The Terminator: Future Shock Review

By Radix Gaertner

01When you grew up in the 90’s, First Persons Shooters were the thing, with Doom, Quake, James Bond Golden Eye, Turok, Unreal and many more. I used to have a shitty graphic card on my first computer so I had to stick with DOS games for a while, from Duke Nukem 3D to Heretic : Shadow of the Serpent Riders, to The Elder Scroll : Arena, I never grew tired of FPS. Sadly, I overlooked Terminator : Future Shock made by Bethesda Softworks. I saw some cover arts for this game and knew it existed but for some reasons I didn’t tried it. It was only this year that I took the time to tried it and I was surprised. I was expecting a Doom clone like Star Wars : Dark Forces but in the Terminator Universe and I was wrong. For 1995 the game is pretty sophisticated and used elements that wasn’t common in this FPS era. No wonder Bethesda is still kicking.

02The game is set in 2015 so 20 years after the judgement day, the player have to escape a Skynet base to join the Human resistance and strike back, the plot is very simple and It’s what you’d expect from a terminator game. You have to name the character and give him a call sign which is great for the immersion. The game is divided into missions, the story is told with briefings, the objectives are mentioned before the missions start so we get an idea of what we have to do.

03At first the gameplay is what you’d expect from a DOS-era FPS, shooting enemies, searching for ammo, armours and medkits. Like in Descent and some other games, the enemies are polygon instead of sprites which is nice. What surprised me was the platform jumping sequences in missions, Geograph Seal (a 1994 Japanese game) is said to be the first FPS game to incorporate those elements but it was still uncommon to see those.

04What surprised me the most are the missions where you have to drive a car, for the time there were not many game where some missions where on foots and others in a vehicle. The car’s control are not the greatest nor the worst I’ve played. It suffers from the same problems of many other games, too sensitive controls, get stuck in a collision with a building, ect. The directions your comrades tells you are unclear most of the time and you wander in the level lost. But at least they tried.

05Remember the map from Doom? Yeah it was better than to have no maps at all but it was ugly as hell and a little confusing sometimes.

06Here’s the map from Terminator : Future Shock. I was impressed they put the map in 3D, even games from the 00’s could have shitty and confusing maps. With this one you could see all the objects and buildings, even able to turn the camera angles so It was easier to figure out where you are.

07To conclude, the game is far from perfection with collision bugs, confusing and sometimes too huge level designs, weapons that are too similar (The first two weapons are machine guns, one is slightly better than the other. They could have just put one and a have a different weapon for the other instead). Still, I don’t understand why this game have not been re-released in digital format on Steam or GOG. SW: Dark Forces is available on both sites and have less to offer than this game. Maybe it’s a copyright issue or maybe nobody cares anymore. I just think it deserves to be reminded. Thanks for reading.

 

The included images were provided by the reviewer and are used for review purposes only. Dark Futures Literature LLC claims no ownership of anything in this review.

Wendy Van Camp

Wendy Van Camp is the writer behind No Wasted Ink, a blog about the craft of writing, featuring author interviews. book reviews and Scifaiku poetry. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband. Wendy enjoys travel, bicycling, gourmet cooking and gemology. Her work has appeared in literary and science fiction magazines such as “Shadows Express”, “Quantum Visions”, “Serendipity”, and “Far Horizons”.  Her first Amazon ebook is a regency romance entitled: “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion”.

The Greenland Diaries Day Two

By Patrick W. Marsh

The following collections of journals were recovered from a caravan outside of Duluth, Minnesota. The exact date of recovery is not known nor is the origin of the speaker. The Bureau for the Restoration of History (BFRH) would like help in identifying the man who kept these records. This unedited record of events is still considered the most accurate history of the apocalypse that occurred on April 15th, 2011.

“It began with a drum. Then the monsters came. I’ve been hiding ever since.”

Day Two

They came back. I had hoped they wouldn’t, but they’re here. The sound started again just a few moments ago. Most people left their cars. I didn’t. I crawled into the trunk through my seats. I’m not going out there. I’ve got some old Taco Bell back here that smells funky and some empty quarts of oil that made the carpet greasy. Should’ve listened to my girlfriend and thrown them away. I hear all sorts of things around me, screams, explosions, and the grating sound of shattered glass being walked on. I never should have left the bank.

When I woke up this morning, the world was hot and humid. I could feel the heat bubbling down into that dank basement. It’s April? It shouldn’t be this hot. I made it outside and found everything smashed; cars turned over and charred. A bus was torn open and was stained a deep red.

Everything smelled burnt and ugly.

A few light poles had fallen down in the bank parking lot, but both missed my Stratus. A cop had started to wave traffic through the street; a bulldozer was pushing all the shit out of the way. Houses were smashed; their roofs taken off and walls torn out. The plants were budding like crazy. And the heat, the damn heat was everywhere. I asked the police officer what happened and he said, “We got attacked by some sort of thing last night, devils or something. I’d try and make it home. They seemed to have gone away in the daylight. A bunch of people died, though. Prepare yourself. I don’t know much more than that, but everyone is trying to get home.”

He looked at the bank behind me and shook his head. “Well, money isn’t that important now, huh?” he said.

That wasn’t my money, so whatever.

I jumped in my car and turned on the radio. There was nothing. Just that annoying broadcast that they test at the beginning of the month. I-94 was getting cleared of debris and people were piling into their cars. It took me all day to get to Minneapolis. Nothing moved. My phone was dead. I got to Broadway when the sound started. There was nothing else. I have to stop writing. I’ve never written this much in my life. Things are walking by my car.

I can feel their weight.

Book Review: The Day of the Triffids

This review is reprinted from the author’s blog, No Wasted Ink.

Review By Wendy Van Camp

Book Name: Day of the Triffids
Author:
John Wyndham
First Published:
1951

Born John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, Wyndham was born in the village of Dorridge, England. He was the son of a barrister. When he was eight years old, his parents separated and he and his brother, Vivian Beynon Harris, were sent away to boarding school. Both boys remained in various schools until they turned eighteen. Wyndham was happy at his last school, Bedales School near Petersfield in Hampshire and considered it home.

When he left school, he attempted several careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, but mainly lived off an allowance from his parents. In 1925, he decided to write for money and would sell short stories and series to American science fiction magazines. He used the pen names “John Beynon” or “John Beynon Harris”. He had moderate success, but when World War II arrived, he joined the army as many young men of his time did. He severed as a Corporal cipher operator in the Royal Corps of Signals and participated in the Normandy landings, although he was not one of the ones first on the beach.

When the war ended, Wyndham returned to writing, inspired by the success his brother had achieved with the publication of four novels. Wyndham changed his writing style and sought to improve his storytelling skills. In 1951, he used the pen name John Wyndham for the first time. He published The Day of the Triffids under this name and did not mention his pre-war writing career in the book’s publicity. Most people assumed that this was his first novel and that he was an unknown writer. The Day of the Triffids became a huge success and established Wyndham as a name in the science fiction community. He would go on to write six more novels under this pen name.

In 1963, Wyndham married Grace Wilson, a woman that he had dated for twenty years and the couple remained together until he passed away. They lived in a house in Petersfield, Hampshire, just outside the grounds of Bedales School where he had grown up. Wyndham died at the age of 65.

The Day of the Triffids begins when biologist Bill Masen lands in a hospital after having been splashed with droplets of poison from a strange plant known as a Triffid. These plants are aggressive and seem capable of intelligent behavior. They move about by walking on their roots and have a whip-like poisonous sting that allows them to kill their prey. Bill’s eyes are bandaged as he recovers and therefore misses seeing a beautiful green meteor shower that the entire world took time to watch. The next morning, Bill awakens to a silent hospital.

Fearful of his eyesight, Bill removes the bandages from his eyes and discovers that London is collapsing. All those that had viewed the meteor shower, have been rendered completely blind. Quickly, many fall dead to a subsequent plague and the population of the city is quickly decimated.

Bill Masen is one of the few people left who is still sighted. He meets a sighted woman, wealthy novelist Josella Playton, who is being used as a guide for a violet blind man. She and Bill gradually fall in love and decide to leave London together to find a better life for themselves. As they depart, they are lured by a light that they see at a London university building. They discover a group of sighted people led by a man named Beadley. This leader wants to save humanity by creating a colony of sighted men who would each take several sighted and blind women as wives. Feeling that there is safety in numbers, Bill and Josella join his group.

Due to the polygamous principals of the group and that it favors only the sighted, some of its members balk. Wilfred Coker takes it on himself to save as many of the blind from the wandering Triffids in the city. He starts a mock fire at the university and during the confusion, kidnaps several of the sighted people that are necessary for his plans. Two of those people are Bill and Josella. He chains each of the sighted people he has taken to a squad of the blind and forces them to wander through the city in search of food and other necessities. During one such search, Bill and his squad are attacked by triffids and a rival gang of scavengers led by a red haired man. They survive the attack, but later the blind scavengers begin dying of the plague.

When his squad is dead, Bill and a now repentant Coker, begin to search for Bill’s love. After a few dead ends, he remembers Josella mentioning a country home in Sussex. Coker does not wish to search further and Bill sets out alone. He is joined by a young sighted girl named Susan and with her help, they manage to locate Josella. The three bond into a family, with Bill and Josella as the married parents and Susan as their adopted daughter. Together they turn the Sussex farm into a small, self-sufficient colony. As the years go by, the Triffids grow more powerful and numerous. Their break-ins on the farm increase and endanger the human beings inside. Also the supplies of fuel from the city grow more difficult to obtain.

One day a helicopter pilot arrives as a representative of the colony that Beadley has established on the Isle of Wright. The Masens are invited to join them. The family is reluctant to leave their home, but when a squad of soldiers arrive, representing a new tyranical government that wishes to draft the adults to care for blind survivors and hold Susan hostage to guaranty their good behavior. The Masens flee the farm and leave with Beadley’s pilot. They join with the Wight colony, with the hope of destroying the triffids once and for all and reclaim Earth for human beings once again.

The Day of the Triffids was one of those books at the library that I read as a teenager. The style of writing was typical for its day and now would be considered a bit old fashioned. Yet this story about aggressive plants and the end of the world as we know it has stuck with popular culture since it was written. The novel has continued to be made into movies, radio plays and even a television series. It is still worth checking out even now, especially if you like science fiction with a touch of a horror element.

Entries Closed For Blurred Lines Writing Challenge

We are no longer accepting entries for our Blurred Lines writing challenge. All entries will be with Adam Gaylord, our guest judge, within the next day or two and we expect to have his decision within the week.

Best of luck to those of you who entered. This is the best response we’ve had to a writing challenge in a while.

If your entry doesn’t win but is sci-fi in nature, you may consider submitting it to us for consideration for Phase 2. Submissions guidelines can be found here.

The Greenland Diaries Day One

By Patrick W. Marsh

The following collections of journals were recovered from a caravan outside of Duluth, Minnesota. The exact date of recovery is not known nor is the origin of the speaker. The Bureau for the Restoration of History (BFRH) would like help in identifying the man who kept these records. This unedited record of events is still considered the most accurate history of the apocalypse that occurred on April 15th, 2011.

“It began with a drum. Then the monsters came. I’ve been hiding ever since.”

Day One

I took a yellow memo pad from the supply locker. I hope they don’t care. I need to write something down. I remember hearing somewhere that having a journal is a good way to avoid going crazy. It was on the Today Show or something like that. They’d have to be experts, right? Doesn’t matter, I won’t get in trouble. The bank won’t be working for a while. I don’t care though, after everything that’s happened. I don’t want to work here anymore if this is going to happen in the area.

It hit around six tonight, right before I could close the drive up.

There was this weird hammering sound everywhere. I thought it was just some construction, but it didn’t stop. It started, and the drumming came through every wall and counter. It was almost like a casual vibration or something.

They came shortly after, the screams.

At first they were everywhere around the building, people screaming, running, and being chased. A fat, white guy with a Twins jersey on came running by the bank’s windows and something grabbed him from underneath the window. There was a scream, crunch, and nothing else. I hid down behind the counters. Something exploded outside, sending a tree branch into the front doors, throwing glass everywhere. I crawled to the basement.

There were more explosions, like they were following me. The lights went out quickly and without warning. I heard some brakes screech and a woman screaming. The door to the basement still worked, a battery controlled the whole thing. Three hours since then, my phone is holding the time at least. I’m going to hide here all night. The mold and dust smell is driving me a little nuts. The basement had a few cookies, and stale chips from the office parties. I ate them all. I don’t care. I tried calling my Dad, Sister, and my girlfriend. No answer, nothing, not a whisper. It was probably like 9/11 when the phones crashed or when Michael Jackson died. I’m going to try and sleep soon. The walls keep shaking, and there are distant sounds of smashes and screams.

War? The Russians? An earthquake in Saint Paul? Whatever, I’m not going to sit down here all night. I’ll have to pee eventually. The bathroom is upstairs. I’ll try and sleep first, and I see if I can drive home in the morning. My dog is home after all. She hates thunderstorms.

She can’t be doing very well with this.

March Transmission

March 1st marks the official start of Dark Futures’ third year. Before I get down to business, I want to take a moment to thank everyone for the support they have given us thus far. Every interaction on Facebook or Twitter, every comment here on the site, and every purchase of a book on Amazon means so much to us. Even every time you spend a part of your day reading something we’ve published online, it’s greatly appreciated. We thank you and look forward to your continued support.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, welcome to year three! We have a lot of great stuff in store for you this year and, hopefully, into the future. I have a lot to cover in this update but it’s worth reading the entire thing is you want to know what’s going on and what is coming your way.

If you were not yet aware, we launched a proper quarterly e-zine back in January. It’s called Phase 2 and you can buy the first issue from Amazon. You can also find Phase 2 on Facebook and Twitter. The second issue will be available in early April.

You can still get Dark Futures Annual 1 from Amazon. As our second year was a slow one for us, we will be skipping a year in our annual collections. The second will be released in 2016, containing stories selected from the first year of Phase 2 and much more.

We are currently running a writing challenge and, as of the time of this posting, there’s still time to enter. Adam Gaylord, a name you may recognize from Dark Futures Annual 1 and the first issue of Phase 2, is our guest judge. The winner gets a $15 prize an their story will be published on the Dark Futures website as well as in the second issue of Phase 2.

Now for what you can expect from us this year. Every month will open with a post much like this on the 1st. I will give an update about what is currently going on, talk a little about what happened the previous month, and give you an idea of what is coming.

We will be back to posting every Sunday. If the 1st of the month happens to fall on a Sunday, it doesn’t count toward our regular routine. The first and third Sunday of each month, we will be posting another episode/day from The Greenland Diaries, written by Patrick Marsh. You can already but the first 100 days in Kindle or paperback format from Amazon or you can wait to sample it here first. Each other Sunday of the month, we will be posting other content. This will mostly be author interviews and book reviews, though we may drop the occasional story in there as well. From time to time, we will likely be posting things on days other than Sunday, though those posts will be less regular.

For the writers out there, we will soon be updating our submissions guidelines. What you see on the site right now is a bit outdated. We now pay a flat $5 to all prose we accept, regardless of if it has been previously published or not. We are also still accepting submissions of poetry, though we are not likely to accept it unless it’s a perfect fit for us.

As always, if there is anything you would like to see here, let us know. Feel free to contact us on Twitter, Facebook, or send an email to editor (at) darkfuturesfiction.net with your suggestion.