Wrath: Aeon of Ruin: Early Preview

“We really enjoyed working on Ion fury together with Voidpoint. We acted wisely, deciding to cooperate with the best modders of the Build engine, – said in interview Frederick Schreiber (Frederik Schreiber), vice president 3D Realms. – In our next game, we decided to go even further: to develop it on the engine Quake in real 3D. We took the same approach: we began to look for the best modders and creators of maps for Quake. In the end, they already know this engine, how to work with it and all that. So we went to the (modder) KillPixel, which, together with his friend, was already sawing something of his own. We liked his project, and we contacted him. Soon we decided to finance the development and increase the size of the team from two people to 25. And voila! We showed the world Wrath and we look forward to its release ourselves! ”

It’s hard to imagine that this talk about “playing on the engine Quake in real 3D ”took place in 2019. Something similar about 20 years ago could speak John Romero (John Romero), who actively hired modders to develop his failed Daikatana, which later repented of. Cooperation 3D Realms with modders of old engines, however, so far it’s going pretty well: Ion fury received from us "Commendable", and recently released in early access Wrath: aeon of ruin promises to be at least no worse.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QOfQ0Rf-yA (/ embed)

In search of lost experience

I would like to start the preview with the phrase “There are too many retroshooters!”, But in fact there have always been a lot of them. Modding old games id Softwareespecially Doom, still alive than all living ones – only recently have publishers began to show commercial interest in this niche. These publishers are company New blood interactivewho released Amid Evil and DUSK, and 3D Realms, which for the past 15 years has been doing something incomprehensible and longs to regain its good name.

However, Jeremiah Fox (Jeremiah Fox), aka KillPixel, claims development Wrath: aeon of ruin started long before he heard about competitors. “I started making cards for Quake in 2011, because I love this game and wanted to recreate my experience of the first acquaintance with it, – said it. – Then I thought: “Can I make my own Quake? “- and decided not. But the idea did not let me go, and soon I decided to start. I did not know whether I could succeed, but I understood that if I did not try, I would regret it for the rest of my life. For three years I studied game design, 3D modeling – everything except the programming that my friend took upon himself. I thought we had time to release the game before the release. Doom 2016th. "

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin game preview

The Daikatana development thwarted every conceivable time after Romero decided to transfer an almost finished game from the Quake engine to the Quake II engine: the latter had colored lighting. Wrath also has it, and it also came out much later than its creators wanted.

Works – steal

Wrath borrows from Quake not only the gameplay and the engine (it’s just very modified: the game runs only on 64-bit processors and OS no older than Windows 7), but also that it was not necessary to copy: for example, an eclectic level design. Levels Quake matched because no one in id until the very end I didn’t understand what the game would be about. Here the heterogeneous theme of the levels is a creative solution.

Wrath begins in a spacious hub where portals are placed on levels with enemies. At the end of each level are a relic (read: rune from Quake) and a new portal that teleports back to the hub. True, no one forbids returning to the beginning of the level and leaving the portal there. The levels are large: each has hundreds of enemies and about a dozen secrets, so that their passage takes about an hour. There will be 15 in total, but in the early access version only two are available: swamps and dungeons. You can go through them in any order.

With the beginning of each level, weapons, surprisingly, are not taken away. If the player went through one location and accumulated an arsenal, then strong monsters will appear on the other. After completing the level, you can return to it, but the enemies do not resurrect, so there’s nothing special to do there, besides finding secrets.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin game preview

This arena seems gigantic, but actually small: it is surrounded by a moat with high banks. Usually you can even see where they are shooting at you.

Gun porn

If you're wondering how the game’s plot explains the portals between levels, then nothing. In the press manual, the authors of the game apologize that “there are no entries in the diary and other elements of the lore in the game yet,” and there is no hint of a plot in the assembly for early access. There was no text file with the exposure in the game folder either. To find out the motivation of the protagonist, you have to turn to the action page on Steam.

Now about the important. There are five types of weapons in the game (there will be more): a blade, a revolver, a shotgun, a fast-firing needle-gun and a hive-like one from Half-life grenade launcher firing sticky green bubbles. Gentleman's set. Each gun has an alternative shooting mode, and all of them are useful. Even the blade: with its help you can "dash". There is no complex platforming on the first two levels, so the jerk is usually used to find secrets.

Your main weapon will probably be a double-barreled shotgun: firstly, it sounds great, and secondly, most fights are corridors. There are eight types of opponents. There is especially no one to distinguish from them – all types are familiar. There are no bosses yet.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin game preview

The similarity of the Scrags from Quake and the local flying critters is almost a portrait, and the grip of the double-barreled shotgun is accurately spotted in Quake II.

Don't forget your roots

Play in Wrath fun, even despite minor inconveniences: for example, during reloading you cannot change weapons, and selection of items is sometimes not recorded. “We do not just welcome the feedback: we ask for it,” said KillPixel, so these shortcomings will most likely be fixed in the upcoming patches.

Fortunately, the game escaped the deadly sins of shooters: there are no annoying “hitscanners” here, the enemies will not spawn behind, the doors do not close behind their backs, and you don’t need to remove weapons to get a flashlight – it’s even light in the crypts. The hero is not shackled by anything and rushes at great speed, and where the monsters are and where to run is usually understandable, even despite the large size of the locations. I haven’t met any bugs, and optimization is my respect: the frame rate does not fall below 60 even on Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Another indispensable attribute of old-school shooters: bloody scum, they are also “bastards,” colorfully scatter without regard to the laws of physics.

Moreover, if you don’t like the balance of the game – the weapon is too weak or the enemies are too slow – these parameters are visible in text files and are open for editing. Authors say that modify Wrath will be easier than Quake– At least they promise to write exhaustive documentation.

Music should be the cherry on the cake: working on it Andrew Hulshult (Andrew Hulshult), author of IDKFA album and soundtracks DUSK and Amid evil. IN Wrath however, he decided to move away from the usual heavy metal. His tracks are reminiscent of OST Trent Reznor (Trent Reznor) for the same first Quake – Dark ambient instead of aggressive guitar cuts.

I personally like the sound design of Quake more, but both are doing their job.

Little indie company

The only radical difference Wrath from Quake – mechanics of artifacts. The levels are scattered items that are stored in the inventory. Some of them, upon activation, give short-term enhancements – for example, they restore five percent health after each kill. The good old Quad Damage has no match for local bonuses: they are weak, they cannot be combined, and it is inconvenient to activate them. Most of the game I didn’t even remember about them – that in Heretic consumables were lying in my inventory with a dead weight that is here.

The most popular artifact, Soul Tether, makes it possible to survive. There are no quick saves in the game, auto-save shrines are rare, and to record progress here and now, you have to spend Soul Tether charges. A controversial idea: they are generously scattered across the levels, but if at some point I start spending them more often than I find, nothing but annoyance, this mechanics will not cause. Fortunately, the game is still simple: at maximum difficulty for two levels, I died three times.

What definitely needs refinement is artificial intelligence. Enemies will not budge until they see you, even if you start shooting at them. Why go out to fight in the open, if you can several times get a giant toad in a protruding pixel?


"Wrath adopted the immortal elements of such classic games as Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Unreal and Hexen, and transferred them to the twenty-first century "- the developers boast. A vague wording – of the common among the listed games, except perhaps the genre and speed – but the language will not turn to reproach the authors of the game for excessive pathos. Wrath – This is a cool old school shooter that confidently holds the bar. True, the position of this bar has not changed for 20 years.

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