First Impressions: Viscerafest

Just Another Day In The Office

SURPRISE BONUS POST

Viscerafest was released in Early Access yesterday and I played through the first episode in two sittings. I would not be posting a thing so close to the release of a WGA, but this game is fucking awesome. Even in its current state. But Mojo, you ask. “What the heck even is a Viscerafest and should I contact a doctor about it?” I was just about to tell you, random person in the back who cuts people off when they speak.

It’s a first-person shooter that’s a part of the “FPS Renaissance”, a subgenre of FPS game that harkens back to the older style of Shooter that was the standard in the ’90s. Arena combat, a distinct arsenal, a wide variety of enemies that can be mixed and matched for a buttload of different encounters, maze-like levels with hidden secrets and color-coordinated keys and doors, and more were the order of the day and Viscerafest has all of those in spades.

You play as Caroline, an…enthusiastic, ambiguously human bounty hunter who takes on a job over three days to take out a Warlock named Cromune and his scientist/cultist dickbag friends so she can get the scratch needed to buy an engagement ring to propose to her boyfriend. That’s a surprising amount of narration and motivation for an FPS of this type and it’s interesting to see. It also helps everything Caroline says is hilarious. She’s the best Build Engine protagonist to not be in a Build Engine game and that is a hell of a compliment in my book. Caroline (and the game as a whole) has this gleeful enthusiasm for the carnage on display (it’s even in the name) and for the game style it recreates, it pulls it off flawlessly.

Do It For Him

The gameplay in Viscerafest is an old-school first-person shooter with some interesting twists. Ammo is scarce and can only be obtained by searching levels (and unlike Doom Eternal, there’s no chainsaw to help get ammo), so you constantly need to swap weapons and you can only get health back by gibbing enemies and corpses and eating the leftover hearts. This combined with a dedicated punch attack in the right mouse button, a command dash, and the most absurd bunny hop in the 21st century thus far make for a reckless berserker playstyle that rivals Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal in regards to the amount of ripping and tearing you’re gonna be doing. And you will die. A lot. The Game is not easy, even on the normal difficulty setting because sticking with a single weapon is a sure-fire way you’ll get bodied. Bunnyhopping, dashing, and weaving melee attacks in between gunshots is the key to success and it’s proven to make me hyper-focus on the game in the best way.

It’s also got creative Difficulty Names. That Are Also Randomly Generated. My Favorite is the Highest Difficulty being known as “Death Is My Soulmate”

The first episode of three is available in the first early access build of the game, and nine distinct levels in it introduce 6 of the game’s touted 9 weapons. These are the Energy Pistol, the Shredders (dual submachine guns), a double-barrel shotgun called the Bunker Buster, a Rocket/Grenade Launcher, a quadruple barrel shotgun called the Deus Mortis (roughly translating from Latin into “The God Killer”, which is metal as fuck), and Poison Gas Launcher which can deal damage over time and stun-lock targets. All of these synergize amazingly and have their purpose in combat, with the pistol and Shredders being your workhorse weapons since those have the most readily available ammo, at least on Normal. The first episode culminates with a boss fight that breaks the rule of ammo conservation by having ammo all over the arena, which I’ll gladly accept because fighting an old school FPS boss with just your fists feels like a punishment unless you’re actively going out of your way to humiliate the Cyberdemon.

Quad Barrel? Quad Barrel.

Viscerafest makes a damn good first impression and if these first nine levels are any indication of the rest of the game’s quality, then it’ll most likely be on my game of the year list for the year it releases. Its highly demanding combat, familiar yet impressive arsenal, and buckwild protagonist all come together to make something gleefully chaotic and wonderful. I cannot wait to see the final package and I’ll be following its development very closely. Oh, and before I go, the soundtrack by Micheal Markie? It Absolutely Slaps. 10/10 Would Gib Aliens To Again.

Sick Beats To Gib Cultists To.

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