You’d think that creating a retro FPS in the vein of Wolfenstein seems like a simple thing to pull off, what with the power of today’s tools and all the game design experience of the past 20 years. Yet ESC Ape is one of the select few first-person shooters of this type worthy of your attention.
In ESC Ape you play as an ape who must escape, so, heh! And you get to shotgun-shoot humanoid lizards in a paranoid, ape-hating dystopia that fuses cute, 8-bit textures together with brutal violence. It’s straightforward with solid controls, sports some very well designed levels, and your journey through the maze-like levels of its three, themed worlds (Prison, Freezer and Hell?) is accompanied by jolly chiptunes and sneakily flanking enemies.
And, to cut what would have been a pointlessly long story short, I openly admit that though I haven’t managed to play a FPS for more than an hour in over ten years, this one was too silly and simple for me to put down. I even finished the thing.