Blue's News artwork by Walter |2| Costinak <>
1998 E3 Round-up

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Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
June 3, 1998

Part II: More FPS Games

Blood 2: The Chosen
Blood 2 was always one of those games I kept forgetting about...there are just so many fps games coming out, and it's tough to keep track of all of them. Truth be told, I didn't care much for the original game, although I did play it quite a bit. While the graphics were a bit on the crude side, what kept me going throughout Blood was the fact that the weapons were waaaaay over the top: the voodoo doll, the spray can with zippo, heck, even the pitchfork never failed to get a cackle out of me. The enemies were similarly over the top: aside from the required zombies (people who know me well will tell you that I consider this a major plus) Blood 2 featured all kinds of strange enemies, all with a light sprinkle of morbid humor.

The weapons in Blood 2 are pretty much standard-fare.

Imagine my disappointment when the demo I saw had none of this present. Whereas the first game was a fun filled goof-fest with lots of references to cheesy horror movies, the sequel is well...serious. I suppose that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I was kind of looking forward to Blood being redone with a more modern engine.

But, once I accepted that inevitable problem, it was time to look at Blood 2: The Chosen as a unique game, and not as the sequel to an entirely different one. The demo I saw really wasn't especially impressive. The weapons really didn't strike me as being particularly original...pretty odd considering the great creativity shown in the first game.

The weapons I saw were pretty much standard FPS fare: the shotgun, sniper rifle, a knife, and a couple more. Pretty disappointing. Monolith has said that there's going to be thirty weapons, so somewhere in there I hope to see some originality...if not the goofiness of the last game.

What was impressive about Blood 2 was the various ways you could take out your enemies. You can shoot a guy in the leg and watch him hobble around, take the sniper rifle and do a precise shot to the head, or blow someone's head clean off. There are dozens of gory possibilities.

Beyond that, I didn't see much worth mentioning with Blood 2...the designers have gone the Quake route of showing just the weapon, not the hand, a decision which struck me as odd, even though just a few short months ago this was the norm. The level design seemed average, with some well done textures, but nothing to get excited about.

All in all, Blood 2 came across as a generic FPS with little to offer, but I'd like to think this is due to not being shown enough from the demo. The game still has a while to go, so hopefully next time it's shown we'll have more in the way of originality.

The Wrap-up
There were tons of FPS games on the floor, and I only had so much time...I totally missed out on Shogo, Monolith's other LithTech engine game, and I really wanted to check out Klingon Honor Guard, Microprose's Star Trek Unreal engine game...speaking of Unreal, I never made it to check out Wheel of Time either, although the buzz seems to be fairly positive from those who got the exclusive backstage showing...Sadly, Rare's screening of Perfect Dark (their "kinda sequel" to the kick-ass Goldeneye) was simply impossible to get into, so I missed that too. But hey...I got to see a bunchload of great FPS games, and I'm sure that some of these are going to be massive hits.

Hey, that's it for the first person games, but there's lots more coming! Stay tuned for a look at Heretic II, Anachronox, Tomb Raider 3 and more!