Amid Evil Preview: A Dated, Yet Familiar Feeling

Amid Evil

I can vividly remember sitting in my dining room with my dad growing up playing games on his brand new Windows 95-powered PC. Games like Age of Empires, Dungeon Keeper, DOOM and more kept us entertained for hours together – however no game we played holds a spot in our collective memories like Hexen and Heretic. Even now we reminisce on those games, and they were some of the best games I grew up playing. Amid Evil aims to recapture the old Hexen and Heretic vibe, yet bring it to a modern audience. And by and large they succeed.

Amid Evil is developed by New Zealand based developer Indefatigable, a team made up with many of the producers of DUSK. Amid Evil is a fantasy FPS that, as mentioned, exudes nostalgia fueled walks through the old days of playing Hexen. The world around you is foreboding, and while I knew nothing about the world of Amid Evil going in, I can tell you this:

It’s absolutely brutal.

From the first swing of your axe to slashing a wave of green energy through your enemies with a magical sword, Amid Evil feels smooth to control. The retro graphics do a lot to put you back in the mood of the older games it draws on for inspiration, but the modern touches of Unreal Engine are there. Models are fully 3D, and the lighting is definitely more dynamic than you would think. I remember exclaiming the first time I saw the reflection of light on my axe head shift as I turned my camera, not realizing there were actual light sources in each scene. I just wish there was a way to turn off the pixelated look to the game and give me a clean, modern looking image. It would be nice if that aesthetic were up to the player in the end.

The pixelated look to the level is somewhat distracting to me, however. I get the game is going for a retro feel, but I can’t help but wonder how better visuals would make the environments and enemies more and more interesting. The enemies I’ve encountered are range from simple melee grunts to more menacing creatures such as a tentacled mass covered in eyeballs. Each enemy seems to have its own attack strategies as well, and you also cannot simply outrun them. The AI in this game will hunt you down mercilessly.

Weapons in Amid Evil use different types of mana (Red, Blue and Green) and each weapon does different things. Your standard Blue Mana staff is a simple, yet effective, shooter, while later on you’ll have the ability to use a staff that looks like a crystal ball with spikes on the end that really packs a punch. As you swing this staff, shards of magic fly towards your enemy, and if you happen to kill them, the momentum from the shards cause the doomed monster to fly backwards, being impaled on the wall.

As you kill enemies, they drop souls. The more souls you find, the higher your overcharge gauge goes until you have the ability to let loose more powerful versions of each of your weapons attacks thanks to the power from the souls of the dead.

While still in early access, Amid Evil shows a lot of promise. If you can get past the purposeful retro style, it’s worth the ride, especially if you’ve played and enjoyed Heretic or Hexen in the past. Amid Evil lays the groundwork for interesting things to come. While there is no final launch date, it is available on Steam Early access for $20 – a good price for a game that replicates pretty well the feel of one of gaming’s greatest franchises during the golden-age of PC gaming.

Disclosure: Code for this preview was provided to us by PR.

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