Famous for being red, uninhabitable, and er, home to big spiders, Mars seems to have attracted more than its fair share of attention when you compare it to other planets doing the rounds. It's not clear exactly what Mars's appeal is, but one thing's for sure, games developers (not to mention film directors and writers) love it. So step forward LucasArts with their latest action adventure, RTX Red Rock, set to tread in the same dusty footsteps as so many of its predecessors.
Set one hundred years in the future, RTX is a 3D action adventure featuring the somewhat dubiously monikered 'E.Z. Wheeler': maverick, 'lone gun' and biomechanically engineered super soldier, who's no doubt in possession of a rather large chip on his shoulder about his frankly comical nickname. Quite right too. That apart, RTX is a corking bit of action, with a healthy dose of platformer style puzzle-solving thrown in for good measure.
E.Z. is an RTX, or Radical Tactics eXpert (RTX, d'you see?) and has been summoned to scope out a situation involving some riled aliens and a human colony on Mars. RTXs are an "elite unit" trained to go into combat situations alone and kick some serious alien arse whenever necessary - hurrah! This is where you come in, playing as the man himself, investigating the invasion of L.E.D.s - aliens that communicate through light - and sending them packing with your arsenal of cyber-snazzy equipment. E.Z. is tooled up with a bionic eye, used for locating and targeting hidden aliens, identifying potential traps, and uncovering power-ups throughout the game, and of course no cyber-soldier is complete without the addition of a mechanical arm, which can be upgraded to become a grappling hook, taser, grenade launcher, and loads more cool stuff.
Joining you on your travels is Wheeler's sidekick IRIS (Independent Removable Information System), a portable computer module imbued with a smart-arse personality (and it's a woman, hey, go figure). At various stages of the game, you can take control of IRIS and command robots, Martian rovers, and other alien craft. There's also a two-player split-screen multiplayer mode for taking on a mate, and breakneck speed races in a number of the game's vehicles.
LucasArts continue its tradition for making cracking good action games, with full-on adventure RTX Red Rock. The search and rescue aspects of the game are spliced with plenty of all-out run and gun moments, and the pace is maintained by the variety of challenges thrown up throughout the game.
- Explore above and below the surface of Mars throughout the game's 10 levels
- Take control of a variety of vehicles using your digital side-kick IRIS
- Upgrade your synthetic arm to include extra tools and weapons, including a grappling hook and rocket launcher