Do you remember the days when you could run backwards just as fast as you could forwards? When you were allowed to carry more than two weapons onto the battlefield? When plots could generally be summed up by the words ‘bad stuff’s gone down?’ Brad Carney, creator of Wrack certainly does, and he misses them.
To say that Wrack wears its Doom inspirations on its sleeve would be an understatement. It would be more accurate to say it has the word Doom tattooed across its forehead in huge bold letters. In blood. From the small indie studio Final Boss Entertainment, Wrack is an old-school FPS currently under development, where terms like ‘realism’ and ‘grittiness’ are avoided like a cacodaemon with a cold.
“You are Kain Sager. A vigilante who’s stayed prepared… you’ve not gone soft in these prosperous times. Taking matters into your own hands, you now stand as Earth’s last hope. Good luck, Kain! The fate of mankind rests on your shoulders.”
So aliens have occured. Nothing new there then. But whilst it may have a setting, Wrack certainly has no intention of pouring pints of hot, steaming plot down your throat. The plot is about as important to Wrack as it was in Doom, by which I mean not even slightly. The back story of the game could just as easily be ‘You’ve got some guns, a glowing sword, and stuff wants to kill you. Have fun.’
Brad has absolutely no qualms about dumping realism in favour of fun. Movement is absurdly fast paced, almost excessively so. Used to the slow lumbering pace of modern ‘realistic’ FPS titles I spent most of my first playthrough bouncing off walls at high speed like some kind of gun-toting pinball. You can expect to be able to leap large distances in single bounds, dodge around incoming gunfire and then jam your glowing sword into an alien skull.
Despite its old-school ambitions, Wrack isn’t afraid to learn from history. The early build I had a chance to play with featured mid-mission boss encounters to break up the pacing, along with checkpoints to quickly recover from unexpected periods of being dead. To encourage re-playability, it will also incorporate a variety of modes. Time-attack will allow players to compete through an online scoreboard in achieving absurdly quick run-throughs. Score-attack mode will encourage players to build kill-combos through stringing well-chained attacks together.
But the most exciting news is for your ears. Wrack’s music is composed by a certain Bobby Prince, whose best-known and most enduring work includes the soundtrack for some obscure old game called Doom. From what I’ve had a chance to hear, it’s the same blend of fast paced rock that kept pulling you forward deeper into hell, and I can’t wait to experience more of it.
Whilst a final release date has not yet been announced, Wrack will be available for pre-order from May 25th, which will allow you access to early builds of the game.
For more information, visit the Wrack website here.