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Prodeus: old school FPS re-imagined using modern rendering techniques from ex-Raven developers


Commissar SFLUFAN
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So, not to be the Negative Nancy here, but I would've been way more interested if they've would've gotten the license for the OG Doom, or maybe even Duke Nukem, Quake or Unreal and used that tech to do a "remake."

 

This Prodeus is a game that relies on nostalgia but doesn't have the required nostalgia. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'd be playing this game thinking "man this is cool, i wish it was <blank>."

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  • 3 years later...

Bought it and played about an hour just now and it's really damn good. 

 

One thing though, do not play this on "Native" resolution mode on console. Even on PS5, for some godforsaken reason, it ran rough on that mode. Keep it at 360P resolution. Also I highly recommend tweaking the controls and turning Always Run on because they mapped Run to the L stick but you have to hold it down...and you're constantly running. That and the button mapping in general is kind of awkward, I changed some of it right after.

 

So after an almost bad first impression, everything was remedied with some messing around in the Options menu and yeah, game feels great. If they keep it up, this probably has the best level design of any of these retro shooters I've played. Even the first stage is packed with nooks and crannies, hard-to-figure-out secrets, key cards etc. 


Best of all, this actually feels like its own thing. The movement and weapons feel a lot 'heavier' than reboot Doom games, the pacing is not even close to hyper-speed most retro shooters go for and so on. It almost reminds me of a mix of Killzone 2 and 3D Realms 90s FPS in some ways. 

  • Halal 1
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I gave it a whirl on Steam Deck. Technically it runs great, but their gamepad controls just don't work well! I'm playing on hard mode on my desktop with M/KB and have only died once so far, but with the gamepad implementation I was getting seriously clowned on.

 

To some extent, it's just plain hard to do fast paced FPS like this on gamepads, but I suspect they could do some tweaking.

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I think the best compliment I can give this game is that the physics and movement just feels right. The closest analogy I can think of is Quake 3: Arena, where for some reason the feel of that game clicked with me so well that I was unusually good at it immediately. Back then, I could rocket snipe people flying off jump pads from across the map without thinking about it. Prodeus has a similar feel where for some reason handling the guns and movement just makes sense to me, like Charlie and keyboards.

 

Ultimately, Prodeus isn't as good as Doom Eternal which has kind of perfected this kind of fast paced shooter, but Prodeus is surprisingly close for an indie game. It's certainly much better than the original Doom and Quake games by which it was inspired. In fact, I'd say Prodeus is everything those games aspired to be.

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I was tempted to put this in the retro FPS thread, but I'm glad that it received a thread of its own.  Prodeus is fantastic, and in my mind sits alongside Dusk as the best of this throwback FPS movement.  The gameplay is tight, and the aesthetic of the game is really amazing.  The way they've modernized the retro graphics really works and does a lot to elevate this game.  It also has some of the most well conceived level design in any FPS from my perspective.  The levels strike a perfect balance between being complex and rewarding exploration, but never confusing or difficult to navigate and move forward.  There is also a sort of Nintendo-esque approach where the levels are high-concept and usually explore a certain mechanic or challenge the player in specific ways.

 

The music is unfortunately a miss for me.  The metal stuff is just growing very thin at this point.  It felt novel in the Doom and Wolfenstein reboots that kicked off this trend, but at this point I feel like I've played dozens of these games that all have this kind of indistinguishable, muddy doom rock.  And as much as I love the levels, I do sometimes wish the secrets were just optional and not incentivized.  Because ore is the currency, I feel like I spend most of my time searching for secrets compulsively rather than just playing and enjoying myself.  But that's just a personal thing and it's not really the game's fault.

 

All in all, one of my favorites this year, and I hope it continues to do well because it certainly seems to have struck a chord based on the reception so far.

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