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Skeletonpatch

Amid Evil, a Heretic/HeXen inspired retro FPS, has just released on Steam!

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Posted (edited)

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The Indefatigable developed, New Blood published Amid Evil released on Steam Early Access yesterday. I haven't seen any threads about this yet so I decided to create my own.

 

This is meant to be another throwback to the mid-late '90s era of FPS classics, this time taking influence from Heretic and Hexen by Raven Software, with most inspiration seemingly coming from Heretic. These influences can be easily seen through the fantasy setting and blue/green mana system used for the weapons, though everything else seems to be turned into overdrive with many examples of pure awesomeness thrown in; for instance, one of the staffs literally rips entire planets out of space and fires them as explosive projectiles. Players collect souls from slain enemies to fill a gauge, and when full, overpowers all weapons in a similar manner to the Tome of Power from Heretic. The game will have seven 'chapters', each of which supposedly features a completely different enemy roster and setting much like HeXen II's individual hubs did, currently there are only three chapters available.

 

I personally love Heretic and HeXen, to the point that my first publicly released map was actually for a Heretic community project. I hope this game has its own expanded lore in a similar fashion to that of Heretic and HeXen, as I really love that kind of stuff.

 

The game runs on the Unreal Engine 4, and it looks like the developers were going for an unusual blend of retro-inspired and modern graphics. Enemy models are low-poly and low-rez textured while seemingly everything else is seemingly of better quality, weapon are highly detailed and special lighting effects enhance the aesthetics. I actually really like this bizarre mish-mash of inconsistent graphical quality, and it isn't such an extreme difference to the point that it looks just plain bad like the vast majority of 3D enemy models I see in the Doom engine.

 

My favourite piece of info about this game so far is this little blurb from the game's store page on Steam: "OPTIMIZED to run on a toaster (a pretty nice toaster)". I love the way the New Bloods handle their written marketing. Hopefully this means that the game should have fewer problems that Ion Maiden...

 

While I haven't been able to play it yet*, I'm confident that if the New Bloods are backing it, this game must have the type of experience I enjoy.

 

*Due to having less than a dollar below the already 10% off $20.51 CAD price in my Steam wallet.

 

Here are some obligatory screenshots I pulled from the Steam store page:

Spoiler

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And of course, if I don't post this video here someone else will:

Spoiler

 

Edited by Skeletonpatch

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Posted (edited)

From watching videos, it looks more like Serious Sam or Painkiller to me.

Edited by Vermil

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I am not digging the art style, the environments and character models clash horribly. Go retro or do not, no half measures.

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1 hour ago, Vermil said:

From watching videos, it looks more like Serious Sam or Painkiller to me.

I don't think it's an arena-based thing, though. Why do you think it looks like those games?

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The numbers of bad guys are much smaller than SS or PK, but I still I see a lot of arenas in Gggmanlives video. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

 

 

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Really shocked this thread's gotten so little attention, and what attention it's getting isn't super positive. I'm absolutely in love with Amid Evil. Played the first episode so far and it really feels like Heretic pasted into the Quake engine. It's not all arenas, if videos have given you that impression. More varied than that, with a good mix of corridors and bigger areas, incidental combat and bigger melees. Super colorful and vibrant, too, which may turn some folks off, but it's not full-on rainbow mode or anything. Enemies and pickups stick out in bright reds, greens, and yellows, while the maps so far have been mostly greys and blues. Looks fantastic in my eyes. Your mileage may vary, but this is basically the Heretic 3 I always wanted.

 

I'll post a video of the first 45-ish minutes as soon as it's ready.

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It looks... okay. The upcoming Apocryph looks similar but a bit better. 

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Posted (edited)

I bought it yesterday, played through the whole game in a few hours, now I'm replaying it again. I would pretty much agree with what Ryath said, this game is super fun, although I can see why it's not getting as much attention, since it's still in early access. There are several chapters that are still being worked on, but from what I've seen so far, this is a quality game. 

 

After playing TF2/Counter strike/Garrysmod for years, every now and then I get a craving for a random shooter in the vein of Doom or Half-life 1. Just an FPS of good quality with a decent single-player campaign. I feel like this game could fill that spot perfectly. I played the Ion Maiden demo and was tempted to get that instead, and I might still. But overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase of this game, even if there is <3 hrs of content in the singleplayer campaign so far. I'm looking forward to the next chapters to be released. 

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I personally adore the architecture and the vivid colors, that's one reason I was waiting so much for this game.

I notice it's nearest pixel in purpose even if textures are not lowres compared to other pseudo-retro indie FPS. There is also dotted effect on water transparencies to mimic genesis pseudo transparency. But I'd like if they put an option to have billinear filtering, just to see how it looks, because the rest of the visuals are amazing and it's unnecessary to me when the textures and environments are so good, to have intentionally texture filtering off.

The rest of the game plays so well, enemies are kinda jumping at you, fairly hard and challenging even in easy, there are some ideas from painkiller (soul overpowering your weapons) and some really cool weapons (mace spiker and planets throwing :). I need to play some more soon.

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Watched some gameplay video. Looks like a low quality total conversion for Hexen 2.

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I'm really looking forward to playing this. I just put a bunch of TF2 crates and some duplicate trading cards up on the Steam community market, so hopefully I'll have the extra $1 I need before the game is no longer 10% off.

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On 3/14/2018 at 2:18 PM, Ryath said:

 

I'll post a video of the first 45-ish minutes as soon as it's ready.

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Fonze said:

[Insert mandatory amidieval joke here]

Amishevil?

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I played it for an hour and refunded. I was interested in it, and I wanted to support it, but it wasn't for me. That's not to say it's a bad game, but it didn't agree with me. The combination of, well, pretty darn well made levels with very low poly models didn't help. It wasn't a deal breaker at least, it still has a certain aesthetic charm. Especially once I turned on temporal aliasing which got rid of the filtering on everything, and changed it to 256 color mode. It looked pretty good at that point.

 

My problem was that the combat just wasn't enjoyable. Everything is extremely fast and will close the distance as soon as it sees you. There's really no feedback when you hit something, you just keep pounding them with your blue balls until they fall down. Melee is worthless, by the time you get close enough to hit an enemy, they've hit you two or three times. 

 

I also really didn't like the way the mana counter counts down from maximum to your current mana when you switch weapons. You can't switch and instantly know how much you actually have. Which is irritating.

 

So I think it could be pretty good, but as of right now I just didn't enjoy the combat. It feels 'floaty' instead of 'meaty' like Dusk. It didn't feel like the enemies really had a physical presence in the world, but honestly that's how the original Unreal felt to me as well, and they do cite Unreal as a major inspiration.

 

My two cents, your mileage may vary, but I'm going to hold off. And yeah, I never really 'loved' Heretic or Hexen. I liked them, but I never fell in love with them. I don't really like the fantasy theme all the much when it comes to FPS games. I'd rather use a shotgun than an ethereal crossbow.

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2 hours ago, Jello said:

you just keep pounding them with your blue balls until they fall down.

 

Selling point achieved.

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I've played into the third episode now, and honestly cooled off a little bit on the game as a whole. They seem to have gone for a structure where each episode uses completely different resources and enemies. That can be really interesting and keep things from ever getting stale, but it also means it's easy to accidentally make episodes of vastly different quality and entertainment value. Fighting soldiers and knights in the gothic fortresses of Episode 1 is '90s FPS perfection. Episode 2 has more Lovecraftian enemies and feels kind of like the Runic theme from Quake; it's good but not quite as fun as the first episode. And then the third one so far has been kind of underwhelming.

 

After Episode 3, I'm hoping that the later episodes swing back toward the other end of the spectrum. Or that the themes repeat -- like, Episodes 1 and 4 are medieval, 2 and 5 are Runic, 3 and 6 are Mesoamerican or whatever. 

 

But all that said... this is still by far the best FPS I've played recently.

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I've played through the Early Access build and I have to say it's by far my least favourite out of the three (Dusk / Ion Maiden / Amid Evil). It's not bad, the level design is pretty good and secrets are cool. I think my main problem is that the game is just too abstract for my taste. In Dusk / IM environments look elaborate. Same thing with Heretic/Hexen that everyone brings up. In Amid Evil I feel like I'm running around abstract places made of blocky geometry. A fairly impressive abstract places, but abstract nontheless. My favourite levels are those that actually look a bit more 'real' if you know what I mean. E1 has most of those, there are some in E3 but E2 feels just way too abstract for me.

 

The game also has this weird structure where it has as many as seven episodes (currently three) but they're short (3 levels + boss) and have a unique monster roster for each so you only see E1 monsters in E1. That's kind of cool but at the same time it feels like the enemy variety is kind of low. I think the game would benefit a whole lot from ADDING monsters from earlier episodes to later ones.

 

I don't know. A lot of people claim it's their favourite out of the three but so far it's just ok in my opinion. With Dusk / IM I wanted to play more upon finishing the current builds. With Amid Evil I'm not even that excited to play through it for the second time.

 

But hey, you can rocket jump with a staff that fires planets so it's not all bad.

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On 16/03/2018 at 2:49 AM, Fonze said:

 

Selling point achieved.

 

Yes!!! Soul Spheres of Steel =)

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Heads up for everyone interested: devs have just added the fifth episode, The Forges!

 

Haven't played it yet but it looked pretty damn amazing in terms of visuals.

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In fact, Heretic and Hexen are quite different games, although at first glance they seem similar. It's like brothers from different mothers.

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