Body Harvest is a game that raises a smile when my mind drifts down memory lane. A lovely looking sandbox game where you’re basically defending Earth from an evil alien race across five periods of time. It was made by Grand Theft Auto creators DMA (now known as Rockstar North) & was well-known for its difficulty.
Controlling Adam Drake, a genetically engineered soldier you have to travel to five points in time & stop an alien force from harvesting the human population., The five years are World War 1 era Greece, 1940’s Java, 1960’s U.S.A, Siberia in the 1990’s & the future (2016). The five locations are unique & offer varying challenges.
To win the players must stop the aliens from killing everyone within a shielded area. Once the player has warped they have free reign of the map area & need to complete missions while defending towns & themselves from alien attacks.
Players can travel on foot but the use of vehicles is a key aspect of the game. As well as offering more protection from alien attacks players can move a lot faster while in one of the many variations. For many it was the first time they would ever pilot a plane in a 3-D sandbox world.
Your success is decided by a bar at the bottom of the scree that fills up as the aliens kill civilians. Once the bar is full the mission will be failed & the aliens will have won. Friendly-fire can also be a cause of civilian death so when in battle with the alien’s players need to watch their aim.
Harvester waves are one of the most serious threats to the player as 8 civilians harvested in a row will result in a deadly alien threat attacking the player. These are significantly harder to fight then any other alien.
As well as defending civilians from the alien hordes players can explore the land, enter buildings & talk to many characters. A lot of this is necessary for players to gain additional items & weapons. There are optional missions also that see you saving civilians from aliens. These range in difficulty & are far too easy to fail resulting in serious heavy civilian causalities.
To be successful you must destroy an alien processor in the world that will then open up a portal to the next area (the save point). Eventually you’ll have to destroy the Shield Generator & face off against a boss.
All very straight-forward but very tough. You see part of the problem lies with just how quickly the human casualties bar will increase. It can be incredibly frustrating to not really be able to spend too much time exploring because you’re just rushing from one alien attack to another.
The infamous N64 controls work really well considering but some vehicles feel far too light. These are so important & it would be near impossible without them as they provide you with extra firepower & protection.
The story is basic & hardly thrilling…the reality is that the major selling point for this game is the open-world exploration. It still looks quite nice although a bit bare.
A unique game that had some really interesting ideas but was marred by a below average story & high difficulty.