Abuse Review

There’s not a whole lot of story behind the game Abuse. But with stunning graphics, smooth play control, and lots of nasty monsters to kill, this looks like one of the best platform shooters we’ve seen since Blackthorne. And with a foundation like that, who needs story?

Your goal, basically, is to kill everything in sight and get out alive. You move your character with the arrow keys, using the mouse to aim your weapon by placing the cross-hairs where you want to shoot, and pressing the left mouse button to let the lead fly.

In the tradition of great shareware gaming, there are five levels here for you to try out. The first is a sort of “training” level, and the others will pit you against leaping aliens and deadly machines. Five levels may not seem like much, but you’ll find secrets and hidden passages that’ll keep you busy for a good, long time.

When you gather more than one weapon, you can switch between them by putting the cursor over the desired arsenal on the bottom of the screen and pressing the right mouse button. Or you can cycle through them with the Control and Insert keys.

In order to save your game, you have to locate a save game console.

There are many of them scattered through the levels, and almost always one at the beginning of a level. You can then load them by clicking on the floppy disc icon at the main menu.

You can play this demo in several resolutions, from the default 320x200 to 1280x1024, depending on the capabilities of your monitor, although you better have a Pentium if you want to play at the higher resolutions. It’s suggested that you first play in 320x200 to finish the game, though, because you’ll be able to see things that will give the secrets away in anything over low resolution. You can change the resolution by typing “abuse -size?” for your options, or, if you know your monitor is capable of it, the resolution you want to play in. I.e., if you wanted to play in 640x480, you would type “abuse - size 640 480.”

Knowing the success of id with the customizable levels of Doom, Doom II, and Heretic, Crack dot Corn went a bit further with Abuse. Where you needed to have the registered version of Doom in order to play the modified levels, you don’t have that restriction with the shareware version of Abuse. Also, they have included a LISP interpreter. In other words, you can use the level editing capabilities in Abuse to change the laws of physics, lighting, and rules of Abuse. Not only that, but if you use it correctly, you could create a whole new game that can be ported to any platform. You can access the editor by typing ‘abuse -edit at the command prompt. It is menu driven, but you should check out the ABUSE.DOC file that is installed on your hard drive for instructions on how to use it.

What would an action game be without some great looking explosions of the enemy? Even at low resolution, this game looks great.