In December 1996, when the internet was young and Google was less than a year old, the DVD format had just been released and Tom Holland was in nappies, Gremlin Interactive released Re-Loaded less than a year after the moderately successful Loaded. Cut to 2023 and it is the responsibility of Urbanscan to bring the trip down memory lane to the nostalgia driven masses. Time to fashion myself a mohawk and grab the nearest weapon of choice and head off to defeat the enemies and revisit my youth.
Re-Loaded – Just another bullet in the chamber?
Who doesn’t like a little bit of retro action? A visit to the childhood memories that are so sacred in the process of growing up. A chance to force our children to endure the basic lives that we all led before they were even a tingle in our trousers. Time to get out my weapon and see if I still got it.
When it comes to revisiting the past, quite often changes are made, remastering, rerendering, reoptimising and other words that start with ‘re’. Whilst Re-Loaded does begin with a ‘re’, that’s about all it has in common with improving the experience. Re-Loaded is a genuine time-warp back to the days when games were being developed at a fast and furious pace. Incidentally, just five years before the first film in the Fast and Furious franchise was released. So lets see if Re-Loaded has kept any of its original charm that made it loved by so many and a worthwhile delve into retroville.
Well I shall be Frank (or possibly Fwank) and tell it as it is. The plot is a direct follow on from Loaded, the antagonist needs to be beaten once more. The attempted humour falls as flat as a Roy Chubby Brown gig in a convent. Puerile would be an improvement. The physical gameplay does at least tick some of the boxes, you character can move in 8 directions and shoot. Strafing is an option as is running (no stamina so just glue the button down). Actually, here’s the keys to save me typing.
Re-Loaded has 12 large worlds for you to wander around and lose your mind. Shoot the living daylights out of everything and find things and give things and nap (ok, that might just have been me trying to summon the energy needed to play a little bit more). Time spent playing will never be replaced and I spent almost the entire game thinking how I would improve it, other then turning it off. If Boredom and Annoyance got together and had a child, this would be it. long periods of wanderlust and shooting enemies that are in your face faster than a drunk hillbilly in a bar who didn’t hear what you just said about his wife.
Re-Loaded isn’t a bad game, but with several marked improvements it might just elevate itself to this level. I have just trawled through some reviews of the original game in 1996 and it was pretty much unilaterally disliked. It really does beg the question of why would Urbanscan bother to bring it back to life again. I have no answer to this question. On the plus side, yes, I know, I said plus side, it’s cheap at just £3.99. I’m guessing this is still overpriced though.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics in Re-Loaded are not cute little retro graphics, but terrible efforts that look like they were created when someone new to holding a mouse was told to draw a humanoid. Even I don’t know what I’m looking at half the time. My peril sensitive sunglasses were well and truly firing up regularly so I had to take them off now and again.
When it comes to the audio, they say a picture speaks a thousand words. So here it is.
Re-Loaded has already lived longer than it should have. If by chance anyone has never seen a video game before in their life, they might be able to get into it. Hopefully not too many people will be fooled into thinking that this is a pleasant trip down memory lane, because the pain might just cause amnesia and you could forget a proper classic. Painful on the brain, painful on the ears and painful on the eyes. Re-Loaded could have been used as modern day punishment. My only regret is that there is no hard copy to ritualistically set light to.
I am currently heading to the desert to dig a giant hole and look for ET. If you know, you know.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
Sadly there is no trailer, so here is some wood burning for an hour.