Games don’t have to tell great stories to be entertaining or even make the player feel something, as Pixel Titans‘ STRAFE brings back the good old FPS times of 1996, but with roguelike elements.
Back when Quake made a gory appearance to introduce real 3D character models and Duke 3D reigned supreme with its macho humor, first-person shooters were the order of the day, even if they look quite antiquated today. Storytelling also takes a backseat with the idea of being someone who’s looking for riches in a scrap spacecraft only serving as an excuse for shooting lots of enemies.
These can be found and have to be killed in randomly generated levels with 30+ weapons that have to upgraded before one dies. Being a roguelike title, dying also means losing progress. It’s fast and furious with lots of gore, even though one couldn’t call it hyper-realistic violence, as it has more humor going for it than the gothic-style Quake.
The game wears its 1996 graphics and gameplay proudly on its sleeves, which isn’t only made clear in the awesomely gory trailer (the second one) but also with promo slogans like “BLEEDING EDGE GRAPHICS AND GAMEPLAY ©1996” or even the website’s disclaimer: “The STRAFE® team is NOT RESPONSIBLE for any injury or temporary loss of sanity while playing STRAFE®. Any and all participants assume joint and personal responsibility for general safety while experiencing hyper realistic graphics and gameplay. We recommend protective gear such as a DOT approved helmet or sunglasses with significant UV protection. All participants hereby certify they are physically fit and have sufficiently trained to handle a game with this much “beef”. If an accident does occur please contact our third party safety department at your earliest convenience.”
There’s definitely a hype machine going on for this game, and it remains to be seen if it’s really the slickest and sickest experience since the 90ies, because by the looks and sounds of it (and Steam/GOG reviews so far), it might just try to jump on the retro wagon without delivering what makes a classic FPS: good level design and art direction. But as the game is still being updated, it could turn out to be something very special.
Buy the game for PS4 on
the PSN store
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