Slayers X is the crazy FPS we all dreamed of making as kids

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There are few games that have monikers so inspiring and obnoxious that I refuse to pronounce them in their entirety more than once. Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer is one such game. From the brilliant minds that brought us the mysterious late-90s Hypnospace Outlaw, Slayers X takes place in the same world full of Linkin’ Park-inspired music, bizarre color clashing, and intense reverberation everywhere it goes, giving it a decidedly retro look. Made with Duke Nukem 3D building engine by a teen teenager.

And it’s funny to say that, because that’s exactly the narrative at work here. Slayers X is a first-person shooter game that emerges from the semi-educated teenage mind of Zane Lofton – the idealistic Edgelord of the early 2000s who starred in the Hypnospace Outlaw. The whole meta-narrative about Slayers X is great too, with Zane (aka ZANE_ROCKS_36) giving interviews Like this with Nintendo Lifea full on character, as the 37-year-old talks about the game he created at the age of 14, but only now is unlocking the world.

It sounds great in principle: a terrific invasion of the imaginative mind of a 14-year-old growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s who was obsessed with first-person shooters, something many of us can relate to. However, having gone through multiple levels of the game, this is the second time in as many weeks that I’m not sure if sticking to a certain old-school vision is the best design decision for a game.

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I’m a total sucker for old-fashioned first-person shooters, and even when I’m playing the modern wave of Boomer Shooters, I still dive in. actual Games from that era like Blood, Outlaws, Duke 3D of course, Doom (the deliciously brutal variant to be exact) and Redneck Rampage. Something about those greedy shooters of the late ’90s, with their absurdly gritty speeds and crunchy pixel graphics, still brings me back. In a basic way, Slayers X scratches that itch, but it’s very committed to being “a bad shooter made by a dumb kid in the ’90s.” He is that. Two hours later, and I’m still waiting for the big intro moment as it suddenly explodes into a modern-feeling Boomer Shooter, with compelling mechanics, melee attacks, and a bit of meat on the bone.

Underneath the veneer of evil scumbags attacking you, trash throwers, and “Your Mom” ​​jokes, it’s clear that this is a game built by people who know what they’re doing. The level design is solid – not too reckless while still having enough rollback and rollback that you need to watch out for; Obviously, small-town American environments are far more elaborate than a teenage child might knock over; And the cutscenes are very ’90s – rubbery, creepy characters with slow mannequin movements that in retrospect seemed like an impossible level of graphical fidelity to aspire to (see scenes from Blood and Theme Hospital for reference).

There are plenty of legitimate fun touches too, like how you can look down to see your legs, but it’s just a flat slab of pixelation like every enemy in the game. Most of the time, however, we seem to be stuck with the humor and limited imagination of Zane himself. I love a good banter like the lingering poo joke (less so boring “your mom/grandmother/another female affair”), but when our hero makes fun of them All the time It’s getting a little grating. It’s as if Zane is secretly the younger younger brother of fellow ’90s duke Nukem, but while Duke was the star quarterback at school, Zane was the Edgelord who lived downstairs.

The game is at its best when it’s self-aware, but it’s so annoyingly committed to its complete gimmick that for the most part it embodies the very thing it parodies. Most of the time, the parody and the subject matter of the parody blend into one big puddle. Does that make it climax Parody, though, or does she negate parody altogether?

The same goes for combat, which is basically just shooting. And before you go all beech Lofton Ali says “Well, it is a first person shooter game, My point here is that Slayers X lacks all those little extra mechanics that make fellow Boomer Shooters like Warhammer 40: Boltgun, Cruelty Squad, or Dusk feel so good. All of these games brilliantly cast the illusion of being made in the ’90s while secretly adding plenty of extra layers – floor slides, jumping platforms, visceral melee attacks, grappling brawlers, whatever you’ve got to do. There’s an old-school spectrum to it, which is what I’m getting at, and Slayers X leans in a bit also It feels a lot like something you’d find under a teenage boy’s bed in the ’90s, on a CD buried under a pile of video game mugs and a suspiciously wrinkled copy of Hustler.


However, for all its event essentials, I do have time for Slayers X, simply because I have a soft spot for this type of game. As someone who still plays through the games of the era it triggered, this feels relatively fun and accessible, and has enough heartfelt throwbacks (like an excellent soundtrack designed to evoke the hardcore Nu-metal bands of the time) to see me through the moment-by-moment dialogue I’ve become Boring him already.

The combat is repetitive, sure, and certainly more so than in other, more mechanically imagined games in the genre, but I’m one of those people whose kind of repetition sends me into a sweet state of zen – buoyed by that ever-intoxicating nostalgia.

I think I’ve embraced the impression, foolish though it may be.

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