As the years pass, we find ourselves wiser every day, sliding ever-closer to absolute truth. Given the time to reflect, and perspective to offer clarity, surely we can all finally agree on one thing: Heretic was a way better fantasy FPS than Hexen.
Doom modders turned indies Indefatigable clearly agree, because their debut game, Amid Evil, looks very much like Raven’s 1994 fantasy FPS, albeit with a few more polygons and a little extra splatter. Take a look at the announcement trailer.
Amid Evil should look familiar to fans of Doom-era shooters. While the architecture and enemy models are clearly a little more Quake-ish than they used to be (built on the Unreal 4 engine, but ‘optimized to run on a toaster’, say developers Indefatigable), the gameplay on show in the trailer above is pure Heretic, and I couldn’t be happier.
For those unfamiliar, Heretic was Doom in a LARPer’s tights, sharing an engine and much of its design with Id’s classic, but set in a more colourful world of swords n’ sorcery. Instead of a pistol you had a wand and instead of a shotgun you had a triple-barrelled magical crossbow. While there was nothing as pure and straightforward as a sawn-off, it was a fun set of weaponry to use, and offered plenty of monsters to use them on.
Best among Heretic’s powerups was the Tome Of Power, an immensely satisfying pickup that briefly transformed all your weapons into super-powered variants, firing bigger projectiles at a much faster rate. Amid Evil looks to be cribbing that pretty directly. The marketing blurb thusfar promises seven distinct episodes each with their own palette of environments and monsters, but also a set of remarkably familiar weapons that can be ‘overcharged with the souls of the dead’. Sounds pretty Tome Of Powery to me.
Publisher New Blood Interactive (also releasing the pleasingly Quake’y Dusk this Halloween) say that a playable demo will be coming soon, presumably to be found on the Steam page for the game. In the meantime, check out Return Of The Triad, the Rise of The Triad fan-game/mod that led the developers to doing this professionally. Or Heretic, if you’ve not played it. It’s even compatible with the GZDoom engine, if you want to make it a little shinier.