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Greetings and welcome to an LGR thing,
and today,
I would like to talk about Dusk.
Because this game is legit.
If you are a fan of games like Quake and Redneck Rampage,
Blood, Heretic, Half-Life, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D,
and any number of other mid-to-late-'90s first-person shooters,
than this is something that I think you should keep an eye out for
once it's actually released.
Which, yes, at this point it is not,
so that's why this is not going to be a full review quite yet.
These are just my initial thoughts on the project
as I've played it so far,
which at this point is just Episode One.
And in the interest of full disclosures,
I did get an early copy of this
sent to me pro bono with no strings attached.
No payments or anything like that.
So yeah, I've been keeping an eye on this for a while,
talking to the people behind it
and just generally getting psyched to talk about it,
which is why I'm talking about it now.
Because even though it's not out,
I just want to say something.
Because, dude, I have been waiting
for this kind of first-person throwback shooter on the PC
for I don't even know how long, man.
Now I've really enjoyed games like Doom 2016.
They had elements of old-school shooters in them but,
you know, that was a very thoroughly modern game with old-school roots.
We've also had games like Strafe,
which has something in common with Dusk
in terms of inspirations and aesthetic,
but that leaned more towards being a throwaway experience for me.
Largely due to stuff like it's over reliance on procedural generation
and run-die-rinse-repeat Roguelight-style gameplay.
And while there's nothing wrong with those type of games,
I enjoy those from time to time myself,
that's not what Dusk is trying to do,
and that's why I think it's pretty special.
This pretended 1997 never stopped.
Dusk's inspirations are very clear from the beginning
with a lovingly recreated MS-DOS-style startup sequence.
This continues into the options menu as well
where you can really tailor it to look as halfway modern
or thoroughly retro as you want.
It supports 640 x 480
and even emulates lower resolution modes than that,
with options to disable bilinear filtering
and limit the color depth.
You can customize your crosshairs.
You can downscale the play area window
and alter plenty of things like weapon bobbing and movements and
camera things that make a lot of sense for games like this
because otherwise you tend to get pretty motion sick, or at least I do.
And yes, Dusk is completely at home
playing at 640 x 480 and 85 Hertz on a CRT.
Man, this just looks right!
And it's not just the aesthetic.
I mean, it really is the gameplay itself that feels
appropriately 1997.
You're not dealing with a bunch of procedurally generated levels
that half the time suck.
But you're also not dealing with more linear levels
that lock you into a room until you defeat all the monsters
and then you go on to the next place.
No, these are pretty nonlinear, wide-open,
sometimes a little bit maze-like levels
that rely on keycards to get through and it is
very much out of the '90s, but not too much so.
I found it to be a satisfying mix
of old-school first-person shooter level design
and slightly newer old-school first-person shooter level design,
if that makes sense.
What I mean by that
is that while it relies on keycards and backtracking,
it's not to a degree that made me super irritated
or got me stuck for more than a couple minutes.
There are plenty of secret places to find
and monster closets and all that kind of stuff.
But it's not nearly as maze-like as certain shooters,
and it's also not as confusing as certain ones.
There's only one level that kind of got on my nerves
as far as a lot of the textures being really similar
that got me confused.
But other than that, I mean every area felt distinct enough.
And the satisfaction extends to the weapons as well,
which is a pretty typical first-person shooter load-out from the '90s.
You've got your melee, your pistols, shotguns.
Those can be wielded akimbo.
You got your super shotgun, your machine gun, your rocket launchers.
Or, well, your explosive launchers, there's different kinds.
And some sort of magical energy like weapons,
like this crossbow
that really embraces that phallic theme
of a lot of weapons from this time period.
You're practically just shooting all the monsters
with glowing green dongs.
As far as the story and the protagonist,
I mean, you know, they're...
They're just kind of throw away, at least at this point.
It's a mute protagonist going on.
They just call him Dusk Dude.
That makes sense.
You get little text pop-ups and
occasionally a little bit of voiceover from
the evil whatever that's somewhere.
But for the most part it really is just going around,
finding your way through the levels,
getting keycards, getting cool weapons,
shooting the crap out of everything,
and interacting with the environment.
I mean, there's interactable toilets,
and you can pick up stuff and flush it down there
because, you know, why not man?
I got through the first episode in just a little over an hour,
so it really wasn't too bad.
There's ten levels with one secret level,
and there is, at this point, an endless mode.
It's just one map,
but it sends endless waves of enemies at you, as you might imagine.
Really straightforward but I had a lot of fun with it.
Mainly because the traversal
and the movement in general is a lot of fun.
Including superfluous features like an unlocked Y-axis
that let you do flips in midair,
as well as a dedicated button
for flipping your weapon around
and doing silly tricks with it in between shots.
I mean, this is just completely useless, but awesome.
It's that kind of over-the-top machismo attitude
that I would expect from a '90s game and it fits right in.
Yeah, that's pretty much it for my thoughts on Dusk at the moment.
It's not a complete game, once again.
I will be doing a full review of it once it's finally out
and it will cost $20 at that point,
so I will give an evaluation on whether or not I think it's worth it.
Man, even just the hour-and-a-half
that it took to get through this first episode,
it's already been one of my favorite experiences of 2017, so,
really looking forward to covering the full thing when it's out there.
And yeah, I hope you found this informative
and keep a look out for this if you're into this kind of gameplay
in the future.
And if you enjoyed this episode of LGR,
then perhaps you'd like some of my others.
I normally do more scripted stuff than this but
this was just something that I was excited about so I wanted to,
you know, say excited things about it.
So stay tuned if you would like more.
And as always, thank you very much for watching.
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LGR - My Thoughts on DUSK Episode 1

5 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 12, 2020
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