Pariah

2005 - Groove Games - Digital Extremes / Brainbox Games / Hip Games

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Maybe it's because it's over 10 years old, but my first impression of this game wasn't good. It's a generic paint by numbers shooter that tries too hard to be Halo. The comparisons are there from the start but it's when you get to the first driving section that it becomes blatantly obvious where it's inspiration comes from.

According to the trailer this is from a team famous for the Unreal series and you can believe that from the controls and the enemy AI patterns. This isn't a good thing though because the combat feels hectic at times as the computer is running around like crazy.

This isn't helped by the awful framerate drops that kick in when you have multiple enemies on screen at once, or the fact it pauses while it's autosaving.  Yes it's a minor thing to gripe about but when the levels look as bland & devoid of detail as some of these do, there's no reason for such issues. Apparently this game is the collective work of 3 dev studios. It amazes me that this is the best that 3 studios could achieve.

Also, the main character is called 'Jack Mason'! You couldn't get a more generic name if you tried, there are countless games with a mason at the lead and it's just lazy. Even the character looks dull & lifeless, just look at the box art.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

The story is clustered and total nonsense at times. what am I saying, it's all nonsense. The intro is the most coherent bit, then it just goes off on tangents. apparently you're infected with some virus, but they skip over that because suddenly, you're working for the baddies then you have a crisis of conscience and start shooting up the baddies. Then you fight a random boss with no name for some reason and that's it game over. You don't get to fight the actual shroud boss, because he's buggered off home for tea. It's nonsense! oh yeah, and you die at the end but you don't get to see it, just voices over a black screen, then the girl randomly blows up & cue credits.

Now it might sound like i'm bashing this game, but i'm not. Strangely it has a charm that keeps me coming back even though it's just a carbon copy of that other series with less letters in the title. it can be picked up relatively cheap these days, and there are much worse shooters out there than this, just go into it with low expectations and you'll be fine.

I do recommend people try it because it's so bad it's good in a sadistic way. this game literally has nothing going for it, I played it all the way to the end trying to find that spark yet all I got were more issues. Countless times I had to stop for a bit and ask myself why am I still playing this game, and I couldn't think of anything positive. 

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