Large Variety of Enemies
Atomic Butcher is a very straightforward shooter. It involves all the basics that you'd expect from a side scrolling shooter - guns, monsters, platform jumping, and gore. While Atomic Butcher has some juvenile humor and a strange musical score, it's a fun experience that you'll probably only play an hour or two a day, depending on how bored you may be.
The story goes like this. It's a generic post-nuclear war setting, and you've been slightly effected by radiation. With the loss of most of your mental abilities, you've been compensated with superhuman strength and endurance, and volatile acidic urine to boot. Your home is one of several nuclear shelters, in which the last of the human populace that hasn't been mutated into dangerous and nasty monsters hide in safety. But things are not all well. Limited food supplies are straining, and your shelter has finally exhausted all of the meat it had. So what's your job? You're dumb, big, and strong, so you've been sent out to annihilate various baddies and collect their delicious corpses as meat for your nuclear shelter community.
You control Atomic Butcher with a simple control set. You can move around, and jump. You aim with the mouse, and switch weapons with the mouse wheel or number keys. It's all easy to remember and to use, so controls are no problem. Atomic Butcher starts off with a basic tutorial that teaches you everything you need to know - how to throw grenades, find secrets, jump, etc. Afterwards, you're immediately thrown into the wastelands with no weapons. That sounds a bit cheap, but you find a shotgun soon enough, and there's a nice variety of enemies. The game isn't too easy, or too hard, that's one of the strongest points of Atomic Butcher. The challenge is at a perfect level, never too difficult or easy. There's a small selection of weaponry, but they're all interesting enough to keep you busy for the duration of the game. As for the length of the game, it's not the longest, but that's good, since the game play starts to get tiring near the end of the experience. While the game play is great fun, something else could be said about the music. It's ear grating and horribly repetitive and annoying. The same track loops through the level (although each level has a different music track). Fortunately, sound is excellent otherwise, with the appropriate growls from monsters, big effective booms from your weaponry, and atmospheric background ambience, I can't complain about the sound at all.
Atomic Butcher's graphics are good in the sense that they're clean, fun and efficient. You aren't going to stare in awe, but nothing will hurt your eyes or cause revulsion. While the rest of the graphics are average and at times, pretty good, the different graphical effects are just cool. When you kill an enemy, their blood spurts out into the air, and body parts scatter around the ruined remains of the creature. Explosions are big and vibrant, and send balls of fire spreading in all directions. There are several more, such as the cool green glow of radiation, or the steam coming out of a pipe. The only thing I could complain about in Atomic Butcher's graphics is the sub-par animation. Although there's usually too much happening on screen for you to notice, your character (and the monsters) have animations that are usually just two frames long, making them look robotic. But still, the visuals should please, and the effects are really cool, so no problem here.
On the negative side, Atomic Butcher gets incredibly repetitive near the end, and there's absolutely no reason to play the game over a second time. Along with that, the humor is not for everyone. Some key examples could include urination as a weapon, strange caveman quotes on the top left corner ("Me can't wait to digest that") and at times bizarre enemies. Although some people will get a chuckle or two out of all this (I know I did) it definitely isn't for everyone, and the little quotes do repeat over time. Overall, there isn't much to complain about in Atomic Butcher, but the repetitive gameplay does take a big bite out of its score.
Review by: Blood-Pigggy
Blood and Gore, Urination (but there is no revealing stuff)
Safe for ages: 15+
Windows 98 or above
Pentium II 400 MHz
128 Meg RAM
6 Meg 3D card
60.5 Meg hard-drive