PC Game -- Boiling Point

If Boiling Point was a movie instead of a computer game, it would be the kind that goes straight to DVD.

From the truly dreadful opening sequence you learn that ex-Foreign Legionnaire Saul Myers has lost his daughter. It turns out that she's been kidnapped from a fictitious, rat-infested South American town by persons unknown. Saul is understandably unhappy about this and leaps into action to find her.

One of Boiling Point's selling points is its gigantic, continuous game area, with a background loading system allowing you to go from one side of the 625km² map to the other without seeing a single loading screen. But the big problem with the map size is boredom. It takes time to navigate through the map, and there's not always a lot to do between points A and B. This is not helped by the lousy control Saul has over the wide variety of vehicles he can access, and the lack of direction - it's up to you to figure out where to go and what to do once you're there.

Information gathering is an important factor in finding clues to the whereabouts of Saul's daughter, and anyone in this game can be approached - just don't expect to hear many inspiring conversations. Talking to people can also lead Saul to various jobs, from simple spying to outright killing, to help fund his private war. This means he'll align with various factions throughout the game, from the CIA to the local mafia. Obviously, there's a balance to be struck here; align yourself with the mob, and it won't take long before the CIA decides to shoot you on sight (and vice versa).

With the cash you earn from these missions you can buy information, alcohol (Saul enjoys his Cervesa), and upgraded hardware. You'll also find that skills (like driving and shooting) improve with practice, or you can buy training from various characters.

The voice acting in this game is even worse than the game's questionable physics engine, despite the inclusion of Arnold Vosloo, who played the title role in The Mummy films.

Overall, Boiling Point is fun for a while, but its huge environment doesn't contain enough to keep gamers interested for long.

Click here to view a screenshot.

Visuals: Average. Character models look blocky and poorly-animated. You need a powerful system for smooth game play.
Audio: Atrocious voice acting, with unsynchronised dialogue and badly-balanced ambient noises.
Gameplay: A huge map, lots of missions and a non-linear storyline can all add up to huge hours spent in front of your computer - presuming you can get through the boring bits.
Score: 2 1/2
Developer: Deep Shadows
Distributor: Atari
URL: www.atari.com.au
Price: $79.95

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