Doom is probably my favorite game of all time. Here it is twenty years later and I can still play it from start to finish and have as much fun now as I did when it first game out. It’s a shame that the FPS genre these days focuses more on the story than just run and gun action. Now, I’m not knocking modern FPS games, but I wish there more options. Then I heard about a game on Steam called Wrack which plays homage to old school FPS like Doom and Duke Nukem. They even got the guy who did the music for the old Doom games. Well I got a chance to check out the beta of the game and I love what I have played so far.
When I first started Wrack and made my way through the first level, I felt right at home. As expected, Wrack plays just like Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem. Make your way through large corridors collecting guns, items, keys, all while blowing away anything you see that moves. You have your standard selection of weapons such as the pistol, shotgun, pulse rifle and a sword for a melee weapon. You carry every weapon with you at one time and easily switch between them using either the number keys or the mouse wheel. There is also no reloading of weapons. Your ammo simply stacks until you cap it out. The guns all feel different in that they all do various degrees of damage to enemies. I found that ammo can be scarce at some points so there was the feeling of dread when I ran out of ammo for my Shotgun knowing that more enemies would be right around the corner. It’s smart to switch to your pistol while you take out the smaller enemies and then take out the shotgun to take care of the more powerful ones. Since you are in large environments, I was able to bring back the old school tactic of strafing around your opponents and then dashing around a corner to take cover. This type of FPS gameplay has always been able to get my heart racing.
I honestly felt like I was playing Doom. There a plethora of various enemies ranging from tiny robots that can be wasted in one shot, to giant walking robots that will put a hurt on you if you get too close. Even though those tiny robots are easy to kill, if a large number of them swarm you, you got some big problems on your hands. The game also brought back memories of Doom when I was running into the huge robots. I would walk into a room with low health and ammo only to be met by a gigantic robot. That “OH SH*T” moment kicked in when I frantically ran away, strafing left and right, trying to take down the robot. It was just like when you enter a room in Doom and find a Barron of Hell or worse, the Cyberdemon. These are the kinds of moments that I have been craving in FPS games as of late. I miss having to pick up health packs to regenerate my health instead of just hiding in cover for two seconds.
The levels themselves are all like a giant puzzle. They are large, open maps that are almost like mazes you have to figure out. There is some light puzzle solving and a lot of backtracking as well. You can blast your way through a level to find a switch when opened a door near the beginning of the level forcing you to make your way back. Often I would find myself lost, seeing the same rooms over and over again but to me, this is part of the fun. You can always find your way back to where you have been before by following the trail of dead bodies and you know you have entered a new room when you enemies start coming after you again. The game looks and sounds great as well. It uses gorgeous cell shaded graphics that are great for showing enemies exploding into a million pieces. The rockin soundtrack is awesome as well and really helps add to the rush you get when playing the game.
The beta didn’t have much to offer but that is perfectly fine because it is of course a beta and a work in progress. The version I played had the story mode with six levels, all of which can be played in time attack and score attack modes. They even tell you that the game is simply a beta and will be updated over time with a disclaimer on the title screen that says “This game is a beta. It may suck.” There are open spots for new levels to be added in the future and they will also be adding custom maps created by the community to the game. I assume the community created maps will be free as they aren’t listed as DLC. The current plan is for the game to be updated bi-weekly and I personally cannot wait to see what they have planned for the future.
My time with Wrack was short but I sure did have a lot of fun. This is a game I can see myself playing over and over again especially with the score attack and time attack modes. It’s a modern day FPS that plays homage to the genre’s roots and provides a lot of run and gun fun.
Wrack is still in beta but you can buy into the beta on Steam for $14.99 and get all of the content that has been released so far. You will also be able to get additional content as it’s added bi-weekly.
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