Much like DUSK, New Blood Interactive’s latest endeavor into the Quake, Heretic, and DOOM era titles, Amid Evil is the latest to join these classic shooters. From its level designs, weapon types, interface elements and even graphics; Amid Evil feels as if it had been ripped directly from the era of games using id Software’s id Tech 1 and 3D Realms Build Engine themselves.
Even playing the games first three episodes made available during its early access build, I could see several important facts. One, this team of creators have a beyond authentic love and understanding of first-person shooters from the 90’s era of games. Second, I can tell that they absolutely loved games like id Software’s HeXen, Heretic, and Monolith’s voodoo themed shooter Blood. Thirdly, I still have a few reservations regarding the games full-blown release that could quite possibly be a thing later this year.
Just by loading into the main menu, you’ll notice several things. The game is aimed at drawing players of 90’s shooters and roping them in for the full experience. Another is that you do get to choose the difficulty, but not in the traditional manner, but rather by going down a corridor, which will determine the difficulty of foes you will encounter. Just to egg you on a bit, the game will taunt you a bit if you fail to make it down the path you’ve chosen. All it simply says is “You are not worthy” and has you retrace your steps in order to consider a lighter difficulty from the list of paths to take.
To make things even more interesting, Amid Evil does have its episodes, which are accessible via a hub world, the very hub world where you choose your difficulty, something that could be seen as a generous nod towards games such as Demon’s Souls and even Cup Head. Just like classic titles such as Duke Nukem, DOOM or even Blood, every level has specified goals, once those goals are met to progress (finding the needed keys in order to progress), you can move on reaping the rewards of completion.
These “completionist” results give you several variables that come into play for your rating, which includes enemies killed, time completed against the par time, secrets found, and your rewards. If you manage to kill all the enemies on a specific level, you’re granted the title of “Killer”, which puts your notoriety up on the screen for you, showing that you’re a force to be reckoned with against your foes.
Secret areas also do play an important role as you’ll unlock weapons such as the wand and trident, both using blue mana for their individual uses, and then the celestial claw, which, well, shoots explosive planets, literally. And even the sword, which flings out arcs of green energy waves, eliminating enemies that dare to be close to one another while you attack. However, there’s one other thing: the Star of Torment. This thing isn’t just your average shard launching weapon of badassery.
The Star of Torment is this game’s take on using a bow or crossbow. It’s one that is devastating as it will pin enemies against a wall, instantly eliminating them upon impact, if it deals enough damage to your foe. But there is one admirable nod towards one of the most underrated FPS titles on the market. The collecting of souls from the enemies you slew. As a nod to the series Painkiller from developer People Can Fly, players can unlock what’s called “Overkill”. In this mode, your weapons change, becoming more powerful upon the first shot fired when your gauge fills to the max.
The downside with this buff is you can’t control it. Timing it is the most essential thing you can do as you don’t want to use it against a singular target, wasting it, and then moving on without your buff when being surrounded by a horde of angels. Sadly, this is going to be the case quite often until you get used to the timing when you pick up your various souls that lie scattered about after combat.
Luckily, everything works as intended and the graphics are just as one would hope in the days of low-resolution polygonal models and texture files. Unlike games such as Quake or Unreal, there’s something different about Amid Evil. It’s color palette isn’t as dark, gritty, or horror-like. Instead, you’re given a world that’s colorful, bright and quite vibrant from time to time, something more akin to that of 1999’s release of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter by Activision for the Nintendo 64.
But just like games from that era, you may be wondering if there are cheat codes, ways to help you enjoy the game at their behest. Luckily, the response is what I was most impressed by here. Even with the cheats and whatnot activated, my control responses were just what one would hope from a shooter title. I did not, however, at times I had a few visual issues and minor bugs pop-up out of nowhere, but they aren’t frequent nor should they be expected when playing. However, if it does happen? Report it. They are doing a great job at listening to user feedback regarding the bugs that might be present.
Overall, there’s a lot of hope for this game, even after taking down one of several bosses and showing that very boss why I’m a force to be reckoned with. But now it’s your turn to do so and we highly suggest you give Amid Evil when you get a chance.
Amid Evil is available on PC via Steam for $19.99 USD and could be expected to release later this year. Here’s to hoping it does as we can’t get enough of the games Endless Horde Mode now that we’ve completed the story.
Our preview is based on a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.