Hopkins: FBI is the latest game from PolyEx software who previously brought us Vigilance on Talos V (see the review in OS/2 e-Zine!). Hopkins: FBI is a strategy game where you are an FBI agent gathering clues in an effort to capture a notorious criminal. The game has a very polished look with professionally done graphics (.JPG, 73K) and if you like these strategy games, it will definitely have you staying up past your normal bedtime to catch the bad guys. Be warned, though, Hopkins: FBI is not a game for children. There is some extremely graphic animation in this game.
I was a little surprised to discover that the game has no installation routine. Instead, you install the game by opening the drive object for your CD-ROM and dragging the Hopkins folder to your hard drive or Desktop, although I wouldn't recommend the latter. Now, that is certainly very simple but it means that you will have create a program object yourself unless you want to start the game by double-clicking on the HOPKINS.EXE file or typing it a command prompt.
Hopkins requires Warp 4 with functioning DIVE and DART systems for the video and sound.
The story behind the game is that a terrorist organization had stolen nuclear devices and detonated them, killing thousands. Later, the leader of the organization, Bernie Berckson, was captured and sentenced to death. But due to a malfunction in the equipment, Berckson survived the execution and escaped. Your job is to find him and his cronies and bring them to justice.
To find Berckson, you will have to gather clues and items to solve problems. At the start of the game, you find yourself in your apartment (.JPG, 70K). As you move the mouse around over different items you can perform various actions on them such as "Look" and "Search." Searching will sometimes reveal items (.JPG, 81K) that have no immediate use, but are required at later points in the game. For example, in the beginning you need to drive to the central bank (.JPG, 80K) where hostages are being held, but you have to find your keys first. You will also encounter various characters during the game that you can talk to (.JPG, 83K) and gather information that will help you in your quest to find Bernie Berckson.
The artwork and music in Hopkins: FBI are very good. I would venture to guess that the majority of the development expenses went into the artwork. You can tell, though, that the animation during the game, such as when characters are walking around, is done as sequences of bitmaps rather than real-time rendering like you see in some other games. But that doesn't detract from the game at all. Hopkins is a strategy game, not a first-person shoot-em up game.
The game ran well and never crashed. However, I did notice one instance where it looked like Hopkins was walking through the air. Perhaps Agent Hopkins has an alter ego like Clark Kent.
Unfortunately, this game contains some very graphic animation (.JPG, 46K Warning! Graphic detail) that seems totally unnecessary. During the bank robbery at the beginning of the game, for example, you see people have large fractions of their heads blown off by shotgun blasts in graphic detail. Sure, it makes the bad guys look really bad, but I think they took it just a bit too far.
Because of its nature as a strategy game, Hopkins: FBI doesn't require the latest 450 MHz Pentium II with a gigabyte of RAM to play. I couldn't tell any performance difference between a 200 MHz Pentium Pro and a Cyrix P150+ machine.
Hopkins: FBI is a game that will keep you occupied for quite a while. I've had it for several weeks and I still have quite a ways to go to get the bad guys. PolyEx has given us another well-done piece of OS/2 software in a category that has very little activity these days. If you like strategy games and you don't mind the sight of blood being splattered all over the place in the occasional animation during the game, you will want to get Hopkins:FBI.
Dr. Dirk Terrell is an astronomer at the University of Florida specializing in interacting binary stars. His hobbies include cave diving, martial arts, painting and writing OS/2 software such as HTML Wizard.
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