Body Harvest is a video game for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It was released in October 1998 by DMA Design (later renamed Rockstar North after the highly successful Grand Theft Auto III). The GTA series has much in common with Body Harvest, including gameplay that lets the player take control of sixty-plus vehicles, or exit them and fight on foot.
In Body Harvest, players assume the role of a genetically engineered soldier, Adam Drake, who must investigate and eliminate an alien attack force who possesses the ability to travel through time. Possessing this technology himself, Drake must battle in five areas over a 100-year period that covers World War I-era Greece, World War II-era Java, United States in the 1960s, Siberia in the 1990s, and the near future. The game is somewhat-known for being open-ended in which players go anywhere and do anything according to game's boundaries. Because of the game's overall design, its been believed by many to be a straight-forward predecessor to the popular Grand Theft Auto III.
The opening cutscene shows Station Omega, an orbital space station containing Earth's last survivors, the year is 2016 and the aliens have returned to destroy the last remnant of the human race. The aliens attack and board Station Omega and begin chasing Adam Drake, the game's only playable character, through the corridors. Even though Adam defeats the initial invaders he is wounded in the process. He is ready to board Alpha I, the time traveling vehicle developed at Station Omega, when more aliens appear and try to force their way into the boarding chamber. The monitors show his colleague, Daisy Hernandez, telling Adam to get into the Alpha I without letting the aliens gain access to it. As the aliens force the door open, Adam dives through the air lock and firing a single shot into the control panel, which closes the door preventing the aliens from pursuing him further. As they escape the station in the Alpha I, they are pursued by Alien fighter craft, but open up a time portal and escape. Meanwhile, back on Station Omega, an Alien is shown holding a drop of Adam's blood and eyes it strangely. This is a subtle hint as to where Adam's arch nemesis, Tomegatherion, is cloned from.
Gameplay consists of completing a series of missions. Many of these are very basic, e.g. reach a certain area, but others can be more complicated and require some thought and/or skill. Once one completes a mission they are then prompted to check the map to find out what the next mission is.
There is a meter at the bottom of the screen that represents civilian casualties. If too many civilians die for any reason, the aliens will destroy the area. Mostly, only Harvester aliens will deliberately kill people, so the player must destroy Harvester waves as they progress throughout the level. There are also some optional missions that require saving people from the aliens. Although one can fail these missions and still progress through the game, doing so usually results in significant human casualties.
The use of vehicles is a key aspect of this game. Vehicles are needed to face off with aliens and specific vehicles are often required to complete missions. These vehicles include cars, tanks, boats, planes, helicopters, and even a flying saucer. In addition the Alpha I (the ship the player uses to travel through time) becomes a powerful hovercraft during boss battles and for the entirety of the Comet level.
Each level is divided into two stages and the shield portal to the next stage only opens once the player has destroyed that stage's Alien processor.
The goal of each level is to destroy the Shield Generator that creates the shield that surrounds each level. As soon as this occurs the player faces the level's boss.
The game received average reviews upon release, receiving a 7.0 from GameSpot. In general, reviewers praised the game's originality and mixture of gameplay elements, while deriding its lackluster graphics, lack of compelling story, and repetitiveness.