In the future, according to new title Tigershark, Japan gets most of its energy from underwater stations known as magma taps that harness energy from the earth's core. Unsafe? You bet! Especially when you consider Japan's notorious seismic instability. Sure enough, the quakes strike, smoking 60 percent of Japan's populace. Energy being the scarce commodity that it is, Russia decides to strike while the iron's hot and "re-appropriate" everything left standing. This aggression clearly must be stopped - and that's where you, and the game, come in. As the pilot of the Tigershark ship (which is convenient because the game is called Tigershark), you're in control of what GT Interactive describes as "the ultimate war machine." If this is true, then we're all in trouble - not only is the Tigershark subfoil (think sub meets F-16) difficult to control, but its weaponry is, in a word, pathetic.
Most of the missions in Tigershark revolve around destroying the large collection of Russian magma taps that power the Red threat. (The mission objectives are passed to you along the bottom of the screen and give the game a very Soviet Strike-like feel). After the objectives are complete, you must rendezvous with a subcarrier that waits at the outskirts of the mission zone. You then travel to the next hotspot to continue the war. Many of the missions are very difficult, and you must start each one from the beginning every time if you die. Very annoying.
Controlling the Tigershark is also a fairly difficult matter, which serves to make the nonstop underwater dogfights more of a nuisance than anything else. Also, the game drags at a few points because of the lack of ammunition. For example, one mission requires you to disable several magma taps instead of destroying them - meaning you need a special EMP torpedo. This wouldn't be a problem, except that if you run out of EMP torpedoes you have to scour the ocean floor looking for a reload. It eventually makes you want to toss this disc into a microwave.
Tigershark's graphics are decent, but the murky sea depths lack detail (some moving seaweed, for example, would have been a nice addition). The explosions are also lackluster. The game moves smoothly enough, though the objects could have use more polygons - as it is everything looks square. Tigershark's sound and music will also cause a bit of pain and suffering - the music is a little annoying and the sound effects (especially the underwater explosions) are just a notch above random garbage.
Tigershark could have been a really fun game, but there are simply too many imperfections. Fans of the Soviet Strike series' mission-based levels might get a slight kick out of Tigershark, but most will just want to leave this one docked.