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Modern Retro Shooters / Quake Spiritual Successors
Wonder If A Specific Retro-shooter Thread Is Warranted?
#10166 posted by Shambler [] on 2017/08/27 11:32:00

It is! Separate thread because there's a lot of these sort of games, the ethos of them is particularly relevant to this board, and it's inhabitants seem to have some good varying opinions on the matter.

Quake as the eptiome as 90s action FPS:

Very direct control and physics
Simple streamlined gameplay
Brutal visceral and gory
Weird fantasy / gothic / industrial theme
Grungy, coherent graphics
Cool map designs / architecture (for the time)
Varied but consistent bestiary
(many of the above adhered to and greatly enhanced by subsequent custom content)

We all like these aspects, we all like these aspects in other games, we all want to see more of those games, possibly combined with modern graphical styles (Quake Chumpions MAPS might be an example of how far this could go) and maybe very limited modern additions (crouching? an inventory? coherent story? - but nothing that gets in the way of solid action). We perhaps want the next Quake / 90s action FPS spiritual successor...

Modern Retro Shooters:

...and lo, there's a neverending stream of modern retro games many of which are unabashedly marketting themselves as 90s action FPS spiritual successors and particularly highlighting speed, direct control, simple action, limitless violence. Do they have what it takes to hit that mark though??


Amid Evil




Ion Maiden





Devil Daggers





Without wanting to opine too much, there seems to be a general trend of possibly not hitting the mark despite some attempts to do so, with a huge variety in how much potential those attempts show, as well as how close these games are to realising the overall harmonious game quality of a typical best 90s action FPS. I.e. Some games seem to do some aspects right, but don't seem to get all the aspects in balance and appealing together.

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From Other Thread 
The looks are consistent and coherent
The sounds are decent most of the time
The theme is somewhat original
Looks like the gameplay is very arcade-like
There is some instances of 3D gameplay
Not convinced on the every weapon gibs mechanic.

Looks good so far. 
isn't "ummm...zombies?...uhhh big zombies...uhhh really big zombie with cleaver...uuuhhh fuck it I'm all out of ideas...", not a particularly good sign, creativity-wise? 
It looks like footage from one level. If so, looks promising, and I would hope there is greater enemy and weapon variety further on! 
Hell Hunt 
looks alright, art is certainly better than most retro fps games (wrath obviously being tops!). It sounds like the sound effects have some weird reverb on them, thats a bit annoying.
I think it's early enough in development where it could be promising, lets hope they take their time in making the game and not just shove it out the door for a quick cash grab :) 
Hell Hunt Pt 2 
Some of the sound effects have been lifted from various games, like the pigcop death squeal and the boss "zoom" noise from Duke 3d. The shotty noise and shell drop noise sounds like HL1...

Heres hoping that the audio is placeholder. 
It's More Likely 
those sounds are from a sfx library 
Kinda cool artstyle on that one, the brown grittiness is definitely reminiscent of Quake. The enemy animations have a janky quality though... Im not an animator so i couldnt say exactly why, but its something you just know when you see it. Dusk had the same issue. 
Another Contender For, Errr, Ummm... 
an interesting something.

Jokes aside, looks like visually comes from Hexen and Unreal, but gameplay wise it seems to be a Strafe clone with more static gameplay and a bit better level and room design.

The previous one shared here looked more promising. 
no art direction at all 
Unreal was far richer, visually, than that.

It looks more like some obscure FPS made for N64 hardware, that wouldn't make much of an impact at the time, let alone now. 
I know it was far richer, i was just saying that it, and Hexen seem to be the videogames closer on inspiration to this, even if far away. 
WRATH: Aeon Of Ruin [early Access] 
Currently playing it. GOG installer in a Wine port (Wineskin Engine WS9Wine64Bit5.2) on MacOS El Cap. Install went smooth as butter and so is the game running. Unlike Dusk (easy to install and run the same way) which I really grew tired very fast (kinda ugly level design and gameplay à la Redneck Rampage...) my first run with WRATH: AoR is really compelling. I don't want to spoil anything but all of you Quake lovers should try it NOW!!...or wait for the full version at a later date, but wtf!

Some complaints and nitpicks on the GOG forum, yeah, well... But mainly, I found it fun and challenging. Great gameplay and gorgeous level design. The DP engine is a perfect choice here. It just enhances the Quake vibe all the oldskool way without feeling old or tacky. I love it. 
And Another One....

Maps look very Quakey in a proper 3D way.

I hope EVERYTHING else is a placeholder tho...

Looks like has a mix in gameplay of mainly Doom with a bit for Quake on progression and secrets, with Doom brushwork and looks' style, on a Quake e4/Doom layout and with Quake 3 powerups and sounds.

The encounters are a bit repetitive but the layout looks promising in solving that, even better if they could get some more verticality on it. 
uses darkplaces. nice. 
Finished playing Ion Fury/Maiden. Started playing Wrath.

While Ion Fury feels packed, Wrath feels tacked. That's normal given that one is a finished product while the other still is in development, but I've got the impression that when Wrath is complete, it will still feel less packed than Ion Fury, due to some design differences.

Sprite (fire, water and other vfx) and texture animations are incredibly fluid in Ion Fury. The sprites and texture animations in Wrath feels very stale in comparison. Enabling r_lerpsprites doesn't seem to help.

The vanilla Quake speed of 5 texture animation frames per second is simply too slow for anything more complex than glowing lights. Animations with morphing parts meds higher framerates.
This isn't a deal breaker though, I'm sure I'll get used to it after playing Wrath more.

Would be nice to make Wrath's particles round when texture filtering is enabled, for more visual consistency.

Ion Fury's maps are beautiful due to the incredible amount of eye candy, while Wrath's maps are beautiful due to the impressive brushwork.

Despite all Ion Fury maps being great fun, the freaking huge amount of things in them discourages any replays, which is bad for players who wants to play more than once to achieve 100% completion.

The only way for very big maps to be replayable in order to help players achieve 100% of their goals is to use a system similar to Metroid Prime, where only a few enemies reappears when replaying the map.

The early access version of Wrath doesn't come with any lore, any backstory, nothing. The only place where I found out what the game's story is about is a pinned thread in its Steam forums.
The early access version of Ion Fury had its background story available in the Help menu. It's a small touch, but it helped to make the players more involved with the game. 
On Wrath's World. 
I've always had the critique that Wrath's world feel very surface level at times, and I think that becomes very apparent when playing Ion Fury.

Ion Fury's world feels lived in, dynamic, believable. The interactive and scripting elements aside, the entire thing comes together to be read more often as a world than a game level, whereas Wrath has the opposite. A cold, sterile feeling, no other friendly souls seem to exist but you, everything is out to get you. It comes off like a Souls game without the NPCs, without the item lore, without the little pieces of worldbuilding around the place.

I guess what I'm saying is that, while it's obviously fun in it's early access state, I agree it could use something more. I remember KP talking about friendly NPCs you could speak to? That's a start I guess, but it needs to go further. Little scribbles in the dairy upon killing an enemy doesn't cut it for me. 
is like Quake, in many ways, including the simple backstory and static world. I suppose that it depends on what each player wants from the game. 
I think that worked better for Quake since it was a rougher, early 3D game that did a lot of it's world building via end-episode paragraphs, vague feelings of castles and dungeons, and differentiating via monster/texture usage. Whereas all Wrath levels feel so different and disconnected such that they could be ports from completely different games w/ wrath enemies slapped in and it'd be tough to tell.

Even something like Amid Evil makes it work, new enemies and textures for each episode with a bunch of story tidbits laid about. 
Quake had its backstory available in its readme file.

It's not possible to deliver a game's story in this way anymore, because Steam bypasses all handling of games' files through its automated installation and its launcher interface. But in 1996, anyone who would install Quake would have the readme.txt file with the game's backstory right there, in their face. Even in the shareware version.

Wrath comes without any backstory at all. Nothing that says anything about who you are and what is the point of being in the world where you are.
In Doom you were a marine in a world full of demons. A characterization very easy to understand: by default, marines are good and demons are bad, so you must kill the demons!

But who are we in Wrath? Why are the enemies attacking us? Are we the good guy? If we are a good guy, why are we using weapons?

In Wolf3D, we start with a kitchen knife because we're a prisoner.
In Half-Life, we start with a crowbar because we're a scientist, and scientists uses tools.
In Turok, we start with a bow and arrows because we're an Indian.

Thinking about it, Quake is an exception in that one of its starting weapons (the axe) doesn't make any sense for the player's characterization. At least if it was a fireman's axe, it would make some sense, but it looks more like a medieval lumberjack's axe that the player gets out of nowhere before he even arrives at the game's medieval dimensions.

An easy to access backstory does wonders to build some sense in a game's world and to give the player a purpose. 
Graven Etc 
For Coce. Yes. Should be discussed. I only became aware of it after the 30 mins unedited gameplay video which was a great display of the game. I think - with all due respect to Warth, and subject to one requirement - it's the modern retro game I'm most hyped for. Thusly:


- Pixellation / texture resolution is pretty bad in most world textures, not only a bit ugly but out of place with the higher res model textures, filtered char hand, and general consistent quality of the rest of the graphics. i presume the texture resolution is a place-holder and linear filtering will be a default option.


+ Errrr everything else??
+ Graphical harmony for everything else is spot on, really nice use of colours, fog, effects, etc. Retro feel without being too retro (i.e. artificially ugly like many of these games aim for).
+ Atmospere is 11/10.
+ Style / setting totally appeals to me.
+ Exploration and secrets look cool.
+ Combat and breakables look fun.
+ Nice balance of weapons and spells.
+ Control and movement looks fine.
+ Did I mention the atmosphere and style yet?

So, yes... 
Also, Prodeus 
I'm sure I saw this a while ago and dismissed it for all the usual blindingly obvious "making a shit half-arsed 'inspired by Dusk reject assets' clone in deliberately pre-Doom graphics but in Unity" reasons, but the recent fresh trailer has actually got me quite inspired. It's garish and lurid and OTT and the weapon that takes up the full screen is naff, but it looks like as well as the obligatory visceral combat, they're putting some proper effort into level design, strong-ish sci-fi industrial theme, and a so far meaty looking bestiary (level design, theme, bestiary - who would have thought they could be useful for game design eh). Also the ability to switch between pixel sprites and full 3D seemingly on the fly is pretty promising... 
There has also been some absolute dung shown off in trailers recently including linked from the 3DR Big Event Reveal Livestream Expo whatever the fuck that was. But I've mostly blocked out the names from my mind, suffice to say the retro fps quality standards of 10% hit to 90% miss seems to be maintained... 
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