bloodBlood is an alumni from the early days of the fps genre, and its graduating class includes Hexen, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, and Marathon. Back in those days, you didn’t need AI companions, ragdoll physics, quick-time events, a fancy 3D graphics engine, or any other neat bells and whistles to get players into your game, just guns, blood, and gore. Developed by Monolith and 3D realms, Blood utilized an enhanced version of the Build engine that had previously been seen in Duke Nukem 3D. It may not exactly have changed the way we look at gaming, but like many other games released during the period, it was chaotic grisly fun.

You step into the shoes of Caleb, one of the most brutal gunslingers in the old west. After meeting a woman named Ophelia, you become a member of the Cabal, a cult worshiping a dark demon god. One day, this god betrays you, Ophelia, and two of your fellow Cabal members, and kills the 4 of you. Some time later, you rise from your grave, seeking revenge and answers. You are granted a selection of weaponry that ranges from traditional (sawed-off shotgun) to unorthodox (a voodoo doll). Most of the weapons have two different functions. For instance, the flare gun’s primary firing mode lodges a flare into an enemy which explodes in a few seconds. Its secondary fire launches a big explosive ball which blows up on contact. The blood and gore get pretty extreme even by today’s standards almost. Humanoid characters scream as they die, images of graphic torture and execution are present throughout the levels, and most of the weapons kill enemies in the a grisly manner. You can even kick their decapitated heads around like soccer balls! As you can see, this is not a game for the young or the squeamish.

Years before Condemned and F.E.A.R, Monolith productions knew how to make games with a creepy and foreboding atmosphere, and Blood was proof of that. It’s fast=paced action, unique weaponry, and extreme violence represented everything that was good about the FPS genre at the time. Blood was followed up by a sequel a few years later, and both games (along with their expansion packs) are available on Old school FPS fans will want to give them a look. Blood may not be Modern Warfare 2, but it’s just as fun and memorable.