Capstone Software were widely regarded for their very average games - Operation: Bodycount, Techwar - but amongst the mediocrity, there was one game that was not so average. Corridor 7 was widely shunned by gamers as well. You see, it uses the Wolfenstein engine, an engine which, by the time Corridor 7 came out, had been well and truly eclipsed by the Doom engine, and so it was ignored for having inferior graphics.
Once you get over the fact that the graphics are limited by the Wolfenstein engine (a heavily modified one at that), Corridor 7 becomes an atmospheric and often scary game. It takes place in a scientific\office complex that has been all but cleansed by aliens, who arrived through an artifact that was brought back from Mars. Your job is to run in, kill anything that moves and destroy the portal.
The atmosphere of the game is created by one of the major changes to the Wolfenstein engine - shading. This makes the game very dark, and often the only things you can see in the distance are the blinking lights of a force field or computer system (which there are a lot of). It is quite scary to see the rough figure of a couple of large enemies suddenly blank them out.
The enemies in the game are also positioned in a way that when you start fighting in any reasonably open area, you will either be rushed by several aliens or sneakily attacked from behind. You do have an automap to warn you of this, but even some of the easier enemies can take a lot of punishment, so it is often hard to concentrate on both at once, and you will find yourself in the middle of a battle trying to take out several gun-wielding flying eyes with your basic assault rifle, which can be difficult, especially on the higher difficulties. Another cunning touch is an enemy which disguises itself as a filing cabinet, a chair, or some other piece of furniture, only to reveal itself and gun you down while you're not looking.
The level design consists mostly of office blocks, with some scientific apparatus scattered here and there and some strangely laid out rooms. Most levels also have a maintenance corridor around the outside of the level, which is found through a secret door and can transport you around the level very quickly. Additionally, the aliens have set up traps which can only be seen by using your infra-red visor (which compliments both your normal sight and your night vision visor). In order to finish a level, you have to kill almost all of the aliens on it, with the exception of the secret levels, which offer a far less scary blastfest with no consequences whatsoever.
The sound and music, while basic, both add to the spooky atmosphere of the game, and it can be very unnerving to hear half a dozen alien screams from behind you while the slow music hums your eulogy.
Overall, then, Corridor 7 is a game which has surpassed its legacy as a Capstone game. While it is not perfect, and slogging through 30-odd levels that look similar can get a little boring after a while, it is without a doubt a good game with an atmosphere that no-one really expected. It is a pity that Capstone did not continue a good run.
This is the floppy disk version of the game. There is a CD enhanced version of the game that offers 10 more levels, an alternate ending, high quality music and multiplayer combat that is available from the ISO Cellar.
This game will take as many cycles as you can give it, and the sound works perfectly on the default settings.
Use either CORR7.BAT or RUN.BAT to start the game, otherwise strange things may start to happen.