Forsaken (Acclaim) PlayStation
The PlayStation may have conquered just about every gaming genre ever invented, but when it comes to Doom-style shoot 'em ups, the machine is less than impressive. More often than not, pixilated graphics leave you wandering around in a blurry haze while 2D enemies shamble around. However, things look set to change with the arrival of the futuristic blaster, Forsaken.

The year is 2113 and the Earth has been laid waste by a botched scientific experiment, leaving the way open for an ambitious, amoral, scum-sucking mercenary (that's you) to loot what you can from the dead world. There are 15 huge levels to complete, each set in a specific environment, like an abandoned subway or a volcano, and each has a specific mission to accomplish - apart from getting the hell out, of course.

The graphics are the first surprise, because they are good - very good. The locations are crisp and detailed and the light-sourcing allows for some impressive effects. It will also take you a long time to complete since this is one of the toughest games around. Once you have mastered the analogue controls of your craft, you can experience a real 360-degree head-rush.

Yet not everything is rosy. For a start, your craft is not exactly speedy; instead of screaming through tunnels, as the intro proclaims, your progress often resembles a sedate stroll.

This is a fairly minor quibble, though, and if you want one of the most beautiful games on the PlayStation, then Forsaken is for you.

On release, pounds 44.99 Matt Jenkins