In Try/Buy/Wait, Checkpoint writers review a game and give you a recommendation on whether to Try the game via demos/buy-and-refund, Buy the masterpiece of a game immediately, or Wait until the game is on sale – letting you know if a game is ultimately worth your money and time.
Your Writer: MuukenTuuken
Top 3 Favorite Games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends, Red Dead Redemption 2
Favorite Genre: Multiplayer FPS
Recently Finished: Amid Evil,The World of Horror Demo, VA-11 Hall-A, SAS: Zombie Assault 4
Currently Playing: Yuppie Psycho, Apex Legends Season 2, Dark Souls 3, DOTA 2
Bio: Be sure to watch me stream all the games I review on my Twitch Channel!
First off, let me preface by saying that Amid Evil is not a bad game, but neither is it a good one; it’s average. Amid Evil provides the nostalgia of simpler times when you played Quake or Doom as a kid, even though back then, those games were pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible in entertainment. In the present day, Amid Evil is an average game that excellently emulates the look and feel of old school FPS games with the use of current technology.
The game itself is fairly short, consisting of only 7 episodes. There is hardly any plot and what little that is present is found scribbled on walls with hard hitting snippets such as “By the moon, I feel worried” or “Those who would worship the sun are blind”. I’ll leave it up to the lore experts to decipher those in due time. The real meat and bones of Amid Evil is its gameplay.
The gameplay really does take you back to the ye olde days of Quake. The movement is almost a carbon copy of Quake’s first iterations. It’s fluid, it’s fast, but you’re always in control no matter how fast you go. Sadly, weapons don’t really feel varied enough to warrant using more than two or three for the entire game. In my playthrough, I used the axe for 80 – 85% of the game, only ever switching weapons for flyers or to Amid Evil’s BFG equivalent for finishing off a boss. That’s not to say that the other weapons aren’t satisfying to use, but there is hardly a need for anything else with the axe as good as it is.
Your trusty axe will one-shot more things
At its core, enemies consist of melee bad guys that charge you, ranged bad guys that fly around and shoot projectiles, and big bad guys that can both melee and shoot projectiles. In theory, each episode has its own variation of enemies with slight differences in their attacks and behaviours. In practice, it still comes down to more charging melee guys, and more flying shooting dudes, and more big guys that do both. I played the game on Hard and the boss battles were trivial at best, so even to absolute FPS beginners I would suggest Hard difficulty so you don’t fall asleep from the lack of adversity or challenge. I wasn’t expecting Dark Souls levels of difficulty, but neither was I expecting a disappointing sleepy walk in the park. There is, however, a hidden difficulty setting which can be unlocked to provide more of a challenge, so anyone worried about the game’s pathetic easiness has that to look forward to.
I remember when Hard used to mean Hard.
In terms of level design, the art style is quite impressive. It’s a good blend of old school FPS with the high res textures and lighting of the present day. Each episode looks thematically different from the other with its own distinct art style which keeps the levels looking fresh and interesting. Unfortunately, the layout of the levels itself requires a lot of backtracking and running around till you find a button to push before the gate opens allowing you to progress further. Imagine a fly stuck in a bottle, with only the exit being the mouth of the bottle, and the only way the fly can get out is by constantly flying into the walls until it eventually finds the exit. That analogy is the only way I can describe Amid Evil’s level design. Some die-hard fans might argue that the level design “encourages exploration”, to which I say, the game is void of anything remotely interesting to find. Its “Secret Areas” are laughable, with only health or mana pickups and that’s it. Without cool collectibles or actual secrets to be found, you’d sometimes even run into a secret area and not even realise it. It’s absolutely not worth the time exploring unless you’re in dire need of health/mana or you’re going for total 100% completion.
Amid Evil is a game that has been done before and succeeds in emulating the likes of Quake, Heretic, and Doom. If I had to hazard a guess, the reason for its critical acclaim on Steam is that it tugs on the nostalgia strings of many gamers, and amid a sea of recent mediocre FPS releases, saying Amid Evil is the best FPS game you’ve played in a while is akin to saying you came 1st in a one person race. Still, what the game aims to do–filling the craving for Retro-style FPS games–it does well.
At the price of $20 USD, it’s worth a try if you have that nostalgia itch, but to anyone unfamiliar with retro-style FPS games wanting to try it, dip your feet into Doom/Quake first then decide if you like the genre enough to buy Amid Evil.
AMID EVIL was developed by Indefatigable (@IndefatigableNZ) on the Unreal Engine with publishing done by New Blood Interactive (@TheNewBloods). It is available for purchase on the Nintendo Switch and PC from Steam and was released on the 20th of June 2019.
Amid Evil: Checkpoint Checklist
☑ Casual Gamer
☑ Normal Gamer
☐ It’s there
☐ High End
☐ Text or Audio floating around
☐ Really Good
☑ Not bad/Not good
☐ Very good
☐ Really short (0 – 3 hours)
☑ Short (4 – 8 hours)
☐ Standard (10 -25 hours)
☐ Long (40 – 60 hours)
☐ Very Long (61 – 100 hours)
☐ Timesink (100+ hours)
☐ Very Good
☐ You forget what reality is
☐ Free ($0.00 USD)
☐ Cheap ($1-$6 USD)
☐ Not Bad ($7-$19 USD)
☑ Standard AA ($20-$30 USD)
☐ Pricey ($31-$50 USD)
☐ Standard AAA ($60+)