Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Game 49: Deadline

Time: 1 hour

One of the lovely things about doing most of these shooting games by year is that I don't get a break from Wolfenstein clones for a good couple of years. Realistically the amount of games, by a certain definition, will never go down, its just everything else becomes so overwhelmingly popular that it doesn't matter one iota. In this mass of games is a unique title. Deadline doesn't sound like one at first, but it was never released, instead it seems to have been one of the earlier attempts at a public beta. This beta being free to everyone, like some weird shareware title. Whatever, it can't be worse than professionally released shooters. There is one problem, the game has no sound. This was also made by a Finnish developer, judging by the names.
The game has two different kinds of items, the guns, as can be expected from a FPS, and gizmos. The readme file explains that they're anything from keycards to mines. Oh, great, mines. Its got a weird weapon/gizmo selection method, pressing delete and PageDn control the keys. Oh, good, this is going to be like Isle of the Dead. Nah, it just cycles one per button press. I've only got 2 guns so far, a pistol and a machine gun...oh...no...there's no melee weapon. This doesn't look like its going to affect anything though, after one encounter with an enemy, its quite clear that I'll be dead if I get up close and personal.
So far my opponents are low-quality and very weird looking. Like the ones from Heretic, except very brown and with half the resolution. They're not hard to kill...just not exciting in any shape or form. Quite a few of them on this level, and they seem to be either patrolling or going around randomly with no rhyme or reason. I found them back at the starting area several times, which is interesting and also annoying. It seems to be going for a bootleg immersive sim kind of thing, but ends up being a bad Wolfenstein clone? The little ones look like Xenomorphs.
So after going through the level once, I discover no logical reason as to anything that's going on. I check the readme again, and oh, I'm just blind. Turns out I have to use the space key on the areas with dark blue dots, as shown on my map. So I do that....and...uh...it doesn't show, but the game crashed...Hmm...well, there are only two map files, so I don't think I'm missing much...

A pistol and a machine gun. They're not very satisfying to use. 1/10

A xenomorph and a big alien. They're not very satisfying to kill. 1/10

None. 0/10

Even if the game worked properly, this was awfully generic and amounted to basically nothing. 0/10

Player Agency:
Movement was very loose, accuracy was a problem and I missed quite a bit because of it. You've got to hold down the left or right arrow for an unreasonable amount of time. What was curious was the usual "use" and change weapons stuff was completely out of whack. As far as I can tell, whether or not the use key works on a door is a miracle. At first I didn't know what the hell I was doing wrong, some doors didn't want to open and the ones that did were a chore. I have no idea what the gadgets do. I also have to say that the delete and PageDn buttons for changing weapons/gizmos was a bad choice. You want the trigger hand to handle that stuff, not the walking hand. 2/10

None. 0/10

Annoyance. 0/10

Its dark, everything was shades of muted, dark colors, with the odd blast of light. 1/10

You're a researcher on cyrogenics that got stuck in an experiment with them for much longer than you wanted, now aliens are everywhere. Basic excuse plot. 1/10

None. 0/10

A quite brutal 6. That puts it the same as In Extremis. But unlike In Extremis, I have to give a little credit here, the failures here are understandable, its a beta. Its still not good, but I believe it was intended more as a feeler than anything else. Given the popularity of shareware back then, its reasonable to think they didn't get as good a reception as they hoped, and gave up. Its also worth pointing out that there are three other games sharing the title, which makes searching for something that much harder.

Next up, the 50th game. Hopefully this time it'll be a good space game.

No comments:

Post a Comment