It's fair to say that not much has changed in the last few years when it comes to first-person shooters category. We're still searching for the next Half-Life or F.E.A.R., or at least, the next title that will shake things up in the genre. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Sometimes you just want to play something rooted in the past, sprinkled with some modern Quality of Life features. If anything has changed in FPS games, it's the resurgence of titles inspired by old classics, such as Dusk, Ion Fury, Amid Evil, etc., which was quite refreshing among the swarm of military, multiplayer-oriented shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield.

One such boomer shooter we'll be looking at today, Prodeus. The product of a successful Kickstarter campaign and subsequent maturation in Steam Early Access, the time has come for it to launch and for us to polish our virtual firearms. Although I had followed it in its early stages of development, the years have passed and I hadn't any any particular expectations - you know, growing up, outgrwoing nostalgia, Kickstarter declining in terms of delivering quality products and all that jazz. Fortunately I was resoundingly proven wrong.

Strong vibes from the classic id Software titles.

If you were expecting story of any sort in Prodeus, then you'd better look elsewhere. Something about aliens called Prodeus, demons of Chaos, and among them an unnamed soldier (that's us) who wants to chew bubblegum and kick ass. End of story (pun intended). Even if the plot is thin however, that doesn't doesn't excuse the fact that it ends abruptly. The game's campaign is divided into discrete chapters-levels that we select from the world map. I read some complaints about a relatively short duration of no more than 5 hours, but these are probably coming from speedrunners, because my experience of 9-10 hours can refute that. Moreover, if you start looking for secrets, these hours can be easily doubled. The levels are well designed, though for the most part relatively linear, but I appreciate it when the level design has some underlying logic and doesn't become a contrived maze with no consistency.

Some levels give the illusion of open-ended structure.

It goes without saving, that in order to progress to the next level you need to have completed the previous ones, but there are two cases where you will need a certain number of minerals (Ore-functioning as the game's currency) in order to move on. These are scattered throughout the chapters, both in relatively obvious places and hidden. It's not necessary to collect them all, but the more we find, the sooner we can buy some very nice tools to inflict pain on our opponents, as well as some upgrades to our moves (e.g. dash).

You should keep your eyes open for secrets.
Gibs, gibs, gibs!

And while on the subject of weapons, Prodeus has a good variety of them. All of them have, as you would expect, the primary fire mode and a secondary one, such as grenades that stick to enemies and the environment, bursts that track targets behind corners etc. Otherwise, don't expect any fancy power ups and you'll just have to settle for the traditional health and armor pickups. The character control, the feel of the weapons and the damage they can inflict and how it is visually portrayed is something admirable. Prodeus adheres to the tenets of Doom and Quake, as well as 2016's Doom (mostly, in terms of aesthetics). The infighting between monsters is also present here and can create chaotic situations when confronted with a large number of them. I would recommend trying the game on Hard difficulty and above, as the challenge scales really slowly and only in the last 1/3 of the game does it match your chosen level.

When chaos ensues! Such situations call for weapons that can hit multiple targets.

Apart from the abrupt ending of the campaign, which hints at a possible future DLC, the only negative thing we have to say about Prodeus is the lack of boss fights. If we'd have to nitpick, we could mention that the game doesn't allow you to save your position wherever you want, as it uses checkpoints. This would make sense if it increased the challenge. But that's not the case because, when we are defeated, the opponents we had eliminated do not come back. It didn't affect my experience, as I consider the real challenge of the game to be completing each level with 100% comletion ratio (i.e. finding all secrets, zero deaths, killing all enemies), but either way, it's something that should be noted.

Perhaps the most important element that makes Prodeus stand out in this wave of the boomer shooter renaissance is its presentation and especially its visuals. The game is a mixture of old and new, with environments looking relatively detailed, with some effects and light shadows that weren't possible on Prodeus' inspirations, but up close they pixelate, bringing to mind the first Quake. The models of the opponents, as well as those of the weapons on the other hand are pre-rendered sprites, evoking something out of Doom64. You can even choose to have them rendered as 3D (if anything, Bounding Box's talent is more than evident) or 2D, but personally the latter won me over. Also, you can choose a different framerate for them than the one the game is running at. Overall, the plethora of options and the freedom the title offers in terms of technical customization is mind-boggling. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Andrew Hulshult's sublime music (Dusk, Doom Eternal-The Ancient Gods, etc.), which dynamically shifts from haunting synths during exploration, to metal guitars when the action ramps up.

The visual aspect of the title easily stands out from the competition.

To wrap things up, Prodeus is an excellent title that can provide you with several hours of adrenaline injection and fun. And I didn't even touch on the subject of the level editor and the hundreds of maps created by the game's community. Without exaggeration, it's one of the most well-made, old-school FPS in recent memory. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed!

RATING - 88%



A boomer shooter that checks all the right boxes and deservedly qualifies for the list of this year's best games. Fans of the genre should definitely check it out!

Παναγιώτης Μητράκης

As a kid of the 80's, he began his journey into gaming with coin-ops and the classic Game Boy. He found some respite with his beloved SNES and got into PC gaming in 1998, with landmark games like Half-Life and Baldur's Gate. He doesn't steer clear of (almost) any genre but has a predilection for RPGs and survival horror and tries to introduce others to Silent Hill, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the creations of Looking Glass and Obsidian.


  1. Τα boomer shooters συνεχίζουν να κουβαλούν στην πλάτη τους το είδος των FPS. Χωρίς αυτά θα περνούσε κρίση.

  2. Εχω ψιλοπήξει από δαύτα για φέτος μπορώ να πω. Εκεί που μέχρι πριν 2-3 χρόνια το είδος ήταν στην αφάνεια και μόνο το Doom πρόσφερε στο κοινό ακριβώς αυτό που ζητούσε από το είδος, σήμερα μπορούμε να μιλήσουμε ακόμη και για κορεσμό.

  3. Δε νομίζω ότι είναι τόσα πολλά, τα ποιοτικά τουλάχιστον: Prodeus, Wrath, Ion Fury, Project Warlock, Amid Evil, Dusk και κάνα ακόμα που μπορεί να ξεχνάω.

  4. [QUOTE=”erevos, post: 610155, member: 103275″]
    Απορία ενός γερογκρινιάρη: Γιατί ρετροπιξελούμπα και όχι μια “normal” μηχανή;

    Γιατί το ρετρό λουκ είναι μέρος του όλου πακέτου που ελκύει το κοινό. Είναι αντίστοιχο με τα διάφορα platformers και jRPGs που χρησιμοποιούν το λουκ του SNES. Επίσης είναι πιθανότατα πιο οικονομικό στην ανάπτυξη από ένα κανονικό σύγχρονο 3D FPS.

  5. Κάποιες ρετροπιξελούμπες τις αντέχω και τις γουστάρω κιόλας (π.χ. Dead Cells), αλλά παιχνίδια σαν το Prodeus φαντάζομαι πως απευθύνονται σε φανατικούς οπαδούς του genre, αφού οι παλιοί έχουν φάει την πιξελούμπα με το κουτάλι με τα παλιά Doom, Quake, Hexen κ.ο.κ. και οι νέοι προτιμούν κάτι πιο οπτικά ελκυστικό, αν και για το τελευταίο δεν το κόβω (το καλώδιό μου… :Ρ).

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