Toby draws our attention to one of 2013's better shooter offerings.
By Toby McCasker on December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am
The end of year plaudits roll on from within the industry and without until they are but one giant snowball shaped a little like The Last Of Us and/or BioShock Infinite.
I played both these games very much a lot, as did countless other gamers. Yes, they are both fabulous in ways that transcend mere at-home enjoyment of a thing. They are deserving of every pile of unwavering praise they are both to receive, though their monolithic shadows hide another deserving winner you all seem to have forgotten about.
You disgust me. Hang your heads in collective shame. See, now we have something in common, isn’t this nice? Something else we possibly have in common is a young gamerhood filled with memories of a Build engine bad-boy by the name of Shadow Warrior. It fell screaming through the roof and took out five or six guys at a time when Build engine bad-boys were plentiful, and also routinely excellent.
Duke Nukem 3D had started something, and we all had our favourites. Mine was Blood. Others found some semblance of peace in Redneck Rampage. Then there was Lo Wang and his periodic insistence that you might want him. He was nobody’s favourite, because he did not contend, so nobody might contend with he. He was just, how you say, hella balls-to-the-wall awesome.
And Flying Wild Hog remade him for 2013 like Interceptor Entertainment remade Rise of the Triad, and for whatever reason nobody thought much of it. The original hit in ’97. Time had passed. Everyone’s been rebooting/reimagining/regurgitating everything else for so long during said time and with mixed results. It’s lost its luster. Now we can’t even nerd-rage over it, it’s: “OH another re-something, how quaint. Anyway back to chewing my toenails off because I don’t want to use the weird clipper things.” There was no doubt, just indifference; these are the creative backwater times we live in. Often meh is the end result. Not today, potato.
Its insistence on recapturing ‘90s FPS design took me back, man. At the risk of sounding like I hate everything but Matlock, this was an era we could stand to see the best of return. Never mind rebooting games – reboot the era. In this context, that is what I believe these upstart young devs with an obsession for the past’s unfettered treasures (Harebrained and the GoN-lauded Shadowrun Returns springs to mind, too) are really trying to do. The things we think we’re missing in games are what we’re missing, and it’s important not to forget that in the wake of AAA this, AAA that, yearly iteration everything.
“Reboot” in Hollywood has definite loose-end, cash-grab connotations; “reboot” in Gamington is about reminding – and in the case of the younger, informing – us where gaming peaked in terms of the cultural care factor to brave new world ratio. Fast-forward a decade later and escalating costs and media attention and the whole bit mean if rebel devs like Flying Wild Hog, like Interceptor, like Harebrained let that era be consigned to the crypts below Gamingfell, all our hopes fall to kitty devils in double-breasted wool suits and smoking monkeys.
Lo Wang for pres.
(Check out our review of Shadow Warrior right here.)