Personally, I enjoy the aesthetic of the upcoming Doom game, set to release May.13.2016, and yes that's a Friday the 13th. Good one id Software, a bit campy but what else would you expect? The impression that the latest trailer left me with is that id Software is upholding the core values from the dawn of the Doom series. The original games, Doom, and Doom 2 focused on frantic circle strafing run and gun action in big open hell-scapes teaming with heaps of demons, big fuck off guns, flaming skulls and color coated key cards. As opposed to the bland corridor heavy space station shooter they gave us in Doom 3. The one constant being the oppressive atmosphere. In our current age of gaming, the Doom reboot looks like it could be a welcome change from the heavily scripted 'on rails' set piece shooters that clog the digital landscape and dominate much of the market. That being said, I cant help but wonder how it will be received by today’s gamers who grew up on COD and Battlefield. Simply put, developers aren't really making those shooters anymore. The FPS market has been dripping with carefully constructed blockbuster movie-esque titles for so long, the current generation of FPS players could very well balk at the simplistic, over the top style of game play that Doom is traditionally famous for. If only there were some way for the new breed of gamers to test the waters without having to dive in headfirst….
Enter Devil Daggers.
Devils daggers is a $5, “endless” first person shooter, set in a what is assumed to be a small infinite pitch black plane of someones own personal hell. I put quotation marks around 'endless' because no one has survived much past the 8 minute mark. It could have an ending, though I sincerely doubt it. And it doesn't really matter, as the goal is to stay alive as long as possible, and the average player (myself included) usually peaks at about 45-60 seconds for the first hour or two. Why so difficult? Well, the foes are as agitated as they are lethal, and much like a bad burrito from Chipotle, they can seal your fate quickly, with just one erroneous decision.
Devil Daggers' core mechanic is circle-strafing fast paced first person shooting, and it feels incredibly fluid. This is due partly to the fact that the games engine and art design is very old school and strikingly similar to a higher resolution version of the original quake, albeit with slightly more complex visuals. This allows most PC's to easily run the game at 60+ frames per second, which is key, as everyone on the leader boards is theoretically on the same playing field regardless of the rig they have. Devil Daggers' descent into madness starts in a dark room with a lone dagger floating in front of you. Once you take hold of your basic weapon it multiplies, streams of red daggers spew from your hand, immediately plunging the user into dubious peril. The daggers can either be shot in short bursts, like a pump-action shotgun or can be spit out in a steady, viscous stream like shooting the Devils' sandblaster.
As you begin to acclimate yourself to the oppresive surroundings, it becomes obvious you are walking on a small plane of stone or concrete, with a sudden drop-off around the edge that will send you plunging into dark nothingness with one misstep. Then, suddenly you hear a sound, it's coming from behind you – a gurgling, sinister spawning noise that could only mean that terrible is on its way. Abruptly, as you try to focus on the area the sound came from, a spire forms out of nowhere and releases a series of skulls and demon heads into the dark, and will continue to do so, until you erase it from existence by shooting at its rotating weak spot. Then another will form, and another and so on and so on. As time goes on things get more and more hectic with different enemies spawning in random locations at preset timestamps. The key to survival seems to be in directing your focus on the spawning spires, while at the same time managing the wave of floating skulls and demon heads chasing you down, but that knowledge itself will only get you so far. The game play feels as fluid as it looks, and you are always just a quick tap of the R key away from an instant retry, which really supports the “just one more game” feeling you are left with after any given run.
Certain enemies drop gems that power up your weapon when killed, allowing you to spit thicker, faster and more powerful streams of magical daggers as the frenzied action carries on. These power ups are very important not only to your progression past that elusive 60 second mark, but to your confidence as well. They will help you to dispose of the waves of enemies with greater ease, allowing you to free your focus to deal with more pertinent demonic apparitions. Like, say, the giant evil spider that sucks up your treasured power gems before you can get to them, or perhaps the twisted, flying Ogopogo-like entities that swoop through the air with equal parts grace and death lust... all while the super spires keep launching skulls for you to fend off … Yeah, she's a bitch, but its that kind of addictive action that keeps me in front of the screen for much longer than I originally intended to be.
If the early sales performance of Devil Daggers is any indication, the millennial crowd might just be interested in the style of game play after all. In its first 5 days, Devil Daggers has over 12,000 copies “sold” on steam through world of mouth alone. That's a strong start, especially in this day in age. Though difficult, this game is immensely rewarding in the same way that arcade shooters have been since the inception of the genre, with shooters like Robotron 2000 and Smash TV, with a wonderful first person twist. I can confidently say that Devil daggers is the love child of Doom, Quake and Geometry wars in the best possible way (video game relationships are complicated, okay?). And if that intrigues you, I suggest you pick it up.
Go to hell, have fun.
Devil daggers is out now on steam.
----------------------------------------THIS JUST IN: TRISTAN BREAKS KEVINS SCORE!--------------------------------------------------
Sorry pal, i gotta say this game jacks my heart rate to an unhealthy level and i love it! It is as you said: very Intense and rewarding.
Oh sheeit son! i did it again!
----------AND AGAIN! I'm not sure I can do that again though. So intense; had to calm down after this one. Hands were shaking a bit heh.