Thursday, June 18, 2020

Game 34: The Catacomb Apocalypse

Name:Catacomb Apocalypse
Time:4.5 hours

The fourth and final Catacomb FPS is a bit trickier to talk about than the proceeding entries. Apocalypse tries its darnedest to ramp up the difficulty. The thing is, that's not entirely good. After around the half-way point, every enemy takes multiple zappers to take down. So you either use them, or spam the control key. Or if you're smart, you'd plug in a controller with a turbo button. You use items because you just want to get things done. Which is not good considering there are seven Nemesi on the last level. Sure, if you've reached this game in the franchise, you know what you're doing, however, that doesn't make the last half fun.
New improvements in the game don't really add up to much. The manual makes much of the screen flashing to show you something important on the text bar. I didn't notice it. Either something is wrong, or its a very short flash. Not much point to it either, someone too foolish to pay attention to their text bar isn't going to read the manual to find out they should read the text bar. Let them suffer, they don't stand a chance back in DOS-land anyway. The hub system? Also feeling pointless. I could have just spammed it twice and gotten enough keys to really speedrun the later half. Walkable walls?
To put all of that aside, this game really feels like they've run out of ideas. Eh, robot enemies. Orc wizards. Machinegun skeletons. Time travel. Cyber Egypt dystopia. Does any of this sound like the attempts of men doing anything other than panning a river, hoping to find gold? Its amusing the first time, but I don't see myself giving this game another go. In the future, I could see myself giving Armageddon one more shot, but not this.
Same as Abyss. 2/10

Every enemy shoots you and takes a ton of damage. Only the rare exceptions don't shoot. They look nice, but that's about it. 3/10

Same as Abyss. 0/10

Apocalypse's level design is designed to wear you down for the final confrontation with Nemesis. And mazes. Its just the same thing over and over again. Some of it isn't as bad as I'm saying, but its hard to tell. 4/10

Player Agency:
Same as Abyss. 5/10

Same as Abyss. 1/10

The weird schizotech feel just doesn't work as well as Abyss and Armageddon's settings. 3/10

The color scheme is quite garish at times and several wall graphics don't match. Down a bit from the proceeding games. 4/10

The manual says this is basically the same plot as Abyss. Which I wrote as 0/10

Same as Abyss. 3/10

That is 25, two points above Catacomb 3D. Call it 24, putting it a point above 3D. I don't have anything clever to say, I'm just glad this is done. This isn't the last we'll see of the series, I haven't done the proceeding two or so top-down games. But for now, I think I'm done on hammer ctrl key games. Next time, E.S.S., or European Space Station. Why? I need a break from the more shooty stuff. Hey, I said space sims, and that is a space sim.

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