Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition – Uff, unfortunately that was a lot cooler in my memory!

Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition - Uff, unfortunately that was a lot cooler in my memory!

1995… those were the times! Doom had just kickstarted the first-person shooter, Descent had taken it to the third dimension, System Shock had made more of it than just shooting and moved Magic Carpet outside. This is not historically accurate. It was just so much fun to hiss through textured vector worlds with your finger on the trigger most of the time.

That’s why Terminal Velocity came at just the right time: fly around freely and shoot down everything that got in your way – what more could you ask for? Especially when it looked as good as it did here. Sure, you had mission goals. But anyway they just consisted of “Fly there!”, “Shoot everything!”, “Smash the boss” and so on. So the bottom line was pure action.

What required a powerful computer back then now also runs on a handheld such as the Steam Deck. (Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition)

The highlight: You could even fly into long tunnels that led more or less seamlessly from the surface in and out again. That was great, especially technically! A bit like Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon. Just like him, I constantly run into something, because the collision query often “triggers” earlier than I think is right. And unfortunately you can’t turn back in the tunnels. You’re not even allowed to re-enter the exits you’ve just left. Strange.

Well, and that’s it: I’m sorry to say that the magic that once surrounded Terminal Velocity quickly dissipated after I started the reboot here. Subtitled the Boosted Edition, it’s available now on PC and Switch, and will soon be coming to Sony and Microsoft consoles as well. To be honest, even then I’d only ever looked at the thing briefly because it was so damn impressive. For a long time I never played the rather dull skeet shooting.

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A nice idea: One of the tunnels is hidden in this skull. (Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition)

The central dogfights were and are far too one-dimensional for that. The AI ​​has nothing on the box. It flies towards me, turns a curve, and repeats the whole thing. If it’s behind you, it’s enough to take your foot off the gas and it whizzes past right into the crosshairs. Ground targets aren’t smarter. Eventually you’ll know how long you can hold out before you have to veer away because the enemy shots are coming in. You then repeat this for a few minutes.

No, even for hours, because the game offers absolutely nothing else. Even bosses are shockingly boring laser and missile catchers. And you know what’s really bad? For the Boosted Edition, this fog was removed, thanks to which you couldn’t see a hundred meters away in ’95. Fine. Only now you can see that the opponents hang in the air, motionless, until they step out of the fog of the time. Then they suddenly fly off and open fire.

The entire game, as it was then, is in this new edition – minus the possibility to fly with or against others. And somehow there is also something nice that after completing the first of three worlds you are asked to convert the shareware version into a full version, although of course all the content is included here. And at least the game is unfortunately only available in full-screen mode, but it can be played in current resolutions and with a gamepad.

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This is what it looks like in one of the first tunnels. You have to time your way around obstacles while watching out for enemies. As a reward you often get upgrades for the weapons or energy for shields and the turbo. (Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition)

But was it really unavoidable that you had to reselect the resolution in one of those gray Windows 95 windows before each start? And why can’t you roll the ship around its own axis when playing with a gamepad? After all, the control via keyboard also allows this and it is at least not an unimportant action if the plane constantly lands upside down, although you have activated the automatic alignment to the horizon.

You don’t give a damn about details like that, and is pointing at them just your thing? Don’t force yourself! I know Terminal Velocity has its fans. That one of them just apostatized won’t bother you. At this point, however, I have to draw a line and let a classic go. In my opinion, it simply hasn’t held up as well as many of its former competitors have done to this day.

Later you fly over a huge spaceship and some kind of lava planet. Unfortunately, even many bosses like this are processed into scrap metal within seconds. (Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition)

Doom still has an enthralling atmosphere, iconic enemies and fat weapons. Descent requires you to skillfully dance around enemy robots and their projectiles while navigating narrow hallways and rooms – I still warmly recommend the unofficial, in a modern way wonderfully old-fashioned fourth installment called Overload. And System Shock was a lot further as a game anyway. None of that smacks the ugly shoot-turn-shoot in Terminal Verlocity in the slightest.

Of course, it’s nice that the Boosted Edition runs flawlessly on modern computers. The fact that the few adjustments were not even consistently implemented and that the distant fog even strengthened game-mechanical weaknesses quickly brought me back to earth after a short leap of joy. Whereby: This new edition has one good thing, of course. It reminds me that not all textured polygons were the end of the world back then.

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