Scurge: Hive - hands-on

Unnecessary colon aside, Scurge: Hive is an attractive game. You've got big, bouncy graphics that look chunky enough to peel right of the screen, and pulsing tunes to echo down the hallways of the space-techno environment. The red-haired heroine seems like an interesting enough character to get behind for a game, and her tag-along, living-computer buddy is ready to chirp in with updated maps for your bounty-hunting needs.

Then you realize that you've kinda played this game already. Your target is a parasitic organism that slowly eats away other things. You run around varying locales piecing together clues so you can uncover suit-enhancing power-ups like new beams and a grappling hook, then dash off to an area you couldn't reach before. Hm... play Metroid much? We've even got a little Halo action with the mobile AI pal, just like Cortana hangs around with Master Chief.

But hey, if the game works, we can forgive the lack of imagination. And so far, Scurge is faring just fine. It's old-school as hell, with little touch screen activity going on and nothing in the way of hardware-pushing technology. Shoot, run, flip this switch, grab that power-up, backtrack and repeat. Aiming your shots at the blobs and haywire machines can be a little annoying though, as you must aim in one of eight directions - enemies can often get in blind spots, forcing you to retreat, line up your shots and try again.

One cool tweak to this established formula is the infection meter, a percentage that’s constantly rising due to your exposure to Scurge early on in the game. Watching your health and this rate of infection adds a sense of impending doom to the mission, forcing you to manage your time away from the detox chambers (save points).

Scurge: Hive isn't going to break any records - for anything - but its classic setup might tickle the SNES-gamer itch in the back of your mind.


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