My first foray into first-person shooters with a heavy focus on strategy and mechanics began with the closed beta of Hell Let Loose, a World War II-era shooter developed by Black Matter and published by Team 17. Their project focuses more on the tactical and realistic aspects of firing a gun, more similar in scope to ARMA 3 and America’s Army than to something like Call of Duty.
Two years ago, the overwhelming reaction to id Software’s amazing Doom reboot confirmed that there is a very real thirst, in this day and age, for old-school, fast-paced, no-BS shooters. No more huddling behind the nearest waist-high wall and occasionally popping my head out to fire at a distant gunner. I want to get out there, feel the wind in my face, and look my enemies in the eyes before I gib them messy. I’m still waiting for the rest of the triple-A industry to catch up in this regard – even Bethesda’s own Wolfenstein series leans a little too heavily on stealth and other such nonsense – but in the meantime, a number of indie devs have heeded the call.
I have to admit, I tense up a little whenever I see “Xbox One Game Preview” in the title of something I’m playing. It’s not that there aren’t some fantastic experience to be had (because there are!) but these words can also mean crippling bugs and glitches galore while exploring a fantasy landscape.
Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.
The subject of this installment: STRAFE, developed by Pixel Titans and published by Devolver Digital.