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3D Action Gamers' Archive Blood - Review

Quick Look:

Game : Blood by Monolith Productions
Version : Retail 1.0
Reviewer : Desmond S. Fuller <desmond@gamers.org>
Date : June 12, 1997
Rating : * * * * * (5 out of 5 stars)
Pro : A solid single-player game and the best multiplay around!
Con : Graphics are good but not better than Quake

Before I started this review, I already had a preconception about how "bad" Blood was going to be. The reason lies in this question, "If Blood was such a great game, why would 3D Realms sell it off to Monolith Productions?" After playing the game, I think 3D Realms should go for the "temporary insanity" plea. This is a must have game.

The story line tells of Caleb, a merciless gunfighter who was a legend for his cruelty and violence. At 24, he met Ophelia Price who introduced him to the Cult of Tchernobog. The sinister Tchernobog, who is also known by the names, "the One That Binds" and the "Devourer of Souls" has a group of minions called the "Chosen". Caleb is part of this elite group or was until this dark God cast him out. Caleb awakens in a body of mortal flesh and is very angry. Revenge can only be accomplished by rejoining the other cast down members and to take out Tchernobog himself.

To summarize what Blood is, think of combining Duke and the Night of the Living Dead. Blood uses the Build 3D engine, which Duke made famous, but with some major revamps. The engine now has realistic light-sources, higher video resolutions (VESA 2.0 - up to 800x600), transparent water and floor above floors. The minor details, which may be overlooked, are subtle such as breaking windows, burning trees and sound changes (i.e. you are on a train and if you break a window the outside noises become louder). Even though this engine is not the technological marvel that the Quake engine is, the map design is what makes this game really shine. The thirty-four levels, which span four different episodes, are varied yet always dark and demented. Some of the locations is a haunted house, moving train, carnival, hospital, mad scientist laboratory and a bomb-blasted city. There are some very dark and chilling parts, which may give you nightmares but there are some places where the map designers threw in some levity. My personal favorite is stumbling upon a room full of mimes that were just begging to be vaporized. The story line is not just gore, it's strong and the levels are excellent in the fact that they logically lead into each other.

The weapons, which I know you really care about, are some of the best in any 3D-action game out there. You start with the basic pitchfork and work up to a shotgun, flare gun, tommy-gun, dynamite (three different versions), aerosol can/lighter, Tesla cannon, napalm launcher, life leech and voodoo doll. The best part is that almost every weapon has a primary and a secondary function. If you come to a room full of bad guys, you could go in and start shooting away with the tommy-gun or you could use its secondary function and run in shooting "gangster" style which has the gun sweeping left and right. My personal favorite is shooting a flare into a bad guy's chest and watching him explode in a human torch like fashion.

Now what's a game nowadays without Multiplay? Blood does not disappoint here and you can connect to all of the major online service (TEN, Engage, etc.), play over a modem or on a network. You can play in the cooperative type fashion, but the real thing comes in the BloodBath mode. O.k. it's similar to the DeathMatch, but it has a commentator that makes it a real kick. There is nothing more enjoyable than to take someone to almost the point of death and having a commentary about how you have to "finish him off". Also team play has been added to the multiplayer option so you add your buddy can take on another team.

All in all, a game with solid graphics, excellent monsters, deadly weapons and the best multiplayer opinions out there. Go buy it, you won't be disappointed and don't blame me for your nightmares!

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review.txt last modified: 19:04 Jul 30 1997
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