It's been so long, I know it's hard to remember. But yeah, this is a classic example of Dave Perry's long-lost developing skills... Any other Shiny favorites, guys?
I loved Wild 9 on Playstation and of course Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 on SNES. I also bought a copy of the game for Windows '95 (oh boy...) and remember that the port worked flawlessly.
Sacrifice was ambitious and mostly pulled off what Shiny promised for the game. It used a heavily-modified Messiah engine (RT-DAT) and its RTS functionality was brilliant and it was extremely fun to play.
@Fluke: Even in its day it wasn't touted as being a particularly fun game to play. There were a lot of things promised for that game that Shiny just never delivered on probably due to budgeting reasons or who knows what. What made it great then was the ability to "possess" anything, be it a cop or a Mech-like robot.
Like Sacrifice it too was ambitious. I think they bit off more than they could chew & swallow and it shows. I remember showing the game to my Mom back then and she thought it had neat gameplay; jumping in and out of characters, solving puzzles (even if they were blue card Doom-like puzzles) and running around defenseless as "Bob" the cherub but it fell short.
Some promised features included:
# From the sewers and 'Sex City' to industrial complexes and high-tech research sites, Messiah's portal technology enables huge changes in environments
# Challenges range from simple tasks like opening accessways to strategic puzzles like finding weaker creatures to possess in order to get access to stronger creatures.
# Unique graphics: Each 3D model has approximately 500 times more polygons that most games. Characters have real skin that stretches over their bones. RT-DAT technology (Real-time Deformation and Tessellation) enables a fully scalable game - it looks great on today's PC and PlayStation hardware, but as technology improves, Messiah is the first game that will automatically keep up. (In other words, it'll look great on PS2, heh heh.)
# A few sweet moves: Decapitate or amputate your enemies, throw a knife or shoot a bow at somebody and the weapons remain sticking out of their body as they fight for their lives.
# A huge cast of creatures that ranges from genetically enhanced police, prostitutes, pimps and a behemoth monster (with virtually no brains) to sewer rats!
# Bodies don't disappear when dead. Bob can leave a trail of corpses or hide them out of sight of the other characters.
# A hint system is worked into the game to assist players when they get stuck, the number of hints given is dependent upon the difficulty level
# Ten remixed songs from industrial metal band Fear Factory; club level music by DJ KYD, and ambient tracks by Side Effekt.
I'd recommend attempting to get through it. It's worth the effort as some of the game mechanics were ahead of their time.
For giggles, here's an interview with Dave at IGN on the Messiah "preview": http://psx.ign.com/articles/131/131654p1.html
Full disclaimer: I almost worked for Shiny as an concept artist so my views of this company in its glory day are slightly biased. I miss them and the impact that Dave Perry had on the industry at the time. It was a Interplay-backed fun-to-work-at company that had an indie vibe.