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Prodeus blends old and new in a familiar retro FPS cocktail

Befitting this most cyber of days, newly announced retro FPS Prodeus features chunky pixels and glossy lighting effects that combined make it look like a fake game from a late 90s techno-thriller. Feeling like an anachronistic demake of 2016’s Doom, there’s a Metroid Prime-ish HUD, preposterous levels of gore and stuttery animation that is probably meant to evoke Quake 1 but looks like claymation. Naturally, I want to play it as soon as humanly possible as this is entirely my jam. It’s due out next year, developed by two guys named Mike & Jason and there’s a debut trailer below.

It doesn’t look like Prodeus has much going in the way of originality, but considering that I (and many others) am still playing the original Doom twenty-five years later, I really don’t mind. There’s a simple appeal to sci-fi tunnel mazes and chewing demons into kibble with improbably oversized weapons. If there’s one concern I have about the trailer, it’s that there might be too much blood. They’ve overdrawn at the blood bank – every enemy explodes into a fountain of opaque, glistening red worthy of 90s Manga Entertainment anime imports, and it gets in the way a little.

Buckets of claret aside, I like what I see. The machine-gun chews through bullets and monsters at a pleasing clip without being an uncontrollable bullet hose. Rockets have just the right visual oomph to them as they launch and detonate. Light plays across the metal panelling of the walls just right, made all the more impressive by the textures themselves being chunky enough to be from the original Doom. You can even count the individual pixels! It’s a borrowed aesthetic and bolted onto something far more advanced than it looks, but it’s a combination that works well. I dig it.

Prodeus is out next near. You can find more on Steam or its official page here. The game is to be published by Bounding Box Software.

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Dominic Tarason

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