#365Games14: Quarantine – 3DO

At some point in the late 90’s, I came across a 3DO, it had a few lame games packaged with it but one game seemed to stand out, Quarantine. I even created an homage to it on the Apex of Excitement EP. Think of it as Doom in a taxicab, or an early version of Twisted Metal. I had this game on the PC and liked it, so I figured the console experience would be even more awesome … nope.

Set in the fictional, post-apocalyptic prison city of Kemo in the year 2048, the title refers to a virus that has spread within the “quarantined” city, so it’s up to you to escape. The game starts out with an ok live-action video that sets the tone for the game. You’re a cabbie that drives around picking up fares, avoiding land mines; other vehicles and missiles flying out of the city walls. Once you pick up a fare you have a time limit to get the person to their desired destination, doing so will get you some cash that you can use to upgrade your weapons and buy additional ones.

This game has serious control issues, it takes a second to accelerate and when you do you’re flying out of control, steering is much more difficult than it has to be, especially when you’re trying to back up. You see, this game doesn’t have a “brake” button, so you have to ease off the accelerator and do a light balance between that and reverse to actually stop. Sometimes you just run over a person while you’re attempting to finesse a stop. The graphics are ugly, It might actually be one of the ugliest games I’ve ever seen (yes, even uglier than the He-Man game), It’s all a big, drab mess of chunky pixels. Everything seems to look the same, the people remind me of those old Colorforms stickers we had in the 80’s, they’re just stuck there in the middle of the street, sort of blending into all of the other pixels. The buildings have textures but the road is just a solid mass of gray and a distant skyline is visible in the beginning area, for some reason the 3DO version was stripped down, the PC version at least had asphalt.

The game is fairly large, as the back of the box says, “Gigantic playing environment set in a dark, futuristic city!” It’s pretty big, but since it all looks the same it doesn’t really matter, plus it’s kind of weird driving around shooting people and dodging missiles while listening to Australian shoegaze. The soundtrack is a nice selection of Australian, alternative rock but kind of out of place, I guess the developers figured it would add to the potential cult-status of the game.

A highly disappointing game, only because I was such a fan of the PC version and this one sucked.