you delete the winmem command, Weird Science should be able to supply an installer script.

Meet the B.O.S.S.
In malice, you play a mercenary in a cyberpunk future, working for the B.O.S.S. crime syndicate in their war against the shady Takahiro industries. There is a mission narrative outlined to you in rather gorgeous 3D cut scenes which provide a lot of atmosphere, and foreshadow the twist at the end of the narrative.

Playing Malice is very much like playing Quake, just with rather more to do. There are plenty of switches as usual, but they do rather more, and you even get to move crates around and climb on them, Tomb Raider fashion. Exploration is made more varied by the introduction of "toys" - see the box-out.

Combat has a lot more tactical depth than is usual in this sort of game. You might find yourself being shot by an unseen assailant - take cover and look around for the SWAT soldier hanging above you on a rope, or the distant sniper hiding in the shadows, his position only given away by the muzzle flash of his gun.

Even face to face combat requires a little more though. The weaponry is varied, and picking the right gun at the right time makes a lot of difference. Usually with this sort of game you end up using just your most powerful couple of weapons, but not in Malice. Sneak up to a room full of baddies, drop a napalm mortar in - and watch the ones who escaped the blast be set alight by their burning companions.

Sine targets at long range are ideal Ui fodder, while a group in the distance is what the minigun was made for. The fact that some weapons require hitting a reload key can lead to embarrassment if you don't pay attention. Further complexity is added by the range of enemies - face a Banshee Mech and be prepared to spend most of the fight dodging that lethal stomp, while getting in close on a Torcher means you'll likely end up on fire, necessitating a quick dash to the nearest fire extinguisher.

Doom Raider?
Graphically, Malic is brilliant, the Quake engine being used to dramatic effect in some huge and unusual sets. There is even "chase cam" mode, in which you see your character from outside in pure Tomb Raider fashion. A small bug in the Amiga Quake code causes the main character's trousers to flash psychedelically in the shadows in some screen-modes, but Clickboom know about this and expect to have a fix patch at some point - something ID Software do a lot for PC Quake.

There are of course all the same issues of speed that quake has - you will need a meaty Amiga - but Malice has pretty fast levels. Sounds are pretty much as per Quake but with a few atmospheric extras - odd rating noises, heavy breathing, and your main character saying "I wanna hit something" in true Duke Nuke 'em fashion.

Malice rocks. Malice has brilliant deathmatches and superb single player action too, a strong answer to those who thought single player Quake was a little dull. Malice is one of the best games out anywhere, and thanks to Clickboom's Quake, it's an Amiga game as well.


One of the best features of Malice are the toyz. These pick-ups add a hell of a lot to the game. There is a probe, which can be sent flying ahead of you to scout out the terrain, scuba gear for long underwater swims, a hover board, mini subs and parachutists.

Using these in the right places is not only essential for winning the game, but enormous fun. Dropping from a great height by parachute can be the perfect opportunity for some surprise strafing, while running around in the mini makes for very funny death matches, as the subs can outrun their opponent's (and rather dangerously, their own) torpedoes. It's the hover board that will quickly be installed as most people's favourite though. Not only can you skim across any surface, but the turbo boost allows you to fly into all sorts of unlikely places, and fly out of the way of oncoming fire. Rocket jumping? Who needs it?