SOFTWARE REVIEW: BACKLASH by Richard Karsmakers
Yet another day had passed without as much as a desert rebel to
shoot. Dman those rebels! They were always there when you didn't
want them to be around, and (quite predictably) were never there
when you were armed'n'ready.
You could almost feel a hot cup of coffee moisten your dried out
tongue and lips; a cup of coffee that would be served by the
'Flower of the Desert', as you and your colleagues tended to call
the only female employee working at DSS (Desert Safety Squad -
Jupiter Division). And what a female she was: Legs, blond hair,
blue eyes, good proportions...nothing left to be wished. Except
for the fact that she made a filthy cup of coffee perhaps - but
your colleagues and you drank it with great delight, be it only
for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of her heart-melting
You almost started daydreaming in your craft by the sheer thought
of her lips, the way she walked and the way she smiled...
On two o' clock, you suddenly saw a white spot in the desert
sand. Two, in fact. Each one was about the size of your craft, so
it appeared, and you got a little closer for better
investigating. Just for certainty, you flipped the switch labeled
'LASER SAFETY' on the control panel, allowing you to fire when
One of the white spots seemed to break, much like an egg's curst,
and a rounded object came up. Instinctively, you switched to
reverse gear and took a distance. Good reflex, as the object
opened into being an eye and a bright ball of fire missed you
only by fractions of an inch. Being disturbed from your sweet
daydreaming, a curse passes your lips and you answered this crude
act of agression. Of course, you didn't miss and you reduced the
eye to a mere bundle of klystrons.
Suddenly, similar objects started popping up from both white
spots and before you knew it, you had a small battle on your
A weird noise penetrated your ears and your stomach ached - but
only for an instant. Shit! Your commander had warned you earlier
about this craft you were patrolling in: It had actually been a
time travelling machine before, and some operations might still
cause a minor jump ahead in time. Blast! Just when you were
winning and having a good time. And the worst thing: This time
lapse made you do overtime, right now!
An object, partly buried in the sand, attracted your attention.
Having learned your lesson, you kept your finger just above the
red button and got closer. It was a piece of fragmented metal, on
which the name "Desert Flower" was painted...
Thinking for a brief while only, you suddenly realised. At the
same moment of your adrenalin getting into gear and your eyes
opening wide in pure fear, a fireball hit your craft.
The only thing that remained was a scattered piece of metal, with
the 'name' of a gorgeous girl painted on it...
Novagen has finally launched the long expected 3D shoot-'em-up
"Backlash" - programmed by Paul "Mercenary" Woakes. It's one of
those games that people will either loathe or idolize; some
people will say "It's one of those brainless and non-inspired
murdering games", whereas others will say "It's a fascinating and
beautifully programmed 3D game, very compelling to play". You
could have guessed - I am one of the people stating the latter.
"Backlash" IS an exquisite piece of programmer's craftmanship -
it's extremely fast, features great animation and a good dose of
In the game, the player looks through the front window of a craft
with which he has to destroy everything that moves in a seemingly
unlimited desert. The great variety of opponents (and the even
greater variety of ways in which the opponents shoot and try to
blast you off the desert) even gives this game a reasonably high
addictability rate - not as high as "Plutos" or "Impact", but
surely and 8.5...
The graphics are good and detailed (no "Terrorpods"-like jumps in
the animation when an object gets nearer), and the sound effects
are very convincing (by Michael Rooke). The intro music is also
quite good (programmed by Simon Berry). This game, which Novagen
calls "A fast-action arcade game. Sold 3D graphics. Full screen
animation. Stunning realism. The 16 bit stretched to its limit!",
is now one of the finest action game around on the ST (or, for
that matter, nearly every computer I know). Buy it, and you'll
Let's hope that Paul Woakes' new project, "Mercenary II:
Damocles", will be such a great game as well as "Backlash"...
Author: Paul Woakes
Value for money: 8.5
Price: 69.50 Dutch guilders
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.