Frenetic Plus delivers what its title implies – fast, frenetic action. Reflexively-challenged gamers needn’t shy away from this awesome oldie though, since a healthy dose of tactical acumen is an equally useful substitute for mad action gaming skillz in Frenetic Plus. I know, cos my reflexes really suck
And since if offers a bit of everything, I recommend every gamer to give it a try irregardless of your favoured genre. And if you’re the more visually-oriented type, you’ll be glad to know that the graphics look reasonably well for a game of its age (Frenetic Plus was released in 2005).
Designed and developed by Kenneth Thornton (aka Sirocco), the game puts you in the shoes of Mercen 505, an android pilot who finds herself in the midst of a civil war between her android counterparts and the human Exploratory Force. As the story progresses through a combination of journal entries, news articles and incoming email messages inside the game, you select one of several suits to pilot and outfit it with a selection of weapons and avionics to fit the mission objectives or your playing style, before launching out from your Griffon mothership to engage the enemies.
Your objective in each mission is usually to singlehandedly eliminate all opposing suits but Frenetic Plus mixes and matches the type of suits you encounter on each mission to keep things from growing stale. You start off opposed by puny Wolf scout suits and slow-moving Moray support suits and before long, agile hard-hitting Shark command suits and heavily-armoured siege suits get thrown into the fray. Thankfully, a total of 7 suits, 15 sidearms, 4 missiles and 10 special weapons pods can be unlocked (or purchased)to beef up your offensive capabilities. And that’s not including the various upgrades that can be purchased for each of your suits to boost their defensive strength and survivability.
Finesse is rewarded in this game as you attempt to inflict the minimum damage neccessary for an enemy to brew up and explode, thus increasing the amount of salvage acquired and the corresponding C.L.A.Y. that you can spend for upgrading your suits’ capabilities and firepower. Awards (and the corresponding C.L.A.Y bonuses) are also given during the debrief after each mission for outstanding combat performance.
As you can see from the screenshots (grabbed from the official site since I haven’t been able to capture my own ), Frenetic Plus looks and plays like a conventional shoot-em-up but with a a circular playing field as opposed to the more traditional horizontally or vertically scrolling view. While this means that enemies attack from all directions it also allows more room to manuever than in most shooters. It also emphasizes the need for tactical awareness since enemy suits routinely attempt to flank and envelop your single suit from all sides while you’re engrossed in trying to destroy the suit directly in front of you.
This larger playing field and varying projectile velocities of each of your weapons also ensues that judging your target’s distance and calculating the lead to it (keeping in consideration its speed, of course) before firing is crucial to successfully hitting enemy suits – I’m positive that WWII flight simmers will be very familiar with these techniques.
Players of FPSes will be familiar with the side and circle strafing tactics required to take down individual units in each successive wave while simultaneously dodging enemy fire and taking care not to be outflanked and enveloped by other enemy suits.
The default keys for navigating the menu are Left Alt for Fire/Accept, Left Control for Strafe/Cancel with the arrow keys for movement. Once you create a new game, you can remap keys under Configuration. Gamepads are highly recommended (I find that mapping Strafe and Boost to the trigger buttons makes it easier to control your suit).
Download Frenetic Plus.
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