B.A.T / Ubi Soft / PC

B.A.T. is a game that is basically utterly inexplicable with the manual. However you get ahold of this game, you'll need to get that too, or you won't make it beyond five minutes.

After failing to find a manual of my own, and having to settle for some descriptive webpages and reviews, I finally figured out at least some of it. It takes place in the typical cyberpunk future of Giant Corporate Rule, except in this world the Earth government expelled all the corporations to another planet. They set up their own little interstellar outposts and whatnot and this multi-species of profiteers and roustabouts emerges.

Great setting to turn you loose in, in the style of maybe Shadowrun or even Wing Commander: Privateer? Ha ha, no! You play as an Earth government agent who has come to the home planet of one of the giant corporations to stop them from asploding the world or whatever. Apparently the mission is so top secret that you had to eat your instructions or something, or they just never actually gave you any. Anyway, it's a totally linear slog through Cliched Plotsville.

So you're turned loose in some intergalactic subway station that you'll never get out of without explicit instruction or about ten hours of frustrating trial-and-error. The main problem is just that the interface is totally obtuse and non-intuitive, but you also have the added bonus of killer assassin droids coming at you right from the beginning (I guess no one ever said you were a *skilled* secret agent.) This throws you into an equally bizarre battle mode that looks like a 1980s hair band concert or something, with all these random freaky and ugly people (who play no role in the battle that I can discern) strewn about all over the place, and your actual enemy in the background somewhere. The game graphics also go for a "comic book panels" look which is an interesting idea, but in practice just adds to the general confusion.

Thus the typical trip into BAT will consist of you clicking around confusedly on things for a few minutes trying to figure out what the fuck is going on, then getting killed suddenly and unexpectedly. Unless you study the manual like you're cramming for a pop quiz in advance. Way to squander an interesting setting with a thoughtless interface and a crap story, buds.

Links :

Screenshots @ MobyGames
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