Polygon-based 3D games are a mixed bag on the Jaguar. A large proportion of them feature untextured, bland visuals and some pretty dull gameplay (Club Drive, we're looking at you). While you could say the same about I-War, one thing it isn't, is dull. You play as an 'anti-virus' tank-thing and must battle through an infected super-computer network (that also happens to control most of the world's basic amenities) clearing each sector of rogue programs, which naturally manifest themselves as sentry guns, enemy tanks and aircraft. I-War is essentially a first person shooter, although other views can be selected via the numeric keypad. You trundle around the stages shooting the crap out of anything that moves, collect data-pods, destroy databases and upgrade your onboard weapons by discovering power ups scattered around the neon-hued locales.

From the screenshots, you may think I-War looks quite basic, but seeing it in action is another story entirely - it moves very nicely, and the frame rate is very smooth, and it kind of reminds me of the early PSX game Assault Rigs. Furthermore, the 3D environments feature some very cool lighting and shading, and the 'particle' explosions are very good. Some reviews criticise I-War's visuals, but for a game that came out in 1995, it really does look very impressive and never really slows down, even with lots happening on-screen and in a third-person view. Sure, the story is contrived and there is a complete lack of a strafe command (which makes the game pretty difficult), but the fine visuals, great soundtrack and smooth gameplay make up for this oversight. I-War is a hidden gem in the Jaguar's fairly small library and a game I can't recommend enough to collectors.

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