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DOGS OF WAR by Richard Karsmakers

A bird of many colours flew up as Cronos Warchild put his foot
on the soft, damp jungle soil. He startled, used his ABC-M-7
flamethrower and transformed it into a heavily overdone piece of
poultry that dropped down without any of the grace it had
formerly possessed.
He looked around as if he had just now performed a deed
requiring considerable heroism. A grin that wrinkled his lips
made his expression complete.
He adjusted his helmet, carefully scanning the bushes for signs
that might indicate that he was discovered by the enemy. Yet he
did not see any enemy soldiers suddenly popping out, nor was he
able to distinguish the sharp forms or flashes of weaponry
between the bushes.
He wasn't actually sure whether he regretted this fact or not.
Some killing was bound to keep him awake a lot longer than that
old coffee in his canteen or the long green leaves he found at
times and used to chew.

It had been eight days ago now since he had left Saigon airport,
on his search for the lost son of a wealthy American
industrialist, which was thought still to be a POW since the
Vietnam war.
"Fifteenthousand," the concerned father had said, "half up
front." Well, it wasn't much but you had to do something to
maintain a certain lifestyle these days - he was usually turned
down when applying for regular jobs due to his devastating lack
of intelligence and the rather rude way in which he usually
tended to express himself.
Then again, maybe he shouldn't have insisted upon trying to get
submitted to the Salvation Army all that time.
The Salvation Army was probably capable of supplying him with a
far more interesting job rather than this one. Okay, it payed
slightly better, but except for obliterating a couple of gnats
that bothered him regularly and setting fire to the occasional
bird, nothing had happened thus far.

So it was understandable that Warchild kind of rejoiced when he
finally noticed soldiers on the road ahead of him. And these
weren't just soldiers - they were none other than enemy
personnel.
Finally, some decent killing to do. Killing that he was paid
for, that is.
He cried one of his battle cries (a rather ridiculous one he had
one day heard in a movie about Japanese suicidal squads) and
commenced attack.
The Vietcong soldiers were rather caught by surprise, and within
seconds they were reduced to undeterminable heaps of smouldering
limbs, bowels, bones and weaponry.
As he blew the smoke off the barrel of the massive weapon,
another smile wrinkled his lips that could not be mistaken for
anything other than pure satisfaction. Added to that, he chuckled
slightly.
He adjusted his helmet, and again scanned the bushes for more
soldiers to exterminate.
Pity. There weren't any.
But the fact that he had ran into a whole bundle of them proved
nothing other than good luck for the future. He could almost
smell more enemies now, so he guessed that the POW camp was
probably not bound to be far off, either.
He walked in a steady but somewhat faster pace deeper into the
jungle, anticipating massive mayhem, oblivious onslaught and
colossal killings.

*****

When looking at "Dogs of War", the first thing that pops into
your mind is the initial similarity to one of Steve's older
games, "Leatherneck". But "Dogs of War" is better, has more
subtle graphics (Chris Sorrell of Vectordean, Steve's new
company, did 'em), has more different missions, and scrolls also
horizontally (each of the 12 missions is laid out over 4 vertical
and 3 horizontal sections). There are 3 different sets of
background levels (jungle, city, plains) and seven different sets
of enemies. The horizontal scrolling (four planes) is flawlessly
smooth but is based on a trick.
You can play with one or two players (two also at the same
time), and you can now also shoot sideways. There are 18 types of
guns, grenades and ammo you can buy from the money you can earn
being a mercenary/hired gun in each of the mission. You keep all
weapons as you proceed to buy more. Except for one, all weapons
are real - including the mini-gun used in "Exterminator". You get
extra points at the end of each level for the amount of
destruction you've done.
Enormous sprites can be seen moving at times, like for example
tanks. These can only be destroyed by anti-tank weapons and will
have to be evaded if you don't have that.
There's a trainer word (cheat code word) that has something to
do with the author's name, and when we visited him in July, Steve
told us he would also include a special cheat that would have
something to do with ST NEWS that would give you a bonus demo
screen.
"Dogs of War" is a typical "There something on the screen; let's
kill it!"-game (this is a Steve quote), and is imminently
available at £19.99 from Elite software.

Game Rating:

Title: Dogs of War
Company: Elite
Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 8
Playability: 8
Hookability: 7
Value for money: 8-
Overall rating: 8
Price: £19.99
Hardware: Color monitor only
Remark: A tasteless shoot-'em-up. Good.

Thanks to Steve Bak and Tim Coupe for demonstrating the game to
us when we visited them in July this year. Cheers!

Disclaimer
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.