You'll put yourself in the shoes of four different characters, each slowly gaining armor and weapons to become one of four different super-powerful entities who look remarkably similar to your favorite four KISS rockers. The armor gives you access to new areas in each level (such as boots that allow you to jump higher), or adds to your overall strength and total health. Get all the armor, including the mask, and you'll be a fighting machine with a special unique power to pummel your foes with. Each character also has their own unique melee weapon, which I've described in my first impressions. You can play the game out of order, but if you follow the storyline, you'll start with Paul Stanley, er, the Starbearer as you enter the water realm. While each character infiltrates their own separate realm, the general gameplay and enemies you'll encounter will feel very similar, although there are a few unique monsters and tricks for each realm. And that's it -- run in, destroy the spawners as quickly as possible, do a lot of backpedaling, curse at the interminably slow shotgun, and move your way to the next map.
KISS Psycho Circus is not Half-Life, nor does it try to be. This is a straightforward fragfest with an emphasis on ammo-pumping. You'll see more enemies on screen in Psycho Circus than any other shooter, sometimes in ridiculously entertaining amounts. Spawners, organic versions of a hostess cupcake factory, keep weak enemies coming a la' Gauntlet until you destroy them, and on top of the spawned enemies, the game will also plain toss enemies in front of you at times just to keep things stressful. There are some great moments, when you'll walk into a warehouse to find dozens of enemies crashing through the glass ceiling, or a cavalcade of fire-emblazoned headless creatures surrounding you in frightening numbers. Psycho Circus' other contribution to the shooter market are the health bars, which give you the health of nearby enemies, a fantastic feature that gives you the room to run in blazing, or hold back and take some potshots, depending on the strength of the enemy. Like any shooter, there are some key/door puzzles, but they're kept simple and easy to wrangle, with more work spent trying to get to the key (usually clearly visible) than actually trying to find it on a large map. Thank god. It looks as if the Third Law team has definitely learned a few things from working on the bloated and downright confusing layout of Daikatana. Where Daikatana tried to "innovate" through the use of such things as pointless new weapon types and horrible jumping puzzles, Psycho Circus gives you slight variants on old weapon favorites and levels which look new but feel familiar. Unfortunately, while this definitely works better than Daikatana's fumblings steps, it falls under its own trap. While there are some small new features in Psycho Circus, overall the game feels like a lot of shooters you've played before, which in our bloated shooter market is about as dangerous as making a platormer was at the end of the SNES's life.
Windows DirectX compatible Sound card
350MB Hard Disk