Amstrad Action

Green Beret

Author: Bob Wade
Publisher: Imagine
Machine: Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

Published in Amstrad Action #11

Green Beret

A Commando by any other name but fortunately not the same type of game. It's all about mindless killing again but on a horizontally scrolling background rather than a vertical one. The aim is the familiar one of rescuing captives from a heavily defended enemy installation.

There are four stages in the game that have to be completed in sequence - each one getting progressively harder, although the first is tough enough. You start at the missile base and move on to the harbour, bridge and prison camp. Each stage has different and detailed backgrounds, most with features that can be climbed over. Screens have up to three levels that are connected by ladders and drops, but problems are encountered wherever you go.

The idea is to get your man to the end of a stage, where he has to fight a pitched battle before moving to the next one. Each stage is broken up into several sections, so that if your man is killed you restart at a set point just before the spot where he died. As you move left to right across the screens they scroll to reveal the ground ahead, and while this is happening the action is paused momentarily. The scrolling is jerky but the pauses are welcome respites as they give you time to think.

Green Beret

Along the route you face four types of enemy soldier. The simplest just tries to run into you, while others aim flying kicks at your skull. Even more dangerous are the ones with guns because they try to follow you, and occasionally shoot bullets that have to be ducked ox grenades that have to be jumped. There are also Commandants who behave like simple soldiers - but when killed provide you with an extra weapon.

On the first stage this is a flame thrower, which is best saved for the end of the stage since it only fires three times. The only other way to kill soldiers is at close quarters with a knife which takes good timing on the fire button. You can avoid the enemy either by climbing ladders or by jumping, but this is even more hazardous. Sometimes you may end up with three men chasing you, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing because riflemen won't shoot you if you're close enough. They move at the same speed as you and, because only three soldiers are allowed on screen at once, it reduces the chance of unpleasant surprises.

Other hazards include mines, which have to be jumped over, and mortars. On later stages, your weaponry changes as well, with Commandants providing grenades and rocket launchers instead of the flame thrower. You'll love the graphic effect of the flame thrower - very bloodthirsty.

Green Beret

The gameplay is extremely tough with enemy forces constantly coming at you -but it's also very addictive as you struggle to get a bit further through the game and to outwit the enemy soldiers. Despite the jerky scrolling the graphics are good, particularly when you use the flame thrower, and the sound accompanies the action with a compulsive rhythm. You do get into 'impossible' situations where death is inevitable, and this is frustrating, but not often enough to spoil the addictiveness. Mindless and violent, but great fun to play.

Second Opinion

If you only buy one gung-ho game, make it this one. It's got real two-fisted arcade action that you just can't tear yourself away from. Great graphics, tough timing and a load of nice touches all add to the addictiveness, and the weapons give the gameplay a tactical angle too. Green, gruesome, great stuff!

Good News

P. Four very difficult stages.
P. Compulsive, addictive gameplay.
P. Well drawn and varied graphic backgrounds.
P. Variety of features that need good reactions and tactics.
P. Sound accompanies the action well.

Bad News

N. Scrolling is jerky.
N. Mindless, violent games may not be your cup of blood.

Green Screen View

Everything's visible, but the flamethrower effect loses a lot. That beret looks just fine though.

Bob Wade

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