Throwback first person shooters are all the rage, but with superb (and ever expanding) modern day ports of classics such as Quake and Doom it can be hard for them to stand apart from their inspirations.
Prodeus is more successful than most entries in this growing genre, but it still has some minor issues.
A full blooded shooter which has been on Steam and other consoles for a fair while now, this isn’t the best way to play the game but it still runs pretty well on the Switch – its mix of pixel art and modern rendering lends itself well to the system, but the lack of gyro controls is a tad mystifying.
There’s a massive campaign which ramps up slowly and gets incredibly intense in later sections – sometimes to a frustrating degree. Other than the developer created maps there are stacks of community created levels too, and the level of quality of these is surprisingly high. There’s a very robust multiplayer mode as well.
What really works in Prodeus is how it feels and sounds. The controls are slick, the music is thumping, and the various weapons all feel fun to use – each boasting a secondary type of fire which is always useful and never feels like an afterthought.
In terms of the enemies, the foes here are fine but perhaps lack a little colour – it can be hard to tell them apart in the heat of battle, and some have rather uninspiring designs.
Level design is also solid but occasionally a little staid. Sometimes it feels like you’re being funnelled down yet another set of corridors just to get to the next slightly larger area in which you’re inevitably ambushed.
To compare Prodeus to Doom (the original) or Quake is perhaps foolish – those game are archaic nowadays in many ways – but the game ultimately makes you draw such comparisons.
But in our eyes the enemy set in Doom and Quake is more interesting. The levels are often more ambitious in terms of their flow and structure. And the weapons are often just as satisfying to use.
Prodeus ultimately doesn’t feel as timeless as Doom or Quake then, but we can’t deny it does provide the kind of bone crunching and effective thrills that will appeal to more people than the creaky classics it’s been inspired by.