AMID EVIL is a first person shooter coming to us from New Blood Interactive, made by the thrice blessed Indefatigable. Now let me set the record straight right off the bat. Despite what you might think, this isn't some throwback retro FPS game, oh no. This is an evolution.
AMID EVIL is a spiritual successor to Heretic, Hexen and Hexen 2 just like DUSK is the spiritual successor of DOOM,AMID EVIL is a first person shooter coming to us from New Blood Interactive, made by the thrice blessed Indefatigable. Now let me set the record straight right off the bat. Despite what you might think, this isn't some throwback retro FPS game, oh no. This is an evolution.
AMID EVIL is a spiritual successor to Heretic, Hexen and Hexen 2 just like DUSK is the spiritual successor of DOOM, QUAKE and BLOOD. It hits you home with its myriad of spectacularly designed levels, the awesome variety of weapons and it's smoother than life controls within the first 15 minutes.
And let me tell you, you haven't even scratched the surface yet.
The game is divided into 7 episodes, each unique in its design, enemies and environments. From medieval moon worshiping cults, to giant stone guardians, to sentient machines and crystalline arcane constructs. You're going on a journey, player and you better come prepared.
Let's talk a little about the game-play, you're The Champion, you've claimed the Axe of the Black Labyrinth and you're ready to use it to bring order to chaos, life to death, but mostly, to destroy evil like the cosmic crusader you are.
The controls are tight and responsive in the most literal way. You don't feel like you're in control, you are in control, it's all muscle memory from here because the game doesn't play around. You'll be dodging and weaving and platforming like you were born to do it, because that's how much control you have over your character. The game doesn't hamstring you and doesn't dictate your route for you. It gives you absolute freedom. I've skipped whole sections by using old-school quake techniques like rocket (or planet) jumping, or just figuring out inventive ways to use the scenery to my advantage.
You've got 7 weapons to choose from and I'll put it right out there, there are no "good weapons" or "bad weapons". Each weapon has their use, has enemies that it is much better against. Fighting fire spirits? Use the water rod. Fighting projectile reflecting crusaders? Use the planet-tosser. Fighting incarnations of evil? Well, you got an axe made just for that don't you?
Each weapon has a unique firing mechanism and unlike most shooters, they don't stand to imitate the classic gun, shotgun, rocket launcher. Instead, you got a sword that fires shockwaves, a rod that fires homing shots, a lightning shooting trident, a planet tossing claw (yeah, it shrinks planets and throws them at enemies, try not to blow up the earth will you?), a mace that shoots crystal spikes and of course, cosmic ribbon candy of death. You're going to be switching weapons on the fly constantly, within the same fight, you're going to be strategizing, prioritizing and you're going to do it without even noticing, because it's just a pleasure to do.
I have to put a shout out to my man Andrew Hulshult for being the absolute master of FPS soundtracks and making the experience ten times better with his incredible tracks. I don't buy game soundtracks a lot, unless it's a bundle. But I went out of my way to buy this one, so I can listen to it everywhere. It's that good. I can't even describe it, just play the game and have a listen.
The environments and level design are probably the pinnacle of their kind for this sort of game. I spent over 30 minutes every level just exploring and taking it in. The sky boxes, the maps, the environment, hunting for secrets, just getting into every nook and cranny, not because there's an achievement for that, but because it was just so well made.
Though the game follows the John Carmack creed of plot design keeping it simple, there's a deceptive amount of lore in the game, given to the player through short messages hidden in each level. Such as rivalry between two factions of enemies you fight, or connection between episodes that you can see by exploring. It was more than enough for me, gave me more time to focus on the action and rewarded me for looking around where I could. (And yes Dave, I bought DUSK, thank you.)
The second way they convey this to you is with a very helpful codex right in your menu, giving you info about places and enemies you'll encounter, which I can say was very helpful to me starting out and helped get me into the game. Kudos for that!
All in all, like I said, this isn't a throwback, it's an evolution. I'm excited to see what more can be done with this genre now, New Blood and their partners are giving me newfound faith in the gaming industry.
But, nothing's perfect and I do need to mention some drawbacks to the game.
1. Clipping issues when flying and jumping. I've gotten stuck on a ledge more than once, kind of a bummer. If you guys fix that, that'll be great.
2. This game NEEDS a map editor!
3. Bosses were too easy for me. Granted, I'm a veteran of FPS's and I've been finding EVIL difficulty easy, but still.
I hope to see more from New Blood and Indefatigable in the future!… Expand