Ground Zero Texas


"Stand by for the most explosive Close Encounter ever!  Alien invaders have infiltrated a small Texas town - as Tactical Field Expert you've got the whole place wired for audio/video, and control of a crude weapon system.  Your only hope is to locate the alien's arms cache and throw them a welcoming party - Texas-style!  Star in your own sci-fi action flick - over an hour of interactive movie action, a large cast of actors, brilliant FX and stomach churning gore."

Game Information
Developer Digital Pictures
Publisher Sony Imagesoft
Distributor Sony Electronic Publishing Ltd.
Copyright Date 1992 - 1993
Players 1
Age Rating(s) BBFC 15
Save Type None
Cart Version No

Part Numbers
Game T-93145-50
Front Cover N/A
Back Cover None specific
Manual None specific
Spine Card N/A
CD 1 None specific
CD 2 None specific
Bar Code 0 90451 60108 6

Your chance to save the town of El Cadron, and the rest of the world, from the invading Reticulan forces.  As "Tactical Field Expert" you have control of four armed cameras, and later a mobile "RoverCam" to blast the aliens with.  Gameplay is standard FMV fare - switch between locations and either watch the footage or take out the enemy.  To keep things interesting the Reticulans capture the town's human inhabitants and take on their form, meaning you can't identify an alien until they shoot at you - and if you accidentally blast three innocent bystanders it's "Game Over" time.  At the outset you have Earth's best weapons, but these can only stun the Reticulans, giving you a nice sub-plot of locating the aliens' arms cache in order to use it against them - which provides a better than usual reason to actually pay attention to the FMV sequences between firefights.  Of course, there's also a super-bomb that you need to disarm with the correct code, again garnered from the video footage.

As you're safely tucked away from the action rather than having a life bar for yourself, you have to keep your cameras running instead.  They have shields which can be raised whilst you're at another location, protecting them from a certain amount of damage but blocking the view and preventing you shooting.  As the cameras take steadily more damage the picture begins to degrade to the level in the fourth screenshot above.  Whilst this is admirably realistic, it means that once you start taking hits it's a downhill slope - damaged cameras produce worse pictures, making it harder to pick out targets before they shoot, resulting in more damage and so on.  Like all games of this type the benefit from a light gun would be tremendous, but neither the Menacer nor the Justifier are supported.  Thankfully some thought seems to have gone into the order that targets appear, and there are very few occasions that require a mad cursor dash across the whole of the video window.  Each of the camera numbers in the lower right will flash red when something of interest is happening, though often you'll have to pick between more than one location.

Most of you will have played a Digital Pictures game and know what to expect in order of sound and video quality - and for once even the acting isn't too bad.  Switching between cameras isn't quite instant, with an overview map popping up showing which area you're moving your view to for a couple of seconds.  The action is well paced and there's a reasonable amount of variety in the game as a whole, but like every other game of the genre once you've finished it there's no real reason to come back for more, whilst the lack of a save option makes that first trip through longer and more frustrating than perhaps it should be.  One of the better FMV titles available, but perhaps not one of the better games.

This title came in the oversized US-Style box with a special insert to hold the second CD.  There is not thought to be another version (blue stripe cover or small box) containing an English-only manual as with most other big box games.  This title carries a BBFC "15" certificate.