Gore has been in development for a couple of years, now. It's finally here. Was it worth the wait?
Gore takes place in the late 21st century. The world has run out of resources, and gangs of criminals and thugs run the cities. To combat this, the government has enlisted troops for a force known as the United Marine Corp – UMC for short. For several years, the UMC has been losing ground. The government had no clear and easy way to train troops, so they were easily overwhelmed by the thugs that had been killing all their lives. Enter the "Meat Machine." A sophisticated VR chamber that could train a soldier to veteran staus quickly by placing them in situations that push their abilites without real danger. The UMC has, with the help of its Meat Machine troops, been making progress against the Mob.
You begin your game in the simulator. Something goes wrong, though, and unprogrammed enemies begin attacking you inside the Meat Machine, as well as directly assaulting UMC headquarters, itself.
Gore has some interesting things going for it. Starting with price -- the game should be offered for less than 30 dollars. With the success of Serious Sam, I imagine many small game design companies will try this concept in an effort to gain recognition in the flooded market.
I encountered an odd thing with regard to sound in Gore. It can only be described as muffled. This affected all sounds in the game. I have decent speakers and a good sound card but it sounds like everything is being heard from far away, or in mono. Definitely a mistake on the part of the designers.
The game engine is impressive. With all the eyecandy turned on, it never bogs down or lags, even when there are many enemies on the screen at once. It looks like a nextgen console game. Models look high poly. Textures are fairly good considering the cartoonish quality of the game. This engine has great potential. It will be nice to see what it can do in future games. I was especially surprised at the speed and fluidity of movement. Another interesting item... For some reason, the programmers felt the need to include your feet in the game. You can look down and see your feet. Why they did this, I have no idea. But its there. The designers have tried to make Gore live up to its name, too. Insane amounts of blood sprout from your targets as you shoot them, but there is nothing more than that. Soldier of Fortune this is not. The blood spray is almost the extent of the gore in Gore. You can blow people up, but it's difficult unless they are dead first or you have an extremely powerful weapon. So all you sickos can look elsewhere for your blood fix.
Above all, Gore is a fast game. Your character moves at a blazing clip, faster than running in any FPS I think I've ever played. Everything moves just a bit faster than you may be used to. Thankfully, the game engine can handle this. Unfortunately, almost every other aspect of gameplay is lacking. The game takes linearity to a new level. Although some levels have interesting features, all in all most are unimaginative and boring. Keeping with its linear play, there is nothing to explore outside of the direct path you must take to reach your destination. This is a pure run and gun title. There is no strategy. Nothing but a full on "shoot anything at moves" ideal. Occasionally, a level is spruced up with appearance of other soldiers that will follow you, but the AI of the game is so awful that they are nothing but a liability, unable to take down the weakest of the enemies without your help. Just in general, the AI of this game flat out stinks. Enemies either charge you or stand still. Most of the time sthey stand in the middle of an open area, not even moving when you start shooting them. They shoot back, but unless you are playing at least at the Hard difficulty, most of their shots don't hit you. Instead of the AI becoming more intelligent with each step in difficulty, the designers just chose to make the shots they fire more accurate, and add a few more enemies to the screen. The things we have gotten used to with modern FPS games, like cover fire, dodging and hiding, are all non-existent in Gore.
The netcode for Gore is nice and tight. Using a Gamespy based ingame browser, connections are simple. The server creation screen is a bit cluttered, but usable. With several players in the game, even heated fights with lots of explosions did not slow the game down. Mulitplayer is where Gore shines. Level design is interesting, and the maps scale well up to 16 players – although some of the smaller maps can get crowded. Weapon balance is a little off. Someone with a powerful weapon can dominate a map with little difficulty. To get around this issue, most maps have an overabundance of those more powerful weapons. I don't know if this was the best path to take, but it sure makes for some fast and frenetic games. Gameplay modes included the standard range of FFA to CTF, but also include team modes for them as well.
Gore is a Multiplayer game. Single player is depressingly unimaginative, and was obviously just tacked on more as an afterthought than an actual play mode. With bad sound, horrible AI and unimaginative gameplay, the only way this title stands out is its speed and the impressive engine that it runs on. Get it from the bargain bin in six months.