FPS of the Year – 1995

This is a big year, no lie. I won’t say it’s the biggest year, but holy damn. A lot of titles I couldn’t even find a box cover for, so sorry about that. Also, a lot of titles doesn’t mean a lot of good games, so…well, let’s just get into it.

Alien Breed 3D

And we start out this year strong with something absolutely terrible. Grainy graphics, no in-game music, generic ass sound effects, and boring, uninspired environments. Pass.

Alien Trilogy

Way back this game seemed pretty interesting. I mean, it’s dark, you have some creepy enemies and environments…but looking at it now, it seems pretty slow. In fact, there are games that have done this better, not just this year but in general. It’s still worth checking out, but yeah.

Bad Toys

Oh…oh God no…folks, I think we’ve actually found a FPS as bad as Ken’s Labyrinth. The horror…THE HORROR. What hath science wrought?!? Also, pass.

Breathless

I hate reviewing stuff for the Amiga because you can’t tell if the frame rate is usually that bad or if it’s the recording software or what. The music sounds good and the sounds are okay, but I seriously have no idea what the fuck is going on. It’s too dark, the environments aren’t designed well, and if that’s the normal frame rate, then goddamn you better just ignore this one.

Castaway – The Ordeal Begins

You know, it’s sad. This one had promise. The intro was cool, the music’s pretty good, and it didn’t look half bad…until I saw the enemies. And of course, they’re using generic ass sound effects used in Pie in the Sky Software games…maybe this was made on their build engine. If that’s the case, then this is literally the best made FPS to ever be touched, even remotely, by that terrible organization.

Citadel

Man, what a piece of crap. All that build up for something that can’t even manage to stay above half a frame per second. I mean, I think the graphics are alright, but goddamn. I don’t even honestly think this is playable to be honest. It’d be like playing a converted Doom 3 for the NES. Pass.

Congo The Movie – The Lost City of Zinj

You know, I think the only reason it’s so dark is so they can disguise the terrible ass textures and ugly environments. At first it seems atmospheric, then when the muzzle flare hits each time, you see a bunch of garbage. Pass.

CyberMage – Darklight Awakening

Now see, this one’s dark, but it’s actually pretty well made. The graphics are nice, the concept is interesting, and there’s actually some interesting plot going on! I may have to check this one out later.

Deathkeep

As far as I can tell, it looks like an Elder Scrolls ripoff, except I didn’t see anything even remotely close to the RPG system Elder Scrolls has, so maybe that’s not 100% accurate. Could be fun, but I don’t have a 3DO and besides that, there’s a much better FPS medieval game this year…and yes, it wins.

Deer Napped

Guess what? Pie in the Sky Software. Ayup. PASS!!

Defcon 5

That video isn’t lying. This is literally all you do in the game. I guess if you’re really into sci-fi it might interest you, but this comes off as boring to me.

Dungeons Of Kremlin

Come on, guys…I thought we’d moved past this. I guess the one positive thing I can say is it’s a Russian FPS that actually looks halfway decent (unlike another entry on this list), but it just doesn’t stand up to the other titles this year.

Fears

Hey look, it’s Doom, but with terrible level/enemy design and you can’t turn worth a shit. PASS!!

Gloom

Well, the music is catchy and the gore is fucking great, but holy shit does it look ugly as all hell. Might be something to consider anyway, except I’m not sure what to do as far as the whole Amiga CD thing. If you don’t mind how low rez it looks, go for it. Otherwise, I think I’m going to give this a pass.

Gore Galore

Ugh. Well, it’s not Pie in the Sky and it’s certainly not Ken’s Labyrinth, but it is pretty damn terrible. Pass.

H.U.R.L.

I remember playing this game. I wish I didn’t. Sorry I couldn’t find something that was just gameplay alone, but he hits the nail on the head finely. Honestly, this is a BIG pass for me. It sucks.

Industrial Killers

Pie in the Sky? Pass on this game. Actually, I just realized it has the same interface and basic weaponry of Gore Galore, so I’m guessing Pie in the Sky either helped or something with that one too. Just awful.

In Pursuit of Greed

You know, this game actually looks, and sounds, pretty goddamn fun. There’s just one problem: how do you PURSUE greed? I mean, you can’t exactly pursue that, per se. You could say you’re greedy, but not that you PURSUE being greedy. Being greedy isn’t exactly an aspiration…you either ARE or AREN’T greedy. Anyway, let’s move on before I get all philosophical or some shit.

Iron Angel of the Apocalypse – The Return

Nope, still not about metal. Unfortunately, I was only able to find footage of the Japanese version, thus the name discrepancy. It looks about the same as the last one, just a little prettier. Pass.

Island Peril

Well, it kind of looks like Gore Galore, if it was done right, except that there is no way to do Gore Galore right. Pa-OH SNAP THAT CHICK IS IN FMV. Nah, just playin’. Pass.

Jumping Flash!

Well, it…uh…sure is something alright. Actually, it looks pretty fun, but not very FPS-y. If I understand correctly, this is a prequel of sorts to Geograph Seal, which we covered last time. It actually looks pretty fun, so I may have to check it out.

Killing Time

Yes, the same one mentioned in the AVGN Christmas Special. Yeah, that one. Yeah, pass.

Marathon 2 – Durandal

Not going to lie, this one’s pretty fun. Of course, just like a lot of FPSs, you can get lost fairly easily…and when that happens, you’ll be stuck for a while. Actually, that’s the main reason I still haven’t beaten it on XBLA yet. I know, I’m a lamer. Whatever. In any case, it’s actually pretty fun and especially if you like Halo, this is well worth checking out.

Mortal Coil – Adrenalin Intelligence

Well, it doesn’t look so bad as it does generic. I guess I was expecting a little more when I saw the level map, but no…there’s virtually no variety in the textures. Nevermind that the sound effects are meh and there doesn’t seem to be any music. Pass.

Nerves Of Steel

This is one of the few games on the list that could actually give Pie in the Sky Software a run for their money on making shitty games. It’s not even generic; it’s just plain terrible. I mean, the only redeeming quality is the music, and even it’s garbage. Blah.

Old Gold 3D

Oh look, a Russian version of Ken’s Labyrinth. How quaint. How do you say “pass” in Russian again?

PO’ed

Is that guy attacking enemies with a frying pan? Does it look like those enemies are propelling acid diarrhea at you out their assholes? Must be playing PO’ed. This game is pretty funny and fun, but overall pretty childish and dated by today’s standards. Of course, if Bulletstorm is any indication, a childish game shouldn’t necessarily dissuade you from playing it, but this is a bit much at times.

Robotica

Now this one I’d never heard of and it actually looks pretty damn good. Apparently for the Sega Saturn, it’s a dark, sci-fi shooter with awesome moody, industrial music. Honestly, that’s all I need to know. Sure, it doesn’t seem to be fast-paced or anything, but that’s okay. I’m going to have to give this one a spin after this.

Space Hulk – Vengeance of the Blood Angels

Okay, so this one was more what we would expect from a modern Warhammer 40K game. The graphics are pretty damn grainy, but overall it has a good look to the game and is definitely quite atmospheric. And actually, this time around I’m liking the extra air of strategy, especially since it seems to blend well with the FPS gameplay. Might have to give this one a go after this.

Star Wars – Dark Forces

Oh man, I loved this game growing up. Never got that far, but holy shit was it fun. I mean, you might think, initially, that a FPS with a Star Wars skin wouldn’t do that well, but oh how wrong you’d be. Sure, it looks a little dated now, but it’s got great music, level design, weapons, enemies, plot, and much more. This game is well worth checking out, especially if you’ve never tried it.

Substation

…You know, I’m really getting tired of this. First you think the game’s going to be a piece of crap because it’s released on a system like the Atari ST, then you get all hyped up because the intro is awesome…just to bodyslam your expectations way down with the actual gameplay. God, it’s so fucking ugly and generic! Pass!

Terminator – Future Shock

Now THIS is a Terminator game. Sure, I wish the graphics were a little better and more detailed, but overall this game looks pretty damn fun. I will definitely be checking this one out later.

Thor’s Hammer

Heretic it ain’t, and while the adventuring aspect is certainly interesting, the game comes off feeling cheap and generic. Nevermind that we already have a game this year that even blows HERETIC out of the water, so yeah. Pass.

William Shatner’s TekWar

So I really don’t give a shit what this guy says, it looks kinda fun, actually. A little generic and with poor level design, probably, but it still looks fun all the same. And it’s true I’d have no idea what’s going on because I never saw the TV series or whatever, but IT STILL LOOKS FUN. So there.

Witchaven

I never owned the original Witchaven, but I did own the sequel and here’s what I’m going to say, because it looks like this one suffers the same problems. The maps are confusing and the game is ridiculously hard because of the neverending onslaught of enemies they throw at you. That said, the weapon variety is cool, the music and graphics in general are awesome, the textures are good, and the level design, while confusing, is usually pretty good overall.

If you enjoy tough ass FPSs, this is right up your alley.

Wrath of Earth

This looks fairly generic and overly complicated at the same time. I don’t think it would be a BAD game, per se, but there were other, better sci-fi titles released this year if you’re absolutely starving for them.

Winner: Hexen – Beyond Heretic

I. LOVE. THIS GAME. First off, the atmosphere is perfect. Second, the gore is outstanding. Third, you can choose from multiple characters so, while it’s not really an RPG, there are definite strengths and weaknesses to different characters which sort of lend to different playstyles. All in all, this is one of the best games this year.

Actually, that paragraph you just read I wrote because I was certain something would rock my dick off, but no. Besides, when you look at it objectively, it has the most going on for it: character classes, different weapons for said classes, different developmental styles with clear strengths and weaknesses, VERY light on the RPG aspect so it retains itself better as a FPS, and so on.

Heretic was pretty good, but Hexen blows it right out of the fucking water. Trust me, if you’ve never tried this game, you’re missing out. Get it!

Conclusion

It took me a while to decide on a number one. Sure, there weren’t many good FPSs this year, but there were a LOT of them total. And the ones that were good were hard to decide between. Seriously though, the ones I said pass on you REALLY want to pass on. That said, hopefully I can release the next one sooner.

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Filed under 3DO, Amiga, Atari, Atari ST, GotY Series, Jaguar, Mac, PC, PS1, Retro, Saturn, Sega, Sony, Videogames

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