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Today's Best/Worst Internet Thing: Strafe

It’s funny! But it’s hideous! It’s entertaining! But it may be morally wrong! If only we lived in a world where good was good and bad was bad, eh? Then I’d know exactly what to think of the increasingly… surprising trailer/pitch video for proc-gen, faux-retro, blood-heavy shooter Strafe.

Don’t watch this anywhere which contains people of a nervous disposition or with a conscience, I guess:


Aping the superlative-ridden, MTV-styled dumb-wank of 90s videogame marketing isn’t anything novel, but this both pushes it to extremes – WOAH! – and then diverts off in its own horrific direction.

I wouldn’t be posting a trailer, no matter how many shocking scenes are in it, if the game it was promoting didn’t hold at least some interest. Strafe has a fair few things going for it: if it works out as planned, we’re looking at a procedurally-generated Quake with buckets of persistent blood.

The traditionalist in me worries that mastercrafted levels for this kind of shooter simply can’t be replaced by randomly-arranged corridors, but the hungry-for-the-new part of me thrills to the idea of a different experience every time. We’ll see, I guess. Depends on if Strafe can round up the $185k it’s after on Kickstarter. It’s ‘only’ $33K there already, and that’s not the kind of Only I’d otherwise deploy a couple of a days into someone’s Kickstarter month, but given Strafe’s benefited from web-wide cheering due to its trailer, I imagine it’s squeaky bum time for devs Pixel Titans.

Maybe the Quake aesthetic doesn’t mean enough to enough kids. Maybe Steam’s already flooded with old school shooters from yet-to-be-famous devs. Maybe everyone just spent too much on Exploding Kittens this week. Or maybe it’ll all work out as the trailer goes increasingly viral. Maybe one day I’ll buy that new pair of socks I keep thinking about.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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