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Strife: Veteran Edition (PC) Review

One of the older (and somewhat forgotten) FPS’ makes a surprise comeback.

Strife is a legendary retro shooter that redefined how first person shooter games worked back in the day when it was first released. It’s a Doom-esque game with maps that look eerily similar to the older Heretic titles and features character interactions, quests and a fascinating storyline that captivated people when it was first sold in stores worldwide.

Strife: Veteran Edition however, is a remastered version of the original game built to accommodate our modern era wide-screen monitors. The developers at Rogue Entertainment fleshed out the various models and textures to make it more appealing to young fans, while maintaining the luster that made the older fans love the game so much in the first place.

Graphics-wise, aside from improving the sprites and textures a little bit and making the game support the aforementioned wide-screen monitors, nothing much has changed with the game. Some people may think of that as a lazy misdemeanor by the developers behind this majestic title, but the appeal of the game lies in its ability to yank out the nostalgia in gamers who have played the game in their youth, while being interesting enough to entice the younger generation as well.

Strife looks and plays exactly how it did the first time I played it, but some things have changed indeed. The mouse is now fully supported, making the aiming a heck of a lot easier than it was the first time around, and the brighter colors make the maps and doors more recognizable. The monsters and people aiming to kill you look as interesting as they did when I was younger, and boy do the city guards still scare the living heck out of me. This goes to show that Strife, as old as it is, can still make an impact on more modernized gamers like myself.

Speaking of improvements, the sounds in the game are better than they did. I’m not really sure if the developers made any changes to the music, but the soundtrack does sound better than I remember. The various sound effects could have been remastered or entirely built from scratch, but what’s relevant is that the game sounds terrific. The older bleeps and bloops from the Doom-era made playing this game all over again fun and nostalgic, and at the same time, younger players may simply be entertained by the old-school effects thrown at them left and right.

Making a game like Strife play as good as it did, if not better, than when it was first released a few decades ago may seem like a horrifying and daunting task, but they managed to pull it off. The changes are as follows:

  • Support for high resolutions, with proper aspect ratio
  • OpenGL for video backend to provide portability and support for vertical sync
  • Dynamic lighting and bloom
  • Widescreen Support
  • Ability to rebind all keyboard, mouse and gamepad inputs
  • Steam Achievements
  • Steam Trading Cards

With the addition of the much needed multiplayer mode which was cancelled for the original release, here are the following additions that were left out from the original game

  • Capture the Chalice Multi-player mode
  • Marking of current objectives on the auto-map
  • Special HUD for the Torpedo Weapon

These changes are a very big thing for someone who has lived through the Doom-era of games, trust me. While these changes may seem minor, they are in fact much needed and will only add to the appeal of Strife.

The greatest thing about the original Strife was that it was innovative for its time. It blended the then-popular Doom-engine, first-person shooters, and elements from the role-playing games which were popularized by Nintendo and Square Enix (Squaresoft back then young ‘uns) at the time. The game has a fantastic storyline, engaging dialogue, and a challenging story mode which will require players to actually pay attention to what’s happening around them. There are no auto-regenrations or super-soldier enhancements, there’s you, your mouse and keyboard (or gamepad), and your skill.

Final Thoughts

Strife: Veteran Edition is a great game with a fantastic storyline, and finishing this game actually warrants you legitimate bragging rights… at least around people my age. Seriously though, it’s challenging, the puzzles actually make the player think, and reliving this gem is as wonderful as playing it for the first time.

Try it out, you won’t regret it.

About Benj

Benj likes video games, neckties and scotch. His favorite games include Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VIII. You may contact him at [email protected]

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