GAME NAME: Merger 3D
DEVELOPER(S): Mahhaon, Art-Arcade, Sun Pixel
PUBLISHER(S): Sometimes You
RELEASE DATE(S): September 26, 2016
I’ll be straight up with you guys. Doom is one my favorite games. On the first boot up of this game, I am instantly taken back to the days of my childhood where I was putting Doom 1 and 2 on my old Pentium desktop. Hearing those rock music chords start playing in the background really gives the game a Doom vibe. I had nothing but good hopes going into this game from the boot up to the first level. Options are pretty sparse here and that presents a big issue.
The game handles, looks, and plays like Doom / Duke Nukem 3D except the mouse controls the horizontal movement. This is my major gripe. The game doesn’t handle like Doom or Duke Nukem because of this, and you are unable to bind arrow keys to horizontal turning and that’s a huge shame. This really hurts the gameplay. Just know you’re pretty much not allowed to change any settings to this game at all barring how loud it is.
The lack of re-keyboard binds really creates an artificial sense of difficulty in this game due to how fast and blink-y enemies are. The mouse movement is already a bad idea in my opinion and when you couple that with the inability of the game to register fast movement on a high dpi mouse; you’re setting yourself up for missed shots and false turns galore.
Its almost as if the game wants you to neglect turning and focus in the WASD movement, which admittedly I did to pass the first few levels.
I dunno if you guys have played this kind of game before/back in the day, but what the OG Doom and Duke Nukem did with projectile weapons is the weapons projectiles would take time to reach you and yours reach them. This added the skillfulness of dodging said projectiles and being able to calculate the hits with your own weapons energy pebbles flying at the demons. It seems like this game decided to focus more on hit-scan (or instant hit) projectiles often prevalent in the Wolfenstein games instead. Which is rather unfortunate since the aiming is horrendous and makes it rather hard to weave in and out of cover to shoot the aliens attempting to perform live surgery on your entrails.
The level design is pretty good. Admittedly, I ended up backtracking to pick up health and ammo that I skipped because I was maxed out before I entered a room where I ended up getting shredded by soldiers left and right and that was a nice change from modern games. The difficulty required me to be engaged and take note of armor, ammo, and health placement through the level and I got very familiar with the levels I played through. There’s no gimmicky NuDoom Quick Animation Take-Down that generates ammo and health. One thing I did notice, that may or may not be a bug, was that to pick up ammo you’d have to have the specific gun that uses that ammo equipped.
I’m not positive if this game has checkpoints. I was rather good about not dying in this game barring one or two times at the beginning getting used to the movement and weapons.
The weapon variety is also a plus here. You have everything you’d expect in this type of game; disproportionately powered pistols, good old trusty rocket launchers, electro-shock glove, (insert generic plasma alien weapon), etc. This plays well on ammo placement, and I do not recall ever only using one particular weapon a majority of the time due to ammo scarcity. I became familiar with all the guns and that’s better game design than most recent games.
I really really wanted this game to be good and have that old nostalgia feel of shooters days gone past, but the developers really dropped the ball with one of the essential elements of these games and that really sours the experience as a whole. I think if the developers (there are 3 according to steam: Mahhaon, Art-Arcade, Sun Pixel) had put more time into ironing out the movement and controls this would be a very solid entry into the nostalgia shooter genre, but as it stands I’d only recommend this game to someone really really looking for nostalgia or someone who has a joystick.
This game was not rated by the ESRB. Contains Violence. The PC version of this game was provided by the developer for review.