Category Archives: FirstPersonShooter

System shock 2

The sequel to the first game in this fantastic series is definitely one of the greatest, innovative and creative games from the nineties. While it could be called just simply an FPS, it can be extensively derived as a First person shooter horror role-playing survival game. You play as a surviving soldier on a spaceship infected & infested with an alien species. Your first task is to meet another surviving crew member who guides you through the ship, yet you quickly realise who is behind this invasion and learn of their quite remorseful intentions.


The inventory, logs menu, stats, and many other HUD items in the game

The game introduces the weapons relatively quickly, yet it does not let you use them so fast. Your statistics in this game limits your ability to use certain items. By progressing in the game, you slowly gain credits that you can spend on physical terminals to upgrade your statistics, skills, special abilities, or weapon capabilities. In terms of weapons, it is very important to manage your ammunition as it is relatively scarce. There are a large number of enemies, traps and turrets that can surprise you anytime. You have access to many different ammo types that you need to specifically use in order to have the best effectiveness of killing. There exist also various psi-abilities that enable you to manipulate the world, grab items from a distance, or magical attacks on enemies. One aspect I found irritating at times was the need of exploring absolutely everywhere so that you can obtain the key or item to progress. Many things are hidden in specific places, meaning you would have to go through lots of rooms and hallways just to get to a room and search every single body or else continuing further is not possible. I guess this is a good strategy to keep the game playing longer, it is fun nonetheless once you get a feeling of completion, yet whenever you get lost it is not so enjoyable. 


The story of this game builds upon the prequel, enhancing your endeavor in an infested spaceship. While there are very rare interactions with any other person, you do receive radio voice messages from certain characters, which usually are there to aid you with the next task. The most prominent way of developing the story was something I have not seen much before, which were voice log discs occasionally found on tables, floors, shelfs, etc, which you open and listen to. These logs represent different characters in the story, which over time develop according to what they say. The fact that these recordings are of a past experience, it adds to the dark experience as it indicates that those people have passed. For me, while it may be at times aggravating to be having to listen to an entire recording, it was something very creative that I think is used very well in this game. 

Music / Sound

A good amount of the music includes electronic beats with a scientific theme that can energize you while you run and shoot your foes. Furthermore there is lots of chilly music that reinforces the fact that you are a lone human in a spaceship. A lot of the sound design can create foreshadowing as well as adding on to the horror, including the rare voices of the dead playing in your head. 


This game has a very eerie ambience, with horror-like situations. The game implements the scariness extremely well by occasional spooky holographic visuals, dark rooms and monsters. There are many sequential instances where monsters can attack from behind or something explodes/ falls from the ceiling, which adds to this uncertain creepiness. Additionally, even though you killed monsters in one place, they can respawn indefinitely so they can surprise you if you come back to a place. 


There is not much to say for the economics side as it is an old game, yet it did seem to fail commercial sale expectations, which is surprising as it was deemed ahead of its time when it was released. 

Valorant – a CS killer?

On 20th June 2020, Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, released a free-to-play multiplayer tactical first-person shooter by the name of ‘Valorant’. The main theme of the game is the classic 5v5 bomb-plant scenario as most of us would be familiar with since the era of CS1.6 introduction. However, some people tend to whine that Valorant is just a rip-off of overwatch and CS:GO, while majority consider this a whole new game with a minimalist approach. So, let’s break down the game to its five core aspects and find out how good it really is and if it really is the “CS:GO killer”.


Let me be honest here, Valorant does inculcate the game mechanism of CS:GO along paired beautifully with the idea of character abilities from Overwatch. This means that along with using your character’s fancy abilities and killing an enemy, you can also just put a bullet through his head and make people talk about your one taps. 

The basic idea of the gameplay is simple, just like CounterStrike, there are two teams of five: Attackers and Defenders. Attackers are supposed to plant the ‘spike’ on a certain location on the finely tuned maps of Valorant and make it detonate successfully while defenders are given the objective of stopping them. Let’s not get much into technical stuff and talk about the interesting range of weapons and abilities that Valorant has to offer. Valorant consists of total 17 weapons ranging from hand-held pistols to heavy-duty machine-guns and sniper rifles. All the weapons have their own stats, but these are technicalities, which we learn about as we play the game. All the characters in the game have their own unique abilities along with an ‘ultimate’ skill that ranges from teleporting to any part of the map to reviving a fallen ally. As long as you are alive, you always have a chance of making a hero play using your abilities in the most creative ways possible and leave your teammates in awe.


This game has no real “story”, but multiplayer games are about enjoying with friends rather than focusing on the story. However, they do release a small teaser with every new battle-pass which contains interaction between the characters. Also, all the characters have a little description that contains a back-story for them. 


Valorant is the first game in which I have not turned off the Main-Menu music! The music in Valorant is really good and sets the correct vibe. Talking about the gameplay sounds, the sound in Valorant is optimal enough to accurate guess the enemy’s position from their footsteps, shooting sounds with some in-game experience.


Valorant being a 2020 game, might be expected to sport hyper-realistic graphics and enticing visuals. The reality is just the opposite! At the time of writing this review, the game requires around 11 GB of space with almost 5-6 GB of download. The graphics in Valorant are minimalistic and not very realistic, they rather resemble the Fortnite aesthetics. At the same time, they are finely tuned to appropriately fit the combat mechanism of the game along with providing a good overall experience. The most aesthetically pleasing part of the graphics would be the skins that they provide for the weapons. Unlike CS:GO, Valorant does not have to put up with realistic graphics and so they can go crazy with the weapon skins. There are skins that literally look like you are holding a mini-dragon! Also, these skins have special animations for if you are the one to kill the last enemy. For example, if you kill the last guy with a dragon skinned weapon, a literal dragon is summoned from the sky which takes away the opponent’s soul. To conclude the graphics section, I would like to say that the game has found a good balance for the minimalism in graphics along with some mental animations and aesthetic weapon skins.

The game is very optimally designed to make you spend hours after hours playing it considering the minimal graphics and the basic gameplay. Just like any multiplayer competitive games, the more time you spend on it, the more you understand the minute details that go into winning rounds and the more complex and interesting the game becomes. Also, the maps and weapons are very designed fantastically while keeping in mind the fairness of the gameplay. The attention to detail is also noteworthy in every aspect of the game.


The game being free-to-play, you don’t have to invest anything as long as you have a decent computer to play it on. However, you do require to invest a considerable amount of money for getting battle-pass and the aesthetic weapon skins we talked about in the graphics section. This does not mean that the game is pay-to-win as all of these are just visual pleasers and do not improve the gameplay, on paper, at least. I mean, imagine clutching a 1v5 with a plain black rifle or with a literal golden mini dragon in your hand. Which of these sound better? Exactly. So, initially, all the game requires is your time, but as you dive more into it, investing some money on the skins will become inevitable.

Far from being a CS:GO killer for hardcore gamers, the idea of softening the battel realism by introducing some elements of fantasy (unreal skills like owl drone, flame throwing, resurrection) may be interesting. There is a population of gamers for whom blood-spashing realism of CS is a little too much to bare. If properly managed by the game designer Riot, can actually work as an intro to the more ‘adult’ CS franchise. Overall, the game is worth trying if you are new to the FPS, but will not give much of enjoyment to the current hard core CS devotees.

Gameplay: 4/5 || Graphics: 3/5 || Music: 4/5 || Design: 4/5 || Economics: 3/5

Halflife – frist approach

Yes, I know, this game has been around for a veeeery long time but it was my first time to try it out, just as a test to approaching the classic FPSs. HalfLife in its first incarnation was a really defining piece of engineering and created a stream of followers. It is now my turn to look at this classic and compare it to … well Doom, CS:GO and Halo.


let’s be honest here, one cannot decide on the game after having barely completed the intro, but .. this was a good intro. the play is smooth, you manage a character that is running around some imaginary sub-terrain facilities, tackle obstacles. pretty good design. The intro makes it easy to understand the game basics, is very interactive and easy to follow. Basically, i was shown key operational capabilities – from walking / running to jumping and activating newly found objects. With only the intro / training behind me, i can tell that (especially for a game of that age) it is great.


right – no story here, as i basically went through a help / user manual. even this one is quite impressive – you get to run around trying various movement techniques. teaches well

graphics / design

it’s the early 2000 we are talking about here. the movements are smooth, occasionally loading content made me wait a split second, i’m sure that would have been fixed if my machine was fully ready. the one feature of the screen design is … it is very orange. it feels a little bit like the old DOOM i recall from the years past. texture of the walls and general surroundings makes the graphics less accurate, which of course is playing into benefit for the technical implementation . movements are smooth, picture well behaving, the avatar of yourself but also others are moving quite naturally. good compromise between number of details and the movement smoothement.


nothing. zero. yes, you’ve heard it – the only economic aspect is that you buy a box (or electronic version thereof) from Valve and you can play. that is it, you dont even have to be able to count to 100 to play. somewhat disappointing. you can’t have it all, i guess.

technical dexterity

right, so, here we probably need a time machine to move back to the late ’90s to be able to comapre. as of today, the technology is not super duper, but it does what’s on the box – gives you a first person experience and you can shoot and run and jump etc. Overall – very positive.

Deus ex 1

The first installment in the Deus Ex series, released in mid 2000 is a role-playing shooter set on earth in a sci-fi future that suffers from a deadly plague. You play as J.C. Denton, with a selection of various skills, a technologically augmented human-robot. The game begins with you working for UNATCO, hunting down terrorists and retrieving the antidote for the plague. As you progress, you begin to reconsider your association with UNATCO, whether you are unknowingly fighting for the virus. 


Battery Park Metro Station

The core gameplay is probably one of my favourite elements of the game. Even though this is not an open-world game (meaning that there is a large world with few boundaries other than the world size), and that you are practically meant to follow a specific storyline, how you play that storyline is under your control. That is the fun of the game, you can play it however you may like! You can sneak around with a tranquilizer crossbow and stun your enemies to silently collapse, use a sniper and a rifle to take enemies down from distances, use shotguns, flamethrowers or heavy artillery for close quarters, simply utilise melee or throwable objects, the possibilities are countless. Your actions are also attributed to your skills, which can be upgraded as you go along. However, you have to make good choices on your traits, as you do not have unlimited points, so you would upgrade certain skills that are more important for you, such as electronics for hacking computers and systems, or pistols for, well, pistols. What’s more is that you have these augmentation canisters that you use to select a specific area, such as strength or speed, and “augment” them. This is also important considering your playstyle, as some augmentations would help you to achieve certain tasks.

Various skills that can be upgraded over time

Nevertheless, there are multiple ways to approach your adventure. Most areas feature many pathways to get to the same area, each with their own obstacles, experiences, and items to collect. Most fascinating of all, these might also change how the story continues. The general story remains the same but some aspects may be different according to what and how you did things. For example, if you went along and killed all enemies in sight, afterwards characters will react differently about what you did, some not liking what you did or some supporting you, and same if you did not kill anyone. Dialogue does not only change, but certain main characters or some areas of the story could be affected too. Without spoiling too much, some actions can affect main characters to die or stay alive, and the ending of the game has three different outcomes which all depend on what you decide to do. That is what I like about this game, you can do what you want.  Along with the main story there could be a few side-tasks here and there that are not huge but could give you more points or items but specifically more knowledge. That is what you get for exploring, you can get clues to get certain passcodes right or find a secret pathway. However, there are two sets of goals, a primary and a secondary set of goals to complete in an area. The primary goal, of course, is what you have to complete in order to progress, but the secondary goals are there to help you out with the primary goal, but also to generally to let the story get more detailed and to increase the gameplay.

Example of different outcome: a reaction later in the story after murdering one of the main characters

The stealth mechanics in this game is also a very key feature, which is of course dependent on your playstyle. If you run through levels like crazy and obliterate your enemies there is no point of trying to stay sneaky. However, in order to stop from getting ambushed by enemies, you would need to avoid getting spotted by cameras, robots, or other people. This is very important to keep in mind when you have weak weaponry as you would not want to be seen by someone, who would then trigger the alarm. By staying sneaky you can gain better positions for attack or simply avoid getting destroyed by multiple enemies. 

Astoundingly, this game was published in mid 2000, so to see this sort of complex gameplay this early on is amazing, especially in a FPS, as most other games at that time with open choices like this are rpgs, such as the elder scrolls games. Like I said, this game can be approached in numerous ways, it can be for anyone. If you are a speedrunner and want to fly through levels at high speeds and work for ages to save milliseconds of time, go ahead! You can play the game at hardest difficulty, or take it easy and relax. You can explore all the levels, pathways, and secrets of the world, read literally everything that you find (newspapers and bulletins are everywhere) and talk to every character. Or, you can just play the game and let it flow out in front of you as you go along. 

The gameplay of this game is really astonishing, as it’s detail and extent lets you play the game many times, because you can play the game in a completely different way, approach levels differently, and even learn new things you never knew about before, because there’s so much that this game offers.


Out of all of the games that I have played, the first Deus ex’s OST (original soundtrack) stuck with me the most. It was able to fully capture the situation you were in, as well as your location, and the quality of the pieces were outstanding. Now, yes, you can argue that the soundtracks in many other games around that time period also were amazing in terms of their catchy, thrilling, and memorable songs, I personally agree that Deus ex stands out in this case.

The majority of the titles have a subtle, calm and ambient beginning until it suddenly blasts off and becomes energetic, exciting, and tense. The reason that it is tense is not because it sounds frightening or stressful, but rather because this sudden energy was used as a feature in the games stealth mechanics. So if you were spotted by any enemy or detected by a camera, the calm part of the song would instantly change to the dynamic part, tensing up the situation. 

I still sometimes listen to the soundtrack, and even after not playing it for almost a year, many of the OST’s titles still remind me of where I was while that song played. In my opinion it is probably my favourite soundtrack out of many old games, it sets the atmosphere and action really well compared to other games that just have a few songs playing here and there. 

Why Half-Life?

My record of the year of 2017 was definitely a wild ride considering all I have done among ancient video games. My particular curiosity of the immense world in which I would thrive from the start of vacation along my two week stay in Split, Croatia, was immediately overcome by the phrase ‘old but gold’, while suddenly I had an instant bond with the imperfect glimmers of the Goldsrc engine and beyond. At this point I am not at a certainty to recall even the first time I had encountered the historic corridors of Black Mesa, but still the quotes and rooms still graciously haunt my memories of all times that I had examined the stunningly clean, yet mosaic environment of Valve’s 1998 release.