Time: 16 hours
I was first aware of Midwinter as a child, my parents had a couple old Microprose games, complete in box, back when that didn't really mean anything. Midwinter was some small advertisement in a catalog of a soon-to-be dead company. There wasn't much, beyond a strange description of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It sounded interesting, but ultimately of no consequence. Every time I vaguely heard of the game since then, it was with a subtle, "Oh, yeah, I remember that."
|The amount of enemies is every bit as difficult as it sounds.
|If you're lucky, this is what happens when you ask someone to join.
|Shooting these down is about as fun as simulating a papercut.
|Cable Cars offer a brief respite from enemies and driving.
|A rare finding, actually hitting someone dead on.
|Towns being captured is rarely interesting
|Character backstorys are a fun stop from the grind of the game.
|It looks like I'm about to hit him, but looks can be deceiving.
|This actually hit, which should tell you about combat here
These depend on how your moving around, with the sniper and grenade being delegated to skiing, and missiles of various types delegated to driving/flying. There's not really much fun to be had in the act of using them. 1/10
They were all basically the same. There's more variety in types than I mention, but they're basically unnoticeable. 1/10
There's not really any as such. Any characters not controlled by the enemy are eventually controllable by the player. 0/10
Despite not having much to it, I really like the island. It feels like an island. An island I'd like to explore. 4/10
Its clear that despite its failures, a good chunk of effort was put forth here. Little things make it fun, big things don't. I want a skiing game made in this engine, and I'm never getting it. 6/10
I am reluctant to give points here, as the only interactions are in the strategy sections. Most of which are simple strategy game actions. 3/10
Despite doing little to actually produce an atmosphere, the game does a good job of feeling like you're in a really cold environment, desperately trying to stop an evil enemy from taking over the free areas. 6/10
The pixel art has a few issues with it, leaning toward gruff-looking dudes. I like the simple terrain, but whenever a vehicle or tree or building comes on screen, it becomes obvious how bad the 3D is. Terrain far away fades into white, a fitting use of a now obvious limitation. 3/10
Despite the amount of backstory, little comes up in the game. Despite the much hyped relationship between characters, its not much deeper than a generic action game. 1/10
A lot of nice sound effects for the era. Different levels of speed, for each vehicle. The only thing I didn't feel was satisfactory was the sound for enemy vehicles. They always came off as more confusing than helpful. 3/10
That is 28 points. Below Spear of Destiny and above Catacomb 3D. I actually still suggest it despite the relatively low score. Its off the wall and most of its appeal isn't in the shooting aspect. Especially if you like other simulation/strategy/RP games like Pirates, Covert Action and Sword of the Samurai, although I would put this in an inferior category to those. Come to think of it, Covert Action applies as a shooter by my logic...oh, good, another game to add to the not win column. But enough about that.
This game is almost universally praised. In the past it was much loved by those who played it, and today its called a hidden gem by everyone who's heard of it. Its curious as to how outside of this praise there is very little in the ways of casual discussion on the game. Curiously, this consists of nearly no Youtubers. I guess nobody wants to upload something with the early 3D look. Its even gone as far as to be included in the 1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die book. Now, while I do agree that it was a good game, and certainly a hidden gem, but it isn't that good. Part of this game is action, and the action part isn't the best. Vehicle combat is tricky at best and seriously off-the-wall at worst. I'm not going to repeat about what I've said about other kinds of combat.
Next time...its getting moved up a bit, but Catacomb Apocalypse, the sequel to Catacomb Abyss. Does it live up to its predecessor? I don't know, I haven't played it, but I need something that isn't untextured polygons for a while.