Bob is a working-class angel ordered by God himself to go and clean up the putrid, disgusting, sleazy, and infested world of the future. He has been given the power of possesion so that he can sneak up on any person, animal or genetically engineered being and leap right into their souls!
With your help, Bob can then use their bodies, their weapons, or even their bare hands to strangle, cripple, impale, and incinerate the cities of sinners sent to stop you from finding Satan himself. Hiding in their souls, Bob can use these sinners' bodies against their will as armor (to take pain for him), or he can use them for camouflage (to hide inside them) and pretend to be just another twisted citizen in the Messiah world...
The rules are up to you - enjoy the freedom.
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Strong Language, Mature Sexual Themes, Animated Blood and Gore.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.Patched to version 0.2
Posted on 2009-09-07 19:29:55 by pduke:
I'll just start this right off by saying I got this as part of the anniversary special, so I'm just thankful I technically got it for free.
Where to begin? This game is very intriguing in concept. Control an adorable little cherub, run around possessing people and generally cause mayhem. It interested me back in 2000 but at that time I didn't have a computer that could meet itsread more specs. Fast forward to today and given that it's a Win32 app it should run like a dream on XP SP3, right?
Forgive me Father, for I used Thy name in vain, repeatedly, to make it through this sloppily coded mess of a game. Before we even get into gameplay let's cover the technical side of things, which is what you should pay the most attention to before you decide whether or not to purchase this game. Take a gander at the community forum for Messiah here on gog.com. Notice that EVERY SINGLE POST is related to problems with running the game. Corrupted graphics, audio problems, crashes. It's a veritable Wheel of Miserable Fortune when you load this up. The first thing that happens when you run Messiah is you are met with a little box asking what resolution you wish to run in. Your options are 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 960, and 1280 x 1024. When you get into the game's menu you'll notice there are far more options available for resolution, and even color depth. Pay no heed to them, for they are merely apparitions of Satan designed to make you lose faith in the Lord. You cannot, you WILL not change your resolution or color depth in-game. Period. You are doomed to the wasteland of one of those 4 resolutions and 16 bit color depth.
On the audio side of things, When I first started playing my menu screen was making atrocious noises and being extremely unresponsive. Eventually I guessed that the game was disagreeing with Dolby Digital Live, which it was, and turned it off. After that my only big audio problems came during the credits sequence, with the music track stuttering for the entirety.
When you get into the game you will notice the polygon count of all the character models fluctuating constantly, from PSOne-quality models to slightly-higher-polycount-PSOne models. This was touted as a super-advanced way-ahead-of-its-time from-the-FUTURE ability of the game's engine to dynamically scale to any computer's rendering abilities to keep the framerate up. As I recall, in interviews the developers stated that on fast enough computers the models would always stay at the highest polygon count. Well, here we are ten years later, running on a GTS 250 and the characters still constantly spaz from low-poly to lower-poly and back. So much for that.
Going back and sifting through old press of the game it does appear that Messiah was always intended to be ported to console platforms. I think it could have turned out swell on the Dreamcast, as the controls are a natural fit for a gamepad and the game might have actually run relatively glitch-free without the albatross of developing for multiple hardware configurations. Seriously Shiny, if your game is mired in development hell for 4 years, all the while being hyped beyond belief, finally sees release and STILL doesn't run right, that's a hint that you need to stick to consoles. Go play with your crayons and let the adults make games for computers.
So, the game itself. The concept is original and sound. In execution it ends up, on the whole, dull and repetitive. You will spend most of the game jumping from one soldier/scientist/worker to another, until you can go no further and have to possess someone else, with very little difference in gameplay to break up this routine. Occasionally you have to abandon human hosts entirely and make your way through Mario-esque platform jumping sequences as the cherub. These are all bland, run-of-the-mill exercises in monotony that only serve to test your attention span. Combat is a joke. When you arm a weapon an auto lock-on takes effect which will aim directly at the chest of any enemies in front of you. Unfortunately the enemies seem to benefit from this as well and will always kill you faster, at least on Messiah mode. If you want to actually aim for headshots you have to stand still and go into first person zoom, where you can strafe very slowly for a second or two until you die.
It seems Shiny just wanted to make their cute little game, blatantly marketed to teenagers with a maturity deficit, where you play as a cherub and possess people, with a super-1337 tightened-up-the-grafx engine (ha. ha.) so there'd be lots of pretty screenshots to sell the game on, and tacked on all the actual gameplay mechanics as an afterthought while they speculated on which console they would get to farm out development of a port to first and watch the money roll in. Nice try.
Is is regretful that this game had to be my first experience with gog.com. I did get three others during the special, so hopefully they will suffice to wipe the bad taste from my mouth. Unfortunately two of those games are also developed by Shiny so things are looking grim already...
The two star rating is due only to the originality of the concept itself (to say nothing of the implementation), and some extremely sparse moments of actual humor. Still not enough to make up for the hours I spent playing through this crashy, buggy mess. If I hadn't gotten it for free I'd be asking for a refund. Please look elsewhere on gog.com for classic titles that are worth your time and money (I hear those Fallout games are something special). Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.
I'll end by offering up a second opinion, with accompanying screenshot documentation.
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Posted on 2008-10-15 17:43:51 by NaitoSan:
I bought it when it first came out in 2000 (I still have the original copy in its large box and manual!). The game left me a bit disappointed because of the ending but overall the experience was great. It's not a perfect game because a couple of flaws. The story's great, I'm pretty impressed with the graphics, especially on models. They look incredible (be sure to turn the frameread more desire to lowest in video option, you'll get better overall graphics especially on models, you won't lose the performance) and the environments are impressive, well mostly but it's still huge and varied, especially later in the game. The camera work isn’t always perfect. The control can be a bit awkward due to lack of tutorials. The puzzles can be uninspired. If you're willing to bypass some flaws and appreciate the piece of art by Shiny, you’ll enjoy this underrated game. Possessing bodies never get old. Highly recommended.
(Sorry for some grammar errors, English is my second language)
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Posted on 2008-09-13 01:09:29 by KBcamino:
I want to give this game a 5, but it really deserves a 3.5. The game is fun and challenging. There are some really unique and memorable moments in the game, but there really aren't enough of them overall and there are some frustrating and annoying points as well. The game is fun and definitely worth the GoG price.
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