2003 Reviews

Chaser

  • Review Date: 2008-10
  • Release Date: 2003-08
  • Developer: Cauldron HQ
  • Rating: 7.0

The engine was definitely an improvement over competitors such as the Quake 3 / id Tech3 engine. But this is 2003, and id Tech4 is only one year away. Chaser's main competition would have to come from Unreal II, and I'm afraid the two are hardly comparable.

Chaser had a variety of environments, plenty of which looked good such as; the sewers of Little Tokyo, a cold and snowy Soviet Union, the Mars Spaceport and underground Prison. In fact there were a few levels that really reminded me of Quake2, but being reminded of a game five years old isn't saying much for Chaser. The problem is, while there were good looking levels, there was nothing truly spectacular. And on top of that there were plenty of levels that looked well below average. There are too many rooms and corridors that look the same as the last, which makes the game rather disorientating. There were times when I was completely lost, despite the game being very linear.

On to the gameplay; it started off action-packed as you get a weak gun and face a plethora of tough enemies. The guns took some getting used to, as they seemed to lack firepower and substance. It felt like I wasn't holding a real gun, but a little toy that spews millions of rounds a second. And when the enemies get hit nothing really happened. After a while I did get used to the weapons and there are a LOT of weapons to choose from. Ammunition was never a problem, nor was health. Gameplay was in fact very fun, but only if you don't mind reloading aplenty. Your enemies can take you down fast - their weapons are quite powerful, so you need to make sure you kill them quick. The enemies were very repetitive all the way through the game - it might as well have been the same opponent with slightly different guns. But even until I finished the game I still enjoyed the gameplay, despite there being absolutely no big finale - the game just ended. Speaking of which, the disappointing and confusing ending did nothing for the game whatsover.

One last criticism of the game is that there are some parts that are very frustrating. The submarine levels were not only ugly, but disorientating and possibly the worst levels I've ever played in a first person shooter. Fortunately they don't last long, and most of the game is enjoyable. The graphics are a bit outdated and level design can be average at times, but it's still worth playing for the hardcore FPS fan, especially seeing as it's quite a long game.