There have been some lovely old-school shooters recently, but 3D Realms reason that the only way to get true retro authenticity is to build new games to old standards. Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin bears a strong family resemblance to the original Quake, which makes sense considering it's being produced by KillPixel, a crew of veteran Quake mappers and modders using the tools they're familiar with. It's a team I'm familiar with, having been enjoying their work for years, putting Wrath high on my most wanted list. The game is due this summer, and you can see the debut trailer below.
Wrath looks like a fast, bloody tunnel-crawl shooter in the vein of Quake, but with a few mod cons. For starters, it's looking nicer, thanks in part to them tapping Daniel "Chillo" Wienerson, who has been remastering Quake's original 3D models. This increased level of detail is best seen in the weapons, which are as intricate as you can get without spoiling that old-school look. There'll be nine weapons total, with alternate fire-modes, giving it a bit more complexity than classic Quake too. There's also talk of ten 'artifacts', which could either be character upgrades, or consumable items ala Heretic or Hexen.
The Hexen similarities carry over to probably the biggest divergence from Quake standard; Wrath's structure. Five explorable hub-style worlds, the first two of them open to players initially. Also curious is the save system, which I hope strikes a good balance between freedom and pressure. Being non-linear, players can save wherever they want, but not whenever - you've got a limited stock of saves. It's sounds like a potentially difficult-to-balance system, but if there's any team I trust to pull it off, it's these folks.
Among Wrath's crew are Jeremiah "KillPixel" Fox, Roman "Skacky" Barrilliot (who also produced a great level in my recent Thief fan-mission roundup), Marcus "muk" Hayes and Gavin "FifthElephant" Edgington who worked on the excellent Arcane Dimensions. Click their nicknames for a peek at some of their past work. As with the upcoming Ion Maiden showcasing the talent of some very experienced Duke Nukem 3D modders, it feels like they've assembled a bit of a dream team here. Bring on summer, and a fresh shower of chunky, pixellated gibs.
Update: Skacky informs me that two of those Thief mission picks were by him - he produced The Sound Of A Burrick In A Room under an alias.
Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin is due out this Summer, but no price or date has been announced yet. You can find it here on Steam, or its official page here and it's being co-published by 3D Realms and 1C Entertainment