For some strange and unexplained reason… Retro-themed first-person shooters are making an appearance and multiplying as the last couple of years go by.
We recently had another similar example of the genre on our hands, known as “Impaler”.
However, now we have a product on our hands that, while it falls into a similar category, is much more polished and shows much more complete ambitions.
Bringing us back to the 90s and 2000s shooter wave…
“Dread Templar” could be positioned among those first-person shooters that began to appear once the three-dimensional format of designs and animations for video games became the standard.
Graphics similar to those of the Gamecube and Play Station 2, which did not aspire to the pinnacle of ambition and attention to detail. But nevertheless, for their time, they were the most sophisticated that technology and design software allowed.
The limitation at that time lay in a relatively low creativity threshold in terms of gameplay and mobility.
Modern gameplay in a retro game
Dread Templar breaks through that barrier and brings a fairly fluid gameplay compared to the hit box system and fast response times accompanied by precision.
In those days, only copies like the legendary “Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault” brought with them the level of equipment that created substantial differences between shooting with one foot and shooting at the head.
Most competitive titles still had basic technicalities that remained the standard until the online multiplayer modes of early “Call Of Duty” became popular.
The time we saw the first iterations of gameplay that accurately responded to mouse and keyboard play with slow response times and grounded pixel-to-pixel accuracy was the same time that high-caliber gaming peripherals in computer became business.
We have among us a game in the iconic style of “DOOM” with an extremely frenetic speed of execution and movement and several levels of difficulty that promises a good time of fun presenting various categories of challenges.
To this is added an immense variety of enemies with different interaction and movement patterns that pose in front of an extensive arsenal of weapons with different applications.
Generously large maps full of secrets and things to discover
To date, the concept of a “big map” has been wrapped up in a completely out of proportion approach.
The different modern role-playing games bring with them ambitiously large maps that demand immeasurable budgets and resources.
However, in the video game era on which Dread Templar is based; having linear maps that show an assorted variety of enemies and different ecosystems was a 10/10.
To put cherries on the cake; we also have that almost forgotten custom of retro video games in which the maps bring with them secrets that require a certain level of intellectual insistence and creativity to unlock.
Musicalization that seeks to continue the trends set by Bobby Prince, Mick Gordon and Andrew Hulshult… But not completely.
Composer John Weekley, better known as “PRIMEVAL”, is the one who leads the highly energetic and thoughtful compositions that accompany us as we traverse the different levels and ecosystems within Dread Templar.
Compositions similar to the latest installments of “DOOM”, under the mastermind of “Mick Gordon”; They seek to mix industrial electronic sounds with modern Groove metal.
The themes as such, in isolation, are convincing and well-executed compositions; that as songs of a new band to come they would be loved and would achieve success for sure.
However, when evaluating the context; musicalization does not always interact adequately with visual stimuli.
In contrast, they stick more to the old fashion of video game scoring that composers worked under in the 1990s.
My problem with this is that the game is generally positioned within the 2000s gaming culture; When you already deliver as “Super Mario 64” they had been working for years with interactive soundtracks that reacted directly to the events of the game.
Along with this, there is plenty of room for improvements in the area of mixing and mastering that could have made music much more powerful, accentuated and prominent within the consumer media product.
The greats of music say that good songs with bad mix work much better than bad songs with good mix.
In my personal opinion, both extremes are detrimental.
We will not pretend to make direct accusations and claim that it was due to budget or the level of competence behind the sound directors… However, it is a weakness that is difficult to ignore.
Dread Templar is definitely an entertaining time that will appeal to both casual and retro gaming veterans looking for the highest level of challenge and quirk within a game.
A fun and highly polished experience that, unlike other retro installments in modern times, invites long periods of play without making the user lazy.
This review was made possible through access courtesy of T19 Games.
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