Steam Cleaning #3: Unreal Gold

An old classic, a precursor of the Unreal Engine and games like Unreal Tournament. I picked up this piece of history a while back, played for 11 minutes, then stopped because the game nauseated me.

Old shooter games have that problem. Something about the viewport and the bobbing of the camera.

On this go-around I was able to remove most of the head bobbing and give the game a proper go. I was surprised. The atmosphere holds up pretty well, and the movement is fast and responsive. I really like the dodge mechanic you get when double-tapping a strafe button.

My first death came when the floor fell out from under me and I plunged into lava. It was then that I noticed the lack of autosaves in this game. I had, luckily, saved and exited some 7 minutes before, and continued rather than restarting the whole stage.

The coolest moment came when I traveled down a hallway to turn off a barrier’s power source. On the way back, the lights in the hall turned off one by one, and my way forward and backwards was barred. All went dark.

Then red emergency lights started flashing and out of the dark came a new enemy, firing lazers at me and dodging my gunfire in the narrow hallway!

While I was impressed with the game, it is a bit archaic. The enemies are bullet sponges with decent AI (for the time), my weapons are nothing special, and the only times I died were to floors falling out from under me. Most of the cramped hallways are very same-y. I was impressed by the game, but I wasn’t having all that much fun… at least, not enough to justify continuing.

I also tried the included expansion (which was far more open, but near directionless) and the bot multiplayer matches (which were amusing).

Verdict – An hour was enough, but it was a pretty fun hour.

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