Prodeus: Early Preview Game

Return to article list

Don't you think the gaming industry is living in the past? The series stretched into dozens of parts, the exploitation of popular franchises with penetration into related genres, remasters and remakes, the return of the once famous game designers through crowdfunding - no one wants to invent something new and take risks if there is a time-tested and favorite project at hand. or an idea. And that same audience is indignant because it is not pampered with new products? Not at all - on the contrary, it strongly supports such undertakings.

Prodeus , which recently appeared in Early Access on Steam, is another striking confirmation of the demand for the "It used to be better" thesis. Retro shooters, which include this action movie from DESURA ONLINE GAMES, have already taken shape in a separate genre: in it no one is chasing new ideas and modern graphics, and loyalty (both in the gameplay and in appearance) to the classics is put in the first place - primarily in the face of the famous Doom and Quake.

As we know, the return to the roots does not always go smoothly, besides, the question arises: is Prodeus worth the attention of those who are not tormented by nostalgic feelings? Let's try to clarify the situation.

Human memory is an interesting thing. The first experience, though not always the brightest, is remembered much better than the subsequent ones. This is also true of games. I remember very well my delight at the moment when I first got acquainted with 3D-actions: at his father's work, his colleague took a short break, shooting at the crowds of monsters hardly recognizable in the bloody pixel hodgepodge (only later I realized that it was Doom ). True, I did not manage to play myself then, but even observation from the outside caused me a real culture shock, even though I was still a child at that time - I remembered these couple of minutes for the rest of my life.

Would impress me with the original Doomin a conscious age, spoiled by photorealistic graphics and perfected over several generations of games, the convenience of the interface and controls? I don't think so. But my brain remembered the link "Primitive 3D - cool" for a long time.

Apparently, I'm not the only one with such strong associations that are still preserved, which the developers of Prodeus use unrestrictedly. The graphics are deliberately uncomplicated: no one is ashamed of low-resolution textures, simple animations and primitive geometric models in level design. But this is not at all an indicator of the cheapness or carelessness of the developers - on the contrary, this is their conscious decision in order to stimulate those very memories.

Those who are not satisfied with this should look into the settings. With their help, the retro effect can be enhanced: set a very low resolution and indulge in post-effects, which, for example, make the picture look like an image from a CRT monitor.

Nevertheless, traces of the modern engine are visible even at the lowest settings: pay attention to the lighting and the spatter of monster blood on the floor and walls. Explosion effects look quite bright, and the color range here is clearly higher than in shooters a quarter century ago.

References to the classics are not limited to graphics alone: ​​monsters and weapons also make you think of id Software 's games. Fists and a pistol, an irreplaceable shotgun, a six-barreled machine gun, a rocket launcher, a "rail", a plasma rifle and a grenade launcher will help to smash a dozen types of monsters to shreds, among which you can meet old acquaintances: imps, big kicks, zombies and cacodemones. There is even an image of the main character's face in the interface.

Arsenal, however, is not as simple as it seems. The weapons are divided into groups using the same type of ammunition (no matter how strange it may seem in the case of a rocket launcher and a grenade launcher), in addition, each model has an alternative method of use - from firing short bursts from a pistol to a homing beacon for a plasma rifle ... Different types of monsters require a different approach - the same pistol will come in handy not only at the first levels. Unfortunately, the set of guns is incomplete - early access after all. However, there is enough of what is, so as not to get bored for three or four hours of the campaign, which over time should also be replenished with new levels.

As for the behavior of enemies, they do not invent the miracles of tactics, preferring to attack head-on, which is why they are wonderful, in fact. The only remark is that sometimes you can meet opponents who do not notice the main character. Shooting unsuspecting monsters with a shot in the back is not at all what you want to see in a similar action movie.

This does not imply a corridor structure of levels, but there is also no confusion in intricate labyrinths. Yes, the movement along the route specified by the designer (for example, to open some doors, you need to find a special key) has not disappeared anywhere, but this route is built so cleverly that you hardly notice the limited locations. The opponents themselves become a hint where to go: if another enemy appears on the horizon, then, most likely, it is worth running there. Those who like to look for secrets will not be disappointed either - there are enough hiding places with ammunition or armor, and in some places you can cheat by taking a shortcut.

Occasionally, the player is entertained with separate high-speed levels or arenas, where the main thing is to destroy several waves of enemies. You can also find small references to DeFRaG runs - a separate mode from the Quake mod , which involves passing maps for a while using tricks and jumps. The main driving force in such ventures has always been the community, not the developers themselves, but the creators of Prodeus remember this too - the level editor is already available now. The community has created many amateur maps, including, for example, a remake of the first mission from DOOM 2016.

The leaderboard for each level is a small, but far from superfluous reminder that the developers are guided precisely by the activity of the players. They reciprocate - the user reviews from Prodeus are mostly only positive, and among the comments, someone manages to remember the last works of id Software with an unkind word. Reimagining the classics surpassed the sequels of their progenitor? It is unlikely that Prodeus deserved such loud words, but this in no way diminishes its merits.

The gameplay is built in such a way that you have to fight almost without interruption. As a result, an already short campaign is a breeze.

Do not look for a deep plot in this game (in fact, it is not here, except for vague descriptions of levels), modern graphics and fresh ideas. Before us is a concentrate of action that remains great, even if we put aside the tricks with the game on the nostalgia of the veterans of the genre.

Are you not touched by the low screen resolution, Doom references and classic (who said “outdated”?) Game design? This is not at all a reason to give up getting to know Prodeus : shooting at heavy metal beasts is still fun, and the main disappointment is (for now) a short campaign.