Prodeus is good. I just need to get that out there right away. Bounding Box studio has created an interesting take on how we remember classic FPS games like DOOM or Castle Wolfenstein. Modern hardware powers a pixelated-looking game world as you search for enemies, keys, and secrets in a game that is available in Xbox Game Pass for PC in early access. Here are my first impressions of Prodeus.
Kickstart My Heart (Which is full of murder)
Back in April of 2019, the game ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign, and the first early-access version was released in November of the following year. It hit Game Pass in June of 2021 and immediately caught our eyes due to its incredible graphical style. The game uses a modern engine but it applies shaders to the models to simulate the much lower resolution look of 90’s PC games but with access to modern touches such as dynamic lighting and fantastic-looking particle effects. When an enemy is killed they turn into a sprite on the fly and if you walk around them they rotate like they would in the classics. It leads to something unique and incredible looking. None of which would matter if the rest of the package didn’t hold up, but thankfully it does.
Gameplay-wise you control a “corrupted agent of Prodeus”. Prodeus being the in-game character who created the world and everyone in it. Your goal is to kill him no matter the cost, and you’ll have a bevy of weapons at your disposal to do so. Things start slow with just a pistol that can single or burst fire, quickly you’ll unlock what is the most important thing in a game like this, the shotgun. Without a good shotgun these types of games simply cannot work, and Prodeus has one of the best I can remember. The main shot is a heavy and accurate spread, but the charged shot is something of pure murderous beauty. After a decently long charge-up period you get an incredibly powerful and accurate slug round that sets whatever it hits on fire. It is unbelievably satisfying, and I love it to death. There are a lot of weapons in this game, and finding them is gated through a simplistic progression system.
The level select map has multiple paths you can take, though some are gated by Runes. You find these Runes in specific levels which have a very obvious giant rune hovering over them on the select screen. There is a lot to uncover in this game, and even though it’s listed as early access it already has more content than most games of the genre. This is aided by a fantastic level editor and custom map browser.
A core principle during the creation of the game was actively engaging the community. A central pillar of this was having the best map editor possible from the start, and they have delivered on that promise. I have zero skill and could do nothing with it, but the number of maps in the server browser was staggering. The game is slated to come to console, but I’m not sure how that map editor could transfer well. It was a bit finicky to control with a mouse and keyboard and Xbox seems loathe to allow Mouse and Keyboard only games or modes. Everything must work well with a controller, and I’m not sure how this editor will.
Adding to the package is an awesome dynamic soundtrack. It’s rather quiet when you’re alone, but the moment the action ramps up the heavy metal kicks in and you enter the zone. That zone being one full of blood, gore, and guns. The GunBloodGore-a-verse, if you will.
As a first look I am floored at just how fun this game is, and how much high-quality content it already has. It is only available on PC right now for Game Pass, but it is slated to hit consoles eventually as well. If you do not have even a mediocre PC then keep an eye out and play this game the second it hits Game Pass on console. If you like shooters, you will love this title. We’ll get back for a final review when version 1.0 hits.