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The TV show and subsequently the videogame where designed to try and replace Robot Wars which was lost to a rival channel. Contestants design their humanoid fighters and sit in pods to control them virtually. In the game, players are tasked with completing a number of rounds which can be against AI fighters from the series or other players in split-screen multiplayer
and then a final round which is a boss fight of sorts against one of the shows "Sentients" which were the supposedly the strongest fighters.
The game suffered from terrible design and as such the controls were a total disaster. Whilst the challenges were reasonably well designed and a good representation of the TV show, the controls let the experience down. You controlled your fighter in a similar way to many other third person games, face buttons being attacks or jumps and sticks for movement. The game was slow and unresponsive at the best of times.
The Sentients were the shows boss fighters or Robot Wars' "House Robots" in other words. Six fighters who had apparently become self aware and no longer needed their contestants to fight.
Vesuvius was the largest and most powerful.