Nucleus

Nucleus

Nucleus

Centre of attention.

Let's get something straight. Nucleus is a challenging experience, a diamond-hard Robotron-style shooter that shows the typical player absolutely no mercy whatsoever. It's a cackling, lightning-spewing Emperor Palpatine of a game and the chances are that you will be its snivelling, wailing, charbroiled Luke Skywalker. I've come to think of it as a spiritual successor to the 80s coin-op shooters that effortlessly annihilated all but the most freakishly gifted players, a game that has relentless demonstrated maximum domination over my meagre SixAxis skills in the two months it's been lurking on my PS3 hard disk.

Nucleus is a 40-odd level campaign of biological warfare taking place within the human body itself: the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems, to be precise. You take control of the 'remote unit' - a jellyfish-cum-sperm shaped 'thing' that has the ability to shoot rapidly, drag cells about with a tractor beam, and accelerate rapidly ('squirt') to get out of danger.

At the centre of the game are the ever-present cells and the base proteins. Cells can be tractored, and 'squirted' into 'clumps' which then form a barrier against the viruses. They also yield protein when shot (as does pretty much everything) and as your reserves build you're able to fire off immensely powerful protein bombs - microscopic incendiaries that wipe out all viruses in any given area.

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