Video Review of Return Fire

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Video Review of Return Fire

Post by RetroGamingBlog » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:55 pm

I'm back! I've been away for awhile but I've started putting some more video reviews together, this time of Return Fire.

I've had a blast reviewing this, and again touching base with Reichart about how he put it all together. With much hope
there may be a VR one in the near future - but who really knows!

Here's the review, I hope you guys like it! ... re-review/ - the music still gets me!

Excerpt below:

‘In Return Fire you get to play with bombs, tanks, rockets, you know… that type of stuff’ – the concept which is succintly explained on the back of the CD case in 17 words. A perfect summary.

The game injects itself firmly into your mind and soon after you’ll find devilish delights in blowing up buildings and armed turrets.

We spoke with creator, Reichart Von Wolfsheild, about Return Fire and how he came to design such a project, its challenges, and how it became one of the best loved 3DO games on the system.

For this review we have included excerpts from our conversation which you can read in full here.


This top down tank shooter portrays war in a comical fun way through an arcade like aesthetic, and much like the arcade it’s best enjoyed with a friend. The 3DO’s daisy-chaining of controllers and potential for multi-player mayhem is one of the key attractions that helped get this project on the system. Return Fire will require you to seek out a living breathing person – so if you find one, invite them over and get ready for battle.

Silent Software’s Reichart Von Wolfsheild remembers fondly the early tests they were running on 3DO hardware.

R.W: “We spent an entire month doing research just doing speed tests on the 3DO. Our very first test was to throw a polygon up, then we had to understand it was a square, it works a certain way, and we spun it – then sub divide it and kept sub dividing it down.

So all these tests were to see if there was anyway to get more speed out of it. We knew what our max polygons and sizes could have been.”

He continues to explain some of the tricks used to improve the performance of the game.

R.W: “. . . it’s not real 3D, it’s 2.5D. It is real 3D in the sense it’s being rendered with a 3D formula, except we dropped one of the axis and the reason we did this is because we gained about 20 percent more speed on the 3DO.

And knowing we had to split the screen and render two worlds, we wanted to keep the frame rate north of 12 frames per second. Obviously back then games were between 30 and 60 frames, but I wanted to get this world rendered, I had a lot to render, more than an EA game would do or something else, so that’s how we came up with that. We did it physically on the ground and spent days thinking what we could do, and ran tests over-and-over again, just seeing how fast we could do matrix math.”

Return Fire was ported with better frame rates and graphical updates on the PlayStation and PC, but to experience the title in its original inception, the 3DO is it. And rather grand it is too.
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