sorry, goodbye chico
I write here as I look back into my childhood days. Vietcong, Half-Life, Call of Duty, Chaser,etc, etc.. many FPS´s back in the day. I remember chaser as an atmospheric, difficult, original and graphically impressive game. And I think I´m right with that. For a game that was released in 2003, the graphics were some, if not the best the industry could deliver at its time. Especially the textures and level art. So I took an hour of proper checking of what I once experienced and tried to match my subjective opinion with my objective. We want to stay fair right? Then let´s begin.Story:
Well, as a kid you never really care about the story unless it´s extremely compelling, but so you know what´s going on I took a short example from wikipedia.
John Chaser, the game's main character, awakens on board the space station H.M.S. Majestic. He does not know who he is, what he's doing there, why he is being sought by men in black uniforms and what they will do to him when they find him. The player's goal in the game is to find out who Chaser really is and why he is being hunted. The story leads the player from the H.M.S. Majestic to the fictional Montack City on Earth, then on to Siberia, and finally to Mars, where the trail ends and hopefully the truth can be found. The story is around 15 to 20 hrs long..... the game isn´t really compelling, but it makes curious at times. I´m quite right when I say the game was never really great for it´s narrative.Art, Atmosphere, Design, Soundtrack, etc:
One of the strong points of this game is its sci fi atmopshere, which reminds of movies such as total recall, as the plot is similar. The devs took inspiration from it and you can see it. Atmosphere literally oozes everywhere. The settings change from downtown, space stations to siberian complexes, a lighthouse, a japanese penthouse with garden, and so on. The level design is simple, linear but with many pathways, it´s not totally open yet not really linear either. It is linear but it fees very open. Illusions so to say. But be aware that it can be very complex and irritating at times as you find yourself often lost. Take your time and have patience. A good memory is required. The soundtrack fits the gameplay and situations and as a few destruction scripts destroy something, the soundtrack makes you wonder why not more FPS´s these days could have such great fitting ambientthemes. They are subtle, but always with a charme and fitting sense of being well placed.Enemies, AI, Gameplay, Gunplay, Difficulty, Mouse Controls, etc:
Now I´m being very rational and strict. The AI is average to bad. They are capable of moving and taking cover. Cover in the sense of running behind crates and staying there. Enemies have different AI patterns and different intelligence. The thugs run n´ shoot, the cyborg ninjas duck, roll and are way way more precise. It goes on like that. The AI does its job. Not too bad, not outstanding too though. Don´t expect a F.E.A.R. AI but also don´t expect a Medal of Honor Warfighter AI, it´s not smart yet not too heavily scripted. Scripted non the less though. There are different kinds of enemies as stated. Ninjas, Yakuza, common street thugs, MARSCORP soldiers, Siberian russian soldiers, etc... Always expect people as your enemies, but with different patterns of intelligence and tactics. Therefore the gameplay is strictly First Person Shooting with lots of guns which you pick up during your journey. For example: a Famas with grenade launcher, sniper rifles, all kinds of smg´s, etc up to rocket/grenade launchers. Old school, carry n spray. You mostly fire from the hip. You got different crosshairs to choose from and no aiming down the sight except with special weapons such as sniper rifles. The gunplay feels solid. Enemies react decently to being hit, if they react at all... you got your blood at walls, animated blood sprites, different recoil patterns with different hit patterns. Technically solid game as stated earlier. The game does its job as an old shooter very well. Especially the smooth and accurate mouse controls are great. They can be too high for low or mid sense players though. If you use a mouse with a higher dpi than 1600 you should be aware that aiming is going to be frustrating. Otherwise you might need to lower your windows mouse settings. The difficulty is depending on the difficulty you´ve chosen, either very easy or hell. You have easy, normal and hard. Try to go with normal at first. If you have masochistic tendencies go with hard. You move rather fast, so dodging and proper hipfiring is key to survival. You can always lower the difficulty ingame. Makes testing out the perfect difficulty all the better. You also got adrenaline mode which is slowing down time. Slow mo time.
BUT BE AWARE! The last few levels are ♥♥♥♥ing tedious! Bulletspong enemies even on easy with sometimes rocket launchers in close quarters combat and windows and often in the distance with only a assault rifle and mediocre sniper on your arsenal, your own rocket launcher being ♥♥♥♥... the mars missions are a ♥♥♥♥ up. Nothing game breaking, but for people with low patience... definitely a pain in the ♥♥♥.Technical aspects, value:
The game even back in the day offered resolutions up to 1080p. A very well advanced game for its time and it gave the player a wide variety of the common typical graphic options such as textures, anisotropc filter, shadows, etc.. It´s stable, not many bugs are known, most bugs can be avoided and therefore a recommended steam title. But the game had level breaking bugs on some discs. I can remember the german version being solid while the british edition I got was a mess. Maybe it was just my copy, my PC or anything else but don´t take it seriously if I say it´s bugfree. It just doesn´t show them well. GoG should be better for those who want to save this game and have it DRM free. On sale its 1,24.... nothing to go wrong with. 5 bucks... only if you truly love old school sci fi cyberpunkish shooters with lots of playtime.
BUT REMEMBER THAT THE LAST LEVELS ARE TEDIOUS, BORING, MASOCHISTIC AND UNFAIR. The ending gets real hard so only play this game when you feel like you don´t want to finish it anyway or you are loving a challenge!
I hope I could help. As my favorite quote from the game would say: "Goodbye, chico" *dies* I imply that you are going to die a few times while playing it. The multiplayer more or less is dead, but I once had a match with someone online and it was hella fun. GameSpay Servers were down but check this link out: http://steamcommunity.com/app/39670/discussions/0/846939854396133274/?l=german