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I-War - The Atari Times


Another Cybermorph clone falls short
by Chris Donaldson

January 12, 2001
I-War is considered by some to be one of the Jaguar's most under-rated games. Still, most magazines and gamers consider I-War to be a simple, boring game. I've often heard the game described as "what Tron would be like if it was a video game". That's a pretty good description. In I-War, you pilot one of three tanks through the I-Way, some sort of virtual something or other out there in cyber space. Basically, the world's super computer has been corrupted, and you have to go in, clear it out, and most importantly, rescue those datapods!


The graphics are solid. The game is totally made up of polygons, most of which are gouraud shaded. There's a little texture mapping as well, but it doesn't look very good. The gouraud shading looks nice though. The frame rate is good as long as you stay in the 1st person perspective and there isn't much happening. As soon as the game gets busy the framerate suffers. The light effects and explosions add some nice eye candy to the game. Overall the graphics get rather repetitive though, and the framerate can get to be a real problem at times.


I-War's soundtrack is good; soft techno that sets the mood for the game. My only complaint with the music is that none of the songs really stand out. You'll enjoy them as you're playing, but it's not exactly the type of game you'd want to buy the soundtrack of. It's definitely "background" music. The sound effects are your typical lasers and explosions. They could have been better, but as they are they're decent.


The game controls well for the most part. Each tank controls differently, which is a nice touch. Personally I like how the heaviest tank feels the best. The ability to strafe would be a BIG improvement in this game. It would have made it much more interesting, and it would add some strategy to an otherwise straight forward game. Other than that the controls are good enough to get the job done, though the tank does sometimes gets caught up around the walls.


My biggest problem with I-War is that the gameplay is so repetitive. The game is good at what it does, but has almost no variety. The only thing that spices up the game is the bonus stages in-between levels, which are awesome. Why wasn't the entire game based around this engine instead? The rest of the game has lots of slowdown. There's a good selection of weapons and items though, and a lot of different enemies... it's just that every mission, you're always collecting pods. The bonus stages are more fun than the actual game!


I-War had a lot of potential. I could see the game being very fun if Imagitec had spiced things up with different sorts of missions, more variety in the levels, a little less slowdown, etc. As it is, I-War is simply not a very fun game, but it can be enjoyable. If you play it enough you'll find yourself coming back for more simply for the sake of finishing the game. If you're very hungry for a Jag game, at the price you can get it for these days, I'd say that I-War is worth the money... just make sure you have the system's better games before you go hunting for this title.

I don't suppose this game has anything to do with the Internet? 
The graphics look a little plain with some texture mapping here and there.
Traveling through the 'I-Way.' Who comes up with this stuff?
Spiky red and yellow graphics remind me of what heck must look like.
System: Jaguar
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 73%
Sound & Music Score: 70%
Gameplay Score: 65%
Control Score: 77%

Final Score: 70%

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