Abuse is a run and gun video game developed by Crack dot Com and published by Electronic Arts in North America and Origin Systems in Europe. It was released on February 29, 1996 for DOS. A Mac OS port of the game was published by Bungie and released on March 5, 1997. In 2009 it was ported to AmigaOS 4. It has also been ported to the iPhone/iPod Touch platform. The game's source code, along with some of the Shareware content, has been in the public domain since the late 1990s. It has also been ported to Linux as a freeware.
The protagonist of the game, Nick Vrenna, has been unjustly incarcerated in a prison where the staff are performing unethical medical experiments upon the inmates. A prison riot occurs and an experiment goes horribly wrong. The people inside the prison - except for Nick, who seems to be immune - get infected with a substance called Abuse that transforms them into monsters. With the water supply in danger of being infected, Nick arms himself and fights through the horde to prevent this, and then escapes from the prison complex.
Abuse resembles a side-scrolling platform game. The game is notable for its (at the time) unusual control scheme: The keyboard is used to move Nick, while the mouse is used for aiming the weapons. The basic gameplay consists of fighting various enemies (mostly the various forms of mutants, who prefer to attack in huge swarms) and solving some simple puzzles, usually involving switches.
Networked play, through IPX/SPX, is also supported. The game originally had support for TCP/IP play, but this was not present in the retail version.
To improve the performance of Abuse's graphics engine, the code only allows objects within a certain radius of the visible game window to be active during play. This means that free-roaming enemies and always-on mechanical devices outside the radius cannot attack the player, nor will projectiles fired from weapons that ostensibly have an 'infinite range' continue their journey much beyond the edge of the screen.
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