Abuse was an extremely impressive game when it was released in 1996 and it's unique features (mouse-based aiming and lighting effects) set it apart from most side-scrolling/platform games of the day.
It's fun, frantic gun-play and action take center stage, while any storyline is nearly nonexistent (especially when compared to Super Metroid -- released two years earlier).
Sales and popularity of Abuse were definitely not bad, but could have certainly increased had it been marketed as a Predator-Versus-Alien game; which, in all rights, is exactly what it is. In addition, players were craving 3D games far more than platformers during this time, and it's release during the same year as blockbuster games, like Duke Nukem 3D and Quake, severely hampered it's success.
Nevertheless, Abuse still holds up surprisingly well, especially with it's innovative aiming mechanics that similar games have yet to incorporate.
I like this side stroller almost as much as Metroid. One of only the downfalls of Abuse is that it doesn't really have a story in the game.I really like the mouse controlls, and it is a long game.