Game Info:

Developed by: Shiny Enterrtainment
Published by: Interplay
Release date: March 2, 2000
Available on: Windows
Genre: Action
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Mature for sexual themes, strong language, violence
Price: $14.99

Thanks for the Steam user who gifted us this game to review!

Messiah was originally released in 2000 and utilized 3dfx enhancements. Though I owned multiple 3dfx cards, I never played this game until recently. 3dfx cards are long gone, but the nGlide wrapper makes it possible to play games like this one.

Before spending $14.99 on the Steam version of this title, it should be noted that this game cannot be finished unless patched to version 1.2. Since the developers went out of business in 2007 you can only find the patch through internet archives. You’ll have to extract the files and overwrite the executables in your Steam game folder. Even after patching, I still experienced numerous crashes to the desktop, resolution resets, and hearing an entire story sequence in Italian.


Strong Points: Great visuals for its time, but they didn’t age well; good voice acting
Weak Points: Without the 1.2 patch, the game is unbeatable; many game glitches including crashes, sound loss, and unexpected language changes
Moral Warnings: You play as a defiant cupid who has to possess various people to complete his mission; blood and dismemberment; language (sh*t, b*tch) and blaspheming; prostitution; barely clothed male and female characters

Messiah begins with God talking to a cute cupid-like angel named Bob. Earth is falling apart morally and God wants to send Bob down there to save it. Despite Bob’s unwillingness, he gets sent down anyway. Though Bob just has his wings, halo, and a diaper, he’s not completely helpless. Bob has the ability to possess the body of various people and creatures like rats. Many areas are blocked off to certain skillsets so you’ll have to do a lot of body-swapping to complete your objectives. Just be warned that when you leave a person’s body, they’ll often be aggressive and attack you for possessing them in the first place. As a general rule of thumb, if an NPC has a gun, they’ll use it on you. With that said, if you’re not in a combat stance, you can usually walk by allies without a problem. The security forces will pick up on medics or mechanics walking around with guns so you’ll have to tread carefully when you’re packing heat.

There are many weapons at Bob’s disposal including machine guns, grenades, flamethrowers, bazookas, and more. Bloodshed and dismemberment is unavoidable and on one level you have to throw four people into a meat grinder to proceed. Blaspheming and foul language is present with words like hell, b*tch, and sh*t being used. Later on in the game, you’ll encounter prostitutes who show a lot of skin for marketing purposes.

Jumping/double-jumping puzzles are plentiful and there’s even a timed one where you have thirty seconds to make it back to a door that doesn’t stay open very long. If you’re not a fan of jumping or timed game mechanics, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay: 15/20
Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 6/10
Stability: 2/5
Controls: 5/5

Morality Score - 59%
Violence: 3/10
Language: 6/10
Sexual Content: 3/10
Occult/Supernatural: 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 7.5/10

The voice acting is good, especially for Bob. The child voice actor adds to Bob’s cuteness even if he’s a defiant brat. The voice acting on the rest of the characters is hit or miss with some phrases being hard to understand at times.

The highest resolution available is 1600 X 1200. Though the character models looked better with antialiasing on, this game did not age well visually. It was pretty cutting edge for its time though.

Given the number of glitches and work it took to get this game running, I can’t recommend paying $14.99 for the experience. Missing out on the premise of a crucial cutscene because the audio got switched to Italian added further frustration for me. I can see why this game has a following, and I can also see why it earned its Mature rating from the ESRB. If you’re old enough to remember this game you’ll be happy to know that it’s still possible to relive some of that nostalgia, but you’ll have to do some tweaking to make it happen. Hopefully, you’ll get to enjoy it all in English!

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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