In 1997, Core Design and Eidos teamed up to release the 3D beat ’em up “Fighting Force” for the PlayStation. The game featured four playable characters, destructible 3D environments, and tons of items to be used as weapons. Fighting Force was popular enough to become a “Greatest Hits” for the PS1 and even spawned a sequel. WARNING: This game is for gamers with IQs of 300+++ so proceed with this Fighting Force review with caution.
Fighting Force Plot:
If you pop in Fighting Force on your PS1 and start it up, you wouldn’t have any idea what the plot is or why you are beating up these waves of agents, security guards and thugs. I’ve had Fighting Force for over 20 years, beaten it multiple times and never once knew what the story was until now. I opened the case and took out the manual for the first time. The case is rough shape but the manual is in near perfect condition. I was blown away by how much of a story there actually is to Fighting Force including character profiles. Let me show you some snippets of what’s in the manual to help give a better idea of what we are getting into during this Fighting Force review.
“It is a few years past the Millennium and Dr. Dex Zeng is INFURIATED. As a former high powered GOVERNMENT AGENT with his nose in many areas (including the SEEDY and LICENTIOUS New York UNDERGROUND), as well as a renowned radical scientist and professor in Theology, Dr. Dex Zeng TRULY believed the end of the world would come by the YEAR 2000.
EVENTS occurring toward the turn of the century confirmed to Dr. Zeng that the year 2000 would bring ARMAGEDDON. The signs were clear! Zeng was so sure, in fact, that he even convinced many of his ex-employees (who happened to be prominent members of local militias) that this was fact and they helped him prepare for this almighty CONCLUSION.
Zeng is like a better functioning idiot savant. He is brilliant in what he does. He sets his mind to a goal and achieves it – no matter what.
Over the years, Zeng has developed a MEGALOMANICAL complex that many suspect may have been caused by the use of SYNTHETIC DRUGS he’s made for the government and tested on himself and other family members.
Like the few megalomaniacs in history, he actually thinks he is the KEEPER of the EARTH. The Father Nature, the Chosen One. He feels that anyone in his PRESENCE should bow before his AS THOUGH he WERE a god.
When the MILLENNIUM hit us at 12:01 am January 1, 2000…
Filled with outrage intensified by those who surround him, Dr. Dex Zeng insists that SOMETHING WENT WRONG. He knows from his years and years of reading, teaching and hypothesizing that IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Fortunately, Dr. Zeng had a plan in CASE something like this did happen. He is prepared to FIX the Apocalypse – to FORCE it – to CORRECT the malfunction. And the scary part is – HE IS ONE OF THE VERY FEW WHO CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Dr. Zeng now believes that it is HIS JOB, to, AT ANY COST – END THE WORLD. With the help of biological warfare devices and several militant followers, as well as his connections in the Underground, it shouldn’t be difficult.
BUT, one of Dr. Zeng’s lab assistants, Snapper, decides she can no longer stand this man’s corruption and calls a friend to help in stopping him.
With this act, she helps bring together what will be known as one of the most VOLATILE TEAMS EVER CREATED!
IT’S TIME TO END — THE END OF THE WORLD!
Whew, okay that’s over and yes it’s that ridiculous and over the top with the caps lock. As you see, Dr. Zeng is a whack job and wants nothing more than to bring about the destruction of the world! That’s where the “Fighting Force” comes in.
Let’s take a look at the four members that make up the Fighting Force unit. If you got a kick out of how ridiculous the story is, wait till you read these character bios. I’ll try and keep them short and pick out the good bits.
MACE DANIELS – She’s a private investigator who is one hot woman with a taste for blood as well as desire. She’s the one who teases and taunts you just before she takes you out.
Mace is beautiful. She’s not brash or loud or annoying. She would purr to her assailant rather than say, “Hey Punk!” Mace is a woman aware of her sexual magnetism. Yet, she couldn’t care less about men. She is always being pursued without giving ANYONE the time of day. Oh and her IQ is 200.
HAWK MANSON – He was once a freedom fighter for all the social wrongs in the world. Well, nice guys finish last, and Hawk learned that lesson all too well! Hawk has seen Mace fight and this is one thing that stirs him inside like nothing else. When Mace approaches him for the job – by pinning him to the ground, smiling a sexy smile and telling him that she needs his help, Hawk is DEFINITELY stirred! He also took the job because it is the first job in a long time that is tinged with a bit of “goodness”. Hawk’s IQ is 187.
(This is so hilarious and trashily bad)
BEN SMASHER JACKSON – The first thing I will say is Brick from Borderlands looks just like Smasher. Perhaps he is his long lost son.
Ben Jackson has been serving multiple life sentences and the prison is very fond of him. They rent him out as it cuts down on prison deaths and puts money into their fund. Hawk Manson has been renting Ben out of the prison, sorta like “rent to own” LOL only the 90s!
ALANA MCKENDRICK – Alana is a raver. She spends her nights dancing away and most of her days with little sleep while she goes to school. Alana has been trying to put an end to Dr. Zeng ever since he tried to experiment on her with drugs he had created. It turns out Dr. Zeng is Alana’s illegitimate father! She is approached by Mace to join the force and accepts. It’s just not her style to get serious until she’s kicking butt and believe me, some heads will CRACK! Oh, Alana is 17 and has an IQ of 240.
Here’s a little bonus from the manual, Dr. Zeng’s IQ is 300 +++ ( I can’t make this stuff up!)
Well, I don’t know about you but this story has me in tears. What ridiculous characters and plot. I love it! Let’s smash our way into this Fighting Force review gameplay section to see if it’s still ridiculous.
Fighting Force Gameplay:
Fighting Force at its core is a beat em up where you take on waves of enemies, clear an area and move on. You’ll be able to pick from four different characters, each with their own moves and fighting styles. During my Fighting Force review I picked Smasher and my wife picked Mace. We teamed up and took down wave after wave of thugs, mercenaries, and security on our way to kick Dr. Zeng’s ass.
Along the way, you’ll be picking up money stacks, jewels, and gold bars to add to your score. You can also pick up health packs to restore your health bar. My favorite part about Fighting Force was the destructible environment. Want to pull off that handrail and club someone over the head with it? You can. See that parked cop car? Punch and kick it enough for it to explode and you’ll be able to pick up the tire and throw it at someone. Fighting Force offers many weapons at your disposal including knives, bottles, pipes, baseball bats, guns, bazookas, and even dynamite.
Where Fighting Force falls short is the graphics. I understand the PS1 was limited but man, the character models were so blocky and blurry. It didn’t help that we played it on my 58-inch television where the screen was stretched but they were pretty ugly to begin with. During my Fighting Force review I fought five or six henchmen at a time, each with stupid names that rotate. Fighting Force is a very easy game and we only struggled in one section, right before the final boss there was a section in his base where it seemed like you had to fight 50 men before clearing the area. Speaking of bosses they are a joke. Dr. Zeng despite having a 300 +++ IQ didn’t do anything besides guard against my punches. I just repeatedly pushed the “X” button for two minutes while he blocked. His health bar slowly drained and that was it. Most of the boss fights were just like that.
There are a few small cutscenes but they are all short which is good because the graphics are terrible. Fighting Force does offer replayability with its different character choices and pathways to Dr. Zeng. There will be zones where you can pick where to go next. For example, there was a section that we had to choose whether we went to the mall, the Bronx or the subway. Throughout the Fighting Force review, there were three or four sections that will offered us choices. If you want to play again you can pick different paths to play.
The Fighting Force disc offered three demos and a few trailers to watch. I thought this was awesome and remember this was how games used to be advertised. I miss this!
I remember the day I got “Fighting Force”. For some random reason, I already had “Fighting Force 2” but my dad and I were at Walmart. There was a bin of cheap games, something like $10 PS1 games and my dad told me I could pick one out. I ended up finding Fighting Force and I already had the second so I figured I might as well play the first. Since getting Fighting Force I’ve beaten it a few times and brought it back out once or twice every five years for kicks. It was fun showing it to my wife. At first she hated it because the graphics were so terrible but she soon learned the controls and started to enjoy it. We beat the game together and completed my Fighting Force review.
Fighting Force Review Score:
Fighting Force may present itself as a “badass” game filled with ridiculous notions, plots, and characters but it’s a pushover. It does some good stuff, but for the most part Fighting Force is nothing but a repeating button masher where you quickly advance to the end.
Fighting Force scores a 6.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Fighting Force review? Who was your favorite character is Fighting Force? What weapon did you like to use? Was it just as easy for you too? Let me know your thoughts and memories, I’d love to read them!
If you want to own Fighting Force you can purchase a preowned copy of it for the PS1 on eBay for $15.