I'll admit that I'm not too fanatic about mindless, blow-the-crap-out-of-everything shooters, but SWIV 3d is my one exception. I figured that, as with nearly every update of an older game, SWIV 3d would be basically the same game as its predecessor; I was horribly wrong, in a good way.
In SWIV 3D you fly and drive helicopters, jeeps, buggies, or hovercraft through a variety of terrestrial and extraterrestrial landscapes. Several stages include special areas where you can swap vehicles on the fly, such as from a jeep to a chopper or vice versa.
Bigger vehicles equal bigger payloads and firepower, from your standard issue wimp rockets to the almighty smart bombs. Ten plus special weapons make your gaming experience full of death, destruction, and the ever beloved explosion...lots and lots of explosions...
For a game released in 1996, the 3d environments, landscapes, and models are very pretty. Nothing state-of-the-art, but nothing worthy of eye sores. Even on low end machines, there is little to no graphical slowdown, even with a screen full of enemy tanks, choppers, boats, and various other baddies. The gameplay itself is just as smooth, and the WYSIWIG interface ensures that even your average, casual gamer will be up in the air blowing up rebels in no time at all. An excellent soundtrack emphasizes the action
and gives you a choice between beat-pounding techno fare (which, surprisingly, is actually worth listening to in its own right) and some very good classical pieces. Wasting a rebel base while listening to Ride of the Valkyries or Night on Bald Mountain is nothing short of incredible.
I only found two drawbacks to SWIV 3D; the lack of sound effects and the fact that the game is incredibly hard to beat. I only noticed one sound effect, and that was the hum of the engine which is almost completely droned out by the music. And because SWIV 3d is so difficult (difficult is an understatement; those rebels really open up a can of whoop-ass on you with no mercy), you are often doomed to playing the same level over, and over, and over, and over, and over again until you finally beat it from sheer memory.
While SWIV 3d is an excellent entry into the shooter genre, the impossible difficulty of the game may deter all but the most die-hard action and shooter junkies. Definitely not for those with a short attention span or get frustrated easily.