Amid Evil is a wild, weird, and wonderful retro-inspired FPS that ditches the traditional shooter arsenal of pistols and SMGs in favour of more exotic weapons. Like a magic staff that shoots planets or a sword that flings waves of energy.
Almost two years ago former Kotaku writer Heather Alexandra wrote about Amid Evil and called it a “frantic, first-person burst of blood and magic” and she’s absolutely correct. But for whatever reason, I skipped Amid Evil and never played it back when it came out. So for Kotaku’s continuing Backlong Month, I fixed that mistake and played Amid Evil.
Holy shit, I should not have waited this long to play Amid Evil.
Amid Evil has more in common with classic fantasy shooters like Hexen or Heretic than Doom or Quake. And like Hexen or Heretic, Amid Evil doesn’t use shotguns or assault rifles, instead, its weapons include magic staffs, powerful swords, and deadly morningstars.
But these aren’t used as melee weapons. Instead, they all (with the exception of the big axe you start out with) shoot different types of projectiles using various coloured mana. Some weapons, like the water staff, use blue mana. Other weapons, like the Star of Torment, rely on green mana. The most powerful weapons use orange mana. Collect enough of this stuff and you’ll be able to shoot literal planets at your enemies using the Celestial Claw. It’s fantastic.
Each of these weapons takes only a few seconds to learn, but as you encounter new enemies in each episode of Amid Evil, you’ll learn certain weapons work better against some foes. Well except the Aeturnum, which is this game’s BFG equivalent. It kills everything real good. The kind of weapon you pull out when shit gets too chaotic and you need to clear a room. Though I call it a weapon, it uh…doesn’t look like most guns in most games.
Yeah, sure, I’ll stick my hand in that thing and kill stuff with it. Why not?
The other weapons aren’t as strange-looking, but like the Aeturnum they are so much fun to use. My personal favourite is probably the Star of Torment, which shoots out a burst of metal spikes that send most enemies flying backward and sticks them to nearby walls and cliffs.
And a fun bonus: They all possess secondary abilities that activate after you kill a bunch of enemies. For example, the axe you start with turns into a mini-blender that lets you rip through crowds of baddies as effectively as the Doomguy chainsawing demons.
I’ve already completed the first two episodes of Amid Evil and I’m ready for more. If you are craving a fun, satisfying shooter that isn’t filled with more terrible pistols and assault rifles, give this game a shot.
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