Games From 1997

You just didn’t see that in games in 1997. You can shoot both barrels at once for the shotgun, for example, or sweep enemies with the Tommy gun. You can also occasionally get the ability to dual wield weapons akimbo-style, doubling the pleasure and doubling the fun. This is extremely useful, as the enemies that you encounter will die quicker. I really only mention this because you will need every ounce of power you can against these enemies. Every undead creature, demon or evil monk you encounter is absolutely hellbent on killing you and killing you fast. It’s really not uncommon at all to turn a corner and get slaughtered within a second, even with full health. And even on lower difficulties. You can often have 10 to 15 murderous ghouls after you at once, so dying is probably going to be very common. Of course, if he’s back from the dead already, how does that work? That’s a question for another day. Being called Blood, I do have to mention the… blood real quick. There is no reason for this game to have as much blood and gore as it does.

Except that it is awesome. I mean, it’s flying everywhere. It’s on the walls, it’s on the floors, it’s hanging from the ceilings I mean, there’s nastiness all over the place. This is easily the goriest game to date in 1997. The thrill of blowing off heads and disemboweling demons with weapons that probably shouldn’t do so never gets old. You can even kick around the heads until they fall apart, if you want. Interactivity. Yay! There’s no reason for such things, and that is what makes Blood so fun. As with Duke 3D, there are lots of interactions and goodies to find throughout the levels. As expected, there are plenty of movie references to things like Frankenstein, Friday the 13th, of course Army of Darkness, The Shining. “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” [gunshot] There’s even a Jaws one thrown in there. “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” But there are also several memorable lines by Caleb himself throughout gameplay, although he’s not nearly as vocal as Duke or Lo Wang. And the levels themselves remain fun, with very few dips in enjoyment. Occasionally, they’ll get a little maze-like, but that’s just kind of to be expected for whatever reason. Mainly due to similar textures being used.

There are, of course, a few annoying platforming sections, which I just to not think belong in an FPS game at all. And some of the levels can get very confusing for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Also, you can have up to six keys in one level that you’ll have to find, which is a few too many, in my opinion. And the doors are really not clearly marked either at all times, so navigation tends to be the most annoying thing in the game. Still, it never made me want to quit playing, just to take a break once in a while and then go back and shotgun some zombies’ heads off, Dawn of the Dead-style. But simply, Blood is bloody fun, complete with all of the trademark aspects that make 3D Realms games so enjoyable.

There is a lot of gameplay here too, more than the original Duke 3D and more than Shadow Warrior. So you’ll probably be playing it for quite a while, should you choose to get it. And if you can locate the game and the two expansion packs for it, The Plasma Pak and Cryptic Passage, there’s even more to enjoy. But that may be the problem: finding it. The game didn’t sell extremely well, the expansion packs sold even less, so it has become – well, somewhat appropriately – a cult classic of sorts, and finding a complete copy at a decent price can be a very good challenge. But the search is honestly worth it, because if you like horror, violence, and a good time for the sake of a good time in a first-person shooter, Blood is one disgustingly wonderful way to spend an afternoon.