Amstrad Computer User1st December 1988
Published in Amstrad Computer User #49
Life is tough on the small island of Botsneda. Not only do the inhabitants have to put up with being known as Botsnedans - a heavy load for anyone to bear but they have just been ruthlessly attacked by the forces of Cobra who are, we are told, the Enemy. Not just any old enemy, but the Enemy with a capital E.
All civilians have been evacuated from the Botsnedan tourist resorts, The military installation has not been so lucky. Despite possessing the latest early warning systems, they only realised they were being attacked after it was too late to retaliate; they were forced to withdraw.
So if someone offers you a cheap, second-hand Botsnedan early warning system, you know what to do.For various complicated reasons, Cobra cannot be allowed to consolidate their position. The military installation contained a spy base, and vital information must be retrieved before it is studied by the enemy - sorry, the Enemy.
A crack squad is needed to mount an immediate raid. Who are gonna call? Action Force! (All right, so it hasn't got the same ring to it.) The four-man squad will use the All Weather and Environment Striker, or AWE Striker, a fast, manoeuvrable, four wheel drive vehicle, covered from the air by the Dragonfly helicopter.
AWE Striker will carry the electronic tapping equipment. Your job, as Dragonfly pilot Wild Bill, is to escort AWE Striker to the target.
Action Force is a reasonably good realisation of a standard scenario: Heroic warrior with ultimate weapon beats up hordes of two dimensional baddies. There is plenty to do and it all needs to be done pretty fast, with a fair degree of skill.
Graphically the game is no more than adequate, the sound effects are nothing special and the degree of innovation is low. If you've not played this type of game before then Action Force is not a bad game to get to grips with, but you'll not find anything new to excite you.
These days, a two dimensional action game needs to work hard to retain interest. Such games do exist, with enough variation or visual excitement to overcome lethargy, but this isn't one of them. What it does, it does well, but we have seen it all before.
It is also a pain to have to sit through the same four or five screens of tedious introduction every time we want to restart.