Strife: Veteran Edition
Now Available on Steam
Published by Night Dive Studios
Back in the 90's when First Person Shooters were gaining the most momentum there was an abundance of ingenious and ambitious usages of the legendary Doom engine, and while titles like Quake and Duke Nukem were the most talked about at the time there was one debut title from the great Rogue Entertainment whose mechanics influenced an emergence of now familiar and relied on mechanics. Strife finally marks its comeback in a more modern and accessible package for both fans old and new.
Most importantly, this is an incredibly solid port that is consistent with the quality you'd expect from Night Dive and then some. All modern resolutions are included here as well as graphical improvements in the form of dynamic lighting, bloom, and customizable motion blur. Controls have been tweaked to fit the playstyle of modern shooters, and objectives now glow with a circle on the minimap creating a much smoother and seamless quest hunt. Night Dive Studios has given Strife all of the needed customization to allow players of any background enjoy the game however they please, be it in its original intended form or with all the new bells and whistles.
An extraterrestrial meteorite strikes your planet, unleashing a mysterious virus ravaging the brains of those it infects. Society has been split into two, the infected who have become cruel and barbaric rulers over the uninfected and powerless civilians. You are one of the uninfected who have banded together to create their own rebel community and fight this infected authority that reigns over your lives known only as The Order.
Strife features a large and detailed town hub unlike any FPS before it due to its population of many colorful, grizzled citizens and their connected questlines with fully voiced dialogue trees, the exploration within this community feeling fluid and engaging even after all these years. Here you've got all the staple establishments used throughout the RPG medium. The tavern provides you with side quests to perform for cash as well as tidbits of valuable info that comes at a price, the hospital sells valuable potions to heal during combat, and the weapon and armor shop sell the valuable equipment needed to advance through the harder levels found throughout the world.
Once you've met up with your underground resistance group of rebels the game opens up, as you take quests and carry out important mission from the various NPCs you'll find scattered around the sprawling town. Different strongholds and hidden corridors throughout the outskirts of the town play host to these missions following classic FPS action, and will reward you with scavenged loot and money in the form of quest rewards to purchase new equipment or much needed medical kits before delving into newer, harder territory.
While it certainly isn't the first FPS/RPG hybrid to ever be created, I feel it was the best original attempt to really get it right with a user friendly combination of addictive role playing progression within a fast and furious world of Doom-like violence. Fans of the engine and of the era in general will be drawn to the reminiscent visuals and their application to a unique fantasy world, an extremely pleasant departure from the usual bleak and gray environments we're used to from shooters of that period. The nostalgic Roland powered music is especially delightful here, and takes an extremely adventurous turn in composition.
If you've never played Strife there is no better time to discover and enjoy a legend, and if you're an old fan of Strife this is the perfect excuse to go back and experience it again in its most polished form to date.