You're running through the narrow, metallic halls, grabbing ammo and power-ups as you go. As you turn a corner you come face to face with your foe. Quickly you grab your trusty shot gun and blast him to hell. No, I'm not describing an arena shooter from 1999, I'm talking you through a turn in a diceless, euro-style majority control game.
Adrenaline's theme isn't unique, but the way it handles it is. Combat oriented games almost universally use die rolls to simulate everything. Attacking? Roll to see if you hit. Then roll to see how much damage you did. Now the defense rolls to see what they can block, etc. Now I like dice chucking as much as anyone, but Adrenaline's combat system is refreshingly simple. Is your weapon loaded? Is your enemy in range? Then shoot them! No armour checks, no buffs to track, just BANG!
Further enhancing the theme is the fact that every weapon in the game is a unique homage to the genre Adrenaline is representing. You run around the map fragging your foes with arc cannons, chain saws, and other weapons that, if you're like me, will leave you nostalgic for the glory days of Unreal Tournament . As you run around the map you'll pick up ammo that you'll use to either buy new weapons, or reload spent ones. You'll also grab power-ups that will allow you to do things like teleport around the map. You'll use these weapons and power-ups to maim and murder the other players. Each point of damage you inflict to them, you'll place one of your damage markers on their health tracker. When they die, all players will score based on how much damage they did to the victim, as well as bonuses for being the first to hit them and dealing the killing blow. Don't worry too much about dying, however. As you taking damage your adrenaline starts pumping, making your actions better and better. When you finally do die, you respawn and you become worth less points to kill, making you a less attractive target.
As great as the weapons are, they are the source of the one little squabble I have with the game. As I said, each weapon is unique, which is great for replayability, but not so much for new players, so when playing with n00bs, expect them to have to spend some time reading through the weapons manual whenever they go to grab a new gun.
Other than that, though, no real complaints! The component quality is the solid quality I've come to expect from CGE. Adrenaline was CGEs first foray into miniatures, and while they won't be competing with CMON anytime soon, the minis in Adrenaline are decently detailed and look good on the table. The modular board adds some good replayability, and I really dig the bright neon look it has.
Adrenaline did something I never expected in turning late 90's arena shooters into a quick, mid-weight ero game, and it does it well. This is a fantastic game that I expect to keep bringing back to the table for a long time.