This is probably the first talking game, at least it was the first I ever played. Speech from a game was quite a novel concept and it was an instant draw for Berzerk. But like many gimmicks, if the game wasn't any good, then it wouldn't be enough to make a game a classic. But Berzerk does offer much more than just a gimmick and so that is why we still enjoy playing it.

I really feel it is the combination of the simplicity of the game and the tension the game creates that is the winning formula. Sure its graphics may seem quite crude by today's standards, but they do the job. Would it be a greater game if the lead character was a completely fleshed out character, instead of a glorified stick person? Would the robots be anymore menacing with texture mapping and in three dimensions? I doubt it as there have been numerous games about man versus robot and I have yet to find a single one that can get my blood pumping like Berzerk does. The sheer terror you feel as you are trying desperately to clear a path to the exit with numerous robots in way. Just as you seem to be getting control of the situation, here comes the ever grinning, Evil Otto. His smiley face, hiding a more sinister agenda as he prepares to annihilate you for good and will even destroy his minion robots to accomplish this task. That is one evil dude! Worst is that he is invincible. Talk about pressure!

While Evil Otto and his robot army are enough to keep you busy, there is a greater threat and one that still does me in to this very day. The electrified walls always seem to claim at least one of my crew as I try in vain to avoid them. This has to be one of the best and yet more frustrating elements of a classic game. It is memorable because no matter how many robots they throw at you or how quickly Evil Otto is coming, you have to remember not to touch those walls. Deep in the back of your mind, you must remember just how deadly this can be.

While the game is great, I still believe the gimmick speech was the cherry on top of the sundae. Having the game taunt you, just made you angrier. "Chicken fight like a robot" and "Got the humanoid, got the intruder" just made you madder. But when you would hear "Intruder alert", you knew that Evil Otto was on the way. This would send your heart rate up a bit.

Berzerk is truly a classic and now that it can be enjoyed in all its glory, I recommend everyone going back and trying their hand at a few games. See if that same rush of tension is still there. See if Evil Otto can still make that hair on the back of your neck still stand up. I am betting it still can!


This is just a review of the arcade machine.  If you are looking for the actual arcade machine, you may want to check out ebay.  Click below to see if you can find this game.