Duke Nukem creator 3D Realms is back with a new Steam FPS game inspired by 90s, boomer shooter classics like Doom and Blood, and David Szymanski’s retro-style throwback hit Dusk. So if you like Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, or any of the old Build engine favourites, then listen up.
Created by Jason Smith, under the label Jasozz Games (3D Realms acts as publisher), Cultic is a loving, fast-paced, and gory tribute to 90s shooters.The biggest influence is Blood, the brutally tough and occult-themed hit from future Shadow of Mordor developer Monolith. But Doom, Heretic, and Rise of the Triad are all big, stylistic influences. There’s even a nod to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, courtesy of the mighty FG-42 machine gun, and the flamethrower – if you ask me, anyway – bears more than a passing resemblance to Half-Life’s gluon gun.
The premise is simple. Well, simple in 90s shooter terms. There’s an evil cult. You’re a dead police detective. After somehow getting reincarnated, you’ve got to grab your guns and hunt down the occultists who are apparently responsible for a slew of grisly murders. Pick up health and armour, find secret rooms, and circle strafe around hordes of beautifully pixelated enemies while blowing them to bits. If you’re after an alternative to some of the more sombre shooters of today, or just want an excuse to relive the classics, Cultic is a terrific balance of old-fashioned fun, and slick, modern mechanics, with the added bonus you can try it on Steam for free.
You might also want to revisit some of the best old games, or perhaps, given the time of year, the best Halloween games. This is also a great time for indie games, especially when you’re after shooters and RPGs.