Acorn User1st September 1989
Published in Acorn User #086
Well, what can I say? Predator combines Superior's superior presentation and Peter Scott's legendary programming skills, with all the subtlety of plot you'd expect from a game called Predator featuring Arnold Schwarzeneggar.
Arnold, a nasty piece of work, as an unholy mission - to kill everything. And when you've said that, you've said it all. OK, the action is smoth and sophisticated, with our hero lobbing grenades, firing in three directions, kicking, punching, blocking, jumping, crouching and exchanging empty weapons for fully loaded ones, but the plot is simple - just kill, kill, kill.
The action (and there's plenty of it), proceeds left to right across a scrolling landscape. It is possible to move back to the left hand edge of the screen but not beyond. So, miss a weapon first time past and it is lost forever.
This is particularly likely if a whirling dervish appears as you're trying to master the rather precis positioning necessary to pick up a new and even more deadly weapon.
There are some good features in the scenery - trees, bushes, buildings, etc - but they all have a two-dimensional feel. It's a bit like playing in and out of cardboard cutouts.
Your foes are pretty stupid. By walking along the bottom of the screen it is possible to avoid most of them, though maybe they're a bit cannier at higher levels than infantrymen who advance regardless a la trench warfare, plus a few who pop out of potholes or windows. The best are the marauding eagles who attack in flocks of four.
It was only when I blasted a complete flock out of the sky together that I began to get a little game satisfaction. A status display at the top of the screen gives the usual information: lives and energy and time left, current weapon and ammunition remaining and score.
I understand that there are four levels, though I haven't yet progressed beyond number two.
I'm afraid the game left me cold. It has none of the puzzle elements present in the best shoot 'em up games and none of the excitement of many faster games. Worst of all, there's nothing personal here. I need to be frightened by foes, so I can get a bit of adrenalin going. With Predator what you see is what you get - a chance to knock pixels off a screen.