Psychotoxic is a 2004 first-person shooter game developed by NuClearVision and published by Whiptail Interactive. The game suffered a long disastrous development cycle, from 1998 to 2004. This was the second game developed by NuClearVision (with the first being AGW, a Half-Life fan-game) before it closed its doors shortly after its release due to its overwhelmingly negative reception and poor sales.
The game's plot begins with Armageddon in the year 2020. The fourth horseman of the apocalypse has arrived in New York City, and the only one standing in his way is Angela "Angie" Prophet, a half-woman, half-angel, but does not know it at the outset. As she discovers her true origins, she gains four different supernatural powers such as invisibility and the ability to slow the passage of time.
Why it Sucks
- False Advertising: The back of the box advertises 20 to 25 hours of gameplay, but the game can actually be completed in about seven hours and 30 minutes.
- The game sometimes corrupts your save file so beating it is almost impossible, showing that this game was not tested for bugs and glitches properly.
- The game uses the VP3 video format for its FMV videos which is incompatible with Windows Vista and later, causing a black screen to appear when the FMV videos are supposed to play. A fix is to move the VP3 files out of the folder and into a different one or delete them entirely.
- Excessively large amount of glitches. Some of them are even game breakin':
- In the penultimate level "The escape!" where the character will quickly die after loading the level due to a lethal liquid rising too quickly.
- Another breaking glitch will occur showing an error message "OpenGL Error #436" and cause the game to close due to a manufacturing error with the game discs causing their material thickness to be altered, preventing the DVD drive from reading the discs properly. This caused StarForce, the DRM software that the game used, to incorrectly detect it as an illegitimate copy of the game and made it show the error message. Though it should be noted that StarForce is extremely bad copyright-protection system, which left a bad taste in the mouths of many gamers and developers.
- The crosshairs are too small and are so well blended, that you'll never know if you're aiming at an enemy or not.
- Terrible graphics.
- You can only carry 5 weapons and only one angelic power, while some games of the same genre allowed you to carry all of the guns (and powers) without a limitation.
- There's no sense of exploration, and there are no collectibles around all of the levels, limiting replay value in the game.
- You can take falling damage from one foot in the air.
- There are angelic powers in the game in an attempt to be dynamic, but it doesn't make a difference whether you use them or not. These angelic powers are invisibility, slow-motion, shield, and health regeneration.
- Health regeneration is useless due to the enemy having perfect accuracy.
- The shield is broken due to the lack of feedback from the gunplay and there's no guarantee as to what's happening, you just never see your health go down and because of how inconsistent it is.
- Slow-motion is terrible as it seems like nothing is happening when you shoot the enemies.
- Invisibility is also broken as enemies can detect you depending how close you are, but there's no consistency to this and it's unclear on whether or not they can hear you.
- Horrible voice acting. It is often poorly mixed and when you are able to understand the voices, they are poorly delivered and often don't fit the characters. In the English version, the dialogue in the cut-scenes aren't lip-synced properly with the characters' lips when they speak.
- When you bring up the console, the game doesn't stop.
- In the 6th level, you activate an escape pod and a timer starts, you have to get to the pod before time expires. Except, the game doesn't tell you there's a timer nor does it show you that there is one.
- Awful controls, especially when climbing ladders.
- The physics are so broken that the protagonist (Angela) can get stuck to small objects that she walks on like books and even glass bottles.
- The game sometimes randomly crashes or freezes.
- Poor plot, full of plot holes and poor writing.
- You can die in the game for no reason at all.
- Poor placement of enemies. Almost everywhere you go, a group of enemies can, and will, gang up on you or attack you from the corner.
- Most levels are badly and oddly designed. There are two notable examples.
- The first is the park in New York where you're supposed to find Dr. Lindstroem, who constantly goes from one place to another, leaving notes on his whereabouts, only to return to the spot where he was originally supposed to be, making the level a ridiculous and annoying chore, especially considering the fact that there is a lot of hostile cops.
- The second one is Dr. Lindstroem's nightmare, where you're supposed to destroy a bunch of grandfather clocks before he dies in his own dream, the problem is, some of these clocks are hidden in such places, that it's not that easy to find them, with the worst one being the clock hidden behind a wooden wall which can be visible only through a really small crack. Also, park in New York also has a wall that does not properly extend to the ground which allows you to crawl in and fall to your death.
- Awful AI. Sometimes, they can teleport.
- The difficulty is extremely unbalanced. The enemy AI can kill you in 1-5 hits and have perfect accuracy.
- The hit detection is awful. Whenever you shoot an enemy, the bullet can either phase through or do no damage.
- There are some openings that act like invisible barriers.
- Anytime an enemy dies, they do weird poses, even Michael Jackson ones.
- Very poor animation and character models.
- It seems that originally in some screenshots and trailers, the protagonist could keep her weapons and were mostly used in the dream stages. In the game however, that does not happen, and the player is given a knife and a revolver instead.
The Only Redeeming Quality
It seems that developers did actually try to make an interesting game and set it apart from many other linear shooters that came out at the time. There are a lot of variable locations and enemies, and also various situations which require a different gameplay approach from the player.