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Monday, 15 February, 1999, 12:03 GMT
SiN-ing all Christmas long
Sin: Stunning 3D graphics
In the first game review for News Online, Alfred Hermida finds out if the gameplay of Christmas success SiN are as smooth as its evil empress

The first person shoot-em-up is a crowded market full of Quake clones. SiN by Activision tries to offer something different by creating a 3D environment where it is not enough just to blast your way.

Instead, SiN presents a series of challenges. In some cases, stealth rather than aggression is the key to success.

Elexis Sinclaire: Criminal mastermind
Elexis Sinclaire: Criminal mastermind
You play a supercop called John Blade on the trail of a bank robbery. As you progress into the game, you discover that you are onto something much bigger.

It seems to involve Elexis Sinclaire, the boss of a high-tech corporation, SinTek, with a liking for tight clothes and unfeasibly large breasts.

Help is on hand from your sidekick back at headquarters, a computer whizz-kid called JC. This cocky youth offers advice and sarcastic comments as you try to find your way around.

In many ways, SiN feels much like every other Quake II based game on the market. But there are some little touches that make it stand out from the rest.

AI enemies lie in wait
The graphics are based on id software's Quake II 3-D engine. They create an environment designed around real world or near future designs.

The scenarios include abandoned buildings, a construction site and disused subway station faithfully recreated.

The sense of reality is heightened by SiN's artificial intelligrnce enemies. They do not mindlessly charge at you, but react to your moves.

Enemies will often fire at you and then take cover if injured. In some cases they will retreat and wait until they get reinforcements.

And it is not enough just to fire blindly. For one thing, your ammo is tightly limited. But more importantly SiN uses a basic hit-location system. Hitting an enemy in the leg just disables them. For a kill, you have to aim for the head.

When SiN was first unleashed, it was full of bugs, with long load times the bane of most users. Most of these are addressed in a patch available to download. But at a massive 18.5 MB, Activision also offers to send you a CD-Rom for free.

Whether it was the picture of Elexis on the box, or the gameplay and story, SiN made a decent success at Christmas - so no doubt it will only be a matter of time before we see John Blade in action again.

See also:

24 Dec 98 | Christmas and New Year
Santa's sack of software
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