Life Force

Shoot ‘em ups always were a little odd to me. The premise of just about all of them is that there’s some kind of conflict and the last hope for the good guys is to send out a lone, highly maneuverable yet incredibly fragile ship of some sort to go up against the thousands upon thousands of enemy forces, destroy them all, and win the day. ‘Improbable’ doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface on the tip of that iceberg.

Life Force pits your ship against some kind of gigantic alien life form, flying around inside it and blasting it until it stops moving. Though I’ve heard that the story is that you’re trying to eliminate some kind of infection in said gigantic alien life form, but the ending shows pretty conclusively that you blew the sucker to tiny bits (assuming you didn’t choke at the last minute).

I’ve already suspended enough disbelief to be OK with the fact that you can pilot a ship or two made out of eggshells and scotch tape into an orifice of a huge space organism. But you kill a gigantic brain in the very first stage, that usually pretty much means insta-death for most organisms that actually have them. And the stage with the Egyptian ruins where you have to fight what looks like a mask that got separated from its mummy? At that point I quit trying to rationalize it.

But the game is fun, despite its nonsense, or perhaps because of it. I lose track. But I did play this game for hours upon hours, and not only because it was the only game in the house for a time. It was genuinely fun, and I managed to get just a little further each time I played it. It’s like the game was baiting me, stringing me along with its tantalizing carrot.

And I don’t even really like carrots that much.

2 Responses to “Life Force”

  1. [...] played Life Force an awful lot, even though I’m really bad at those kind of games. But I ended up liking Life [...]

  2. [...] I don’t really understand how that’s supposed to work, but I’ve played games with flimsier premises before, so I just kind of go with [...]

Leave a Reply