This review originally appeared on Reviewcenter.com in 2000.
By John W. Fletcher
Messiah is probably one of the more unique games I have seen in the last few years — being completely original by not only how it is played but an amazing array of new quirks you have never seen on the PC before.
In this game you are a cute little baby angel named Bob. You have been sent to earth, quite against your will, by God to fight the growing evil of Father Prime.
Despite his cute appearance he can be as much of a bastard as your inner devil wants him to be.
There are some quirks. He has a limited ability to fly — which can get you out of some tight situations. Second, and my favorite, he can possess anybody! You can fly into the back of any unsuspecting victim and take over his soul, forcing him to do whatever hideous evil you want him to do (don’t get any ideas you pervert).
Since there is a massive array of characters the game can get extremely interesting. To get certain places or better weapons you have to possess certain people, which can be good and bad (you’ll see when you play). For instance: As a weak scientist you can’t hurt people for shit but you can get into a needed-entry room. As the biogenetically altered 8-foot tall behemoth you can tear anybody a new asshole.
You can get a lot of gameplay out of this since it is a two-disc game. It took me a long time to beat it. The levels are huge and the difficulty of all the possessing and everything can drive you kind of nuts after a while.
As you proceed you have to do these kind-of maze-like paths to get where you want to go and possess a lot of different people. You even have to possess a rat! It’s difficult because if they see you they will kill you and if they suspect you they will kill you. It’s not as easy as it seems. You have to do a lot of flying puzzles to get places and that is difficult with little, chubby baby wings.
All the weapons you can use are awesome too. You have things like a bazooka you can use, or a harpoon that spears your enemies to a wall! It’s disappointing that Bob himself can’t kill anybody but the fact that you can be a pimp in a club and beat somebody to death with your cane — it’s all forgiven. Overall, it is really fun but very confusing.
You get to all of this in amazingly created and huge levels which are incredibly realistic and make your experience just that much better. I strongly suggest usage of a very fast computer. All of the characters have amazing detail and the scenery is pretty cool too. In the game you are playing from a third person point-of-view which you can toggle close or far. It has an interesting sound system by that there is no music and only fx until you get into fights — when it starts blasting Fear Factory so you can barely here the fighting itself! However, you can here some pretty cool tracks if you pop into your CD player. As for controls it is very good and you have to use a mouse-keyboard combo which can be slightly annoying at times.
Now the bad news. NO multiplayer — sorry, it’s strictly single player. Also it can drag on and on after a while. All the puzzles get really annoying and somebody is always killing me. When you are a cop none of the other cops seem to like you and will kill you if you do so much as sneeze wrong. It seems you can never survive too long — maybe this is just me, somebody try it and tell me because I can never seem to survive in some guy for more than 3 minutes. You always seem to be walking through a war zone in some areas where there are opposing factions and you are always on the wrong side.
I guess that’s part of the game but it just gets to me by the 20th reloading.
Overall it is a very unique and good game. I suggest you give it a spin.
Publisher: The late Interplay
Developer: Shiny Entertainment (David Perry’s outfit. They also made Earthworm Jim)
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Launch Date: March 31, 2000
User friendly: [rating:5/5]
Ratings were determined in 2000