Surely one of the most famous Amiga games ever? Probably for all the wrong reasons too.
This classic game was released in 1992 by Ocean Software after being delayed more times than an M8 commuter.
It was supposed to be the definitve space opera on the Amiga - but ended up being a bug ridden 3D arcade game that featured nice cut scenes and haunting incidental music.
The whole back story to the game (most classic games have one!) was basically taken from the plot of good old Battlestar Galactica - you had to lead a rag tag fleet of ships across the galaxy after fleeing their homeworld before the sun went super-nova.
Unfortunately this route would take you through the heart of the dreaded Rexxon empire - who decided to take it upon themselves to blow you out of the stars. So - the scene was set by impressive opening cut scenes overlayed with story text and orchestral music. You were immersed within the universe of Epic...
The game was mission based with action taking place in outer space or on the surface of a planet.
What was immediately apparent was the quality of the graphics. The 3D spaceships zipped around at a fair old rate and exploded very nicely. You could also look to the left, right and behind you (the rear view like a sort of remote camera view looking back past your craft) which was very impressive.
Some of the planet's surface features were equally impressive with you having to destroy huge radars, installations and surface cannons.
After a couple of plays what also became apparent was the lack of gameplay depth. Once you got the hang of the controls the game was very easy to beat. Your ship was almost indestructable - and with some of the missions played against the clock you were nearly at the end of the game before you knew it.
There were still too many bugs in the game - such as your flight computer not telling you which target to go after next (you had to work it out yourself) and the all time turkey of things included in the instructions: The 'cheat code' of press the numerical Enter key to replenish your supply of shields, fuel and weapons! Crazy...
Despite it being possible to 'branch' the story depending on the outcome of certain missions the game was far too easy to complete - and once completed you didn't have much reason to go back to it...
The one saving grace in this almost arcade masterpiece was the final battle. The bad guys launched a massive offensive against your fleet and you and your buddies had to defend the fleet against them at all costs.
Here it was possible to accidentaly shoot one of your own which could be easily done as there were roughly 200 spaceships flying around the screen. Again - this was techinally impressive and those guys at Digital Image Design really knew their graphics...
At the time it was the nearest thing to the final battle from Return of the Jedi anyway.
This Amiga game received either rave reviews, or was lamented for what it was when it was released. It was a shame as it still needed further development, and DiD could have gave us a truly epic game with a little more tweaking, testing and bug fixing. It was almost there on a grand scale. All in all this game can probably be considered as a near miss...
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Epic. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Not quite Elite, definately not epic.
Please see our other Amiga game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade Game (3D shoot em up)
RELEASE DATE: 1992
RELEASED BY: Ocean Software
DEVELOPER(S): Russ Payne, Martin Kenwright, Paul Hollingwood
PRICE: £25.95 (£15.99 re-release) - UK
Almost classic arcade action...
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games