DOOM
Review

DOOM is another act of rebellion

In the Abrahamic religions—and the texts that have grown out of them—Satan is a fallen angel, cast out of heaven for daring to rebel against God. Though his name is synonymous with fear and evil, it’s Satan’s tireless, implacable need to oppose everything God wills that truly characterizes him. He’s a catch-all for the misfortune of heroes and nations. He’s a scoundrel who’s always up to overturn the plans of the master of the universe.   Back in 1993, id Software’s DOOM was another act of rebellion. Created by a small team of industry upstarts, DOOM (like many contemporary metal…

superhot
Review

SUPERHOT turns the shooter into a power ballad

Nothing happens without the player’s say-so in SUPERHOT. Their avatar—represented only by a pair of black, jagged-polygonal hands and a gun—is in complete control of the world. Enemies depicted by shimmering red silhouettes run into gauzy, white-washed rooms, ready to fight. Their figures and the black of bullets and nearby weapons stick out like exclamation marks. But nothing moves. Despite the action of every level’s opening, the impending violence hangs suspended in the air until the player is ready for it to begin. The enemies form a tableau that moves as slowly as cold molasses, only speeding up when the…

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News

Fear Chatroulette’s walking dead, but in a good way

On a daily basis, Chatroulette is home to far scarier interactions than Realm Pictures’ zombie-themed “Real Life First Person Shooter,” but few—if any—are as endearing. The setup is familiar: A player is dropped into a gameworld and explores it through their avatar’s point of view. This world, it turns out, is filled with zombies and the player must kill those from whom you cannot run away. Along the way they can pick up weapons that might be of use. Should their health meter hit zero, they die. Game over. It’s all quite typical, really. Or, rather, it would be quite…

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News

Beg for your life in this experimental game about execution

We’re used to the first-person shooter being a series of gunshots executed through bared teeth. Bang, bang, momentarily duck behind cover to heal, bang bang. That’s the usual rhythm. They’re shooting galleries that throw bodies of various intelligence and armor at us to shoot. There’s little thought required from us when playing these videogames beyond whether or not we should reload or hurl a grenade over our head. This is fine. However, there are some shooters that have tried a more reflexive approach to this formula. They throw us into the lion’s den as usual, but when we emerge on the…

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News

Ragdoll Nazis make Wolfenstein 3D a comical shooter

I like shooting hands. Call it a fetish if you will.

It’s rooted in my time spent with Goldeneye 007 for the N64. It was among the first shooters to have body-hit detection, which meant you could aim the reticule at, say, an innocent scientist’s hand, fire a bullet into it, and for about a minute (maybe longer) they’d shake their arm around, and hold onto their hand as if it bore a fresh wound. This provided me hours of entertainment between the ages of eight and fourteen.