CULTIC – Review
Follow Genre: Retro FPS
Developer: Jasozz Games
Publisher: 3D Realms
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Switch
Tested on: PC

CULTIC – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: It feels like those good old retro games
Bad: The story is falling short
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Some publishers get famous for one specific type of game and hold on to it like it’s the last candy bar on Earth. One of those publishers is 3D Realms (did you know they were first only known as Apogee back in the day?). That 3D Realms is known for its shooters isn’t so weird, as the tactic back then was to make a different brand/publisher for each genre of gaming. This is also how you already know what genre CULTIC will be, a game that’s been developed by Jasozz Games.

Story

CULTIC starts with a rich and promising cinematic intro (a montage with background music as the only sound) about mysterious murders tied together by a red thread on a pinboard, and a detective who decides to investigate them as he picks up his gun, badge, and car keys. After that, this entire set-up falls completely silent, which we actually found quite disappointing. As you might have seen by the game’s score, it’s quite good, but it would be so much better if there was more of a story to enjoy as we assumed there would be from the opening scene. In the end, it turned out to be one of those games that have a bunch of notepads or letters scattered around to give tiny background stories to the game as a whole, but it did feel like something was missing. Of course, the entire theme with the cult is still nice.

Graphics

Walking around in this world feels a lot like walking in a reworked game from the old days. This is done by combining low-poly models, voxels (3D pixel art), and sprites (2D pixel art) and applying some custom shaders and effects to it. It feels good and is absolutely well done, and CULTIC also has some bits that feel tense with a thick air of horror. The downside to all of this “sauce” is that while environments change, they sometimes also look heavily alike as everything is mainly shaded with grey and brown tints. Other than that there are multiple enemy types present throughout the game and all their animations, and others such as your guns, are nicely done.

Sound

CULTIC is a game that knows when to remain silent, as you walk in a spooky environment laughing nervously to yourself, saying there won’t be some creepy enemy lurking around here for sure and the game just stares at you with a smile. When there is music though, it’s great to listen to as it’s a blast from the past. The music has been made to sound like it’s limited by the technology of times past, with lower-quality audio and a tiny bit of grain/static sprinkled in. Sound effects coming from enemies and guns are pretty alright, though we feel that especially the scariest enemies could have used a bit more scary sounds to enhance the impact they make as they are rather silent now.

Gameplay

In its essence, CULTIC is no different than any other (retro) FPS. You run around the world, shooting mainly sprites, and there are different types of enemies that might give you a hard time. The game has a few pretty intense moments, but luckily it also provides you with a pretty large arsenal as well as ammunition over time, which is why we had absolutely no issues beating the game at the normal difficulty. There’s a handgun, axes, dynamite, but also later on a sniper rifle, machine gun, and more. That’s why, for those who want a challenge, there’s also a hard, very hard, and extreme difficulty. If you want to do something else, you can play the survival mode to defend against waves. The game feels nice and smooth to play, and shots feel impactful as they should.

While CULTIC lacks a proper follow-through on its story, it does keep the cultist theme alive throughout the entire game, which means it sometimes also feels a bit like a horror-survival game. We felt that this title got inspired by multiple others. The enemy design and the weapons you have are strongly reminiscent of Blood (Blood: One Unit Whole Blood later reworked for PC as Blood: Fresh Supply) where the most common enemies are called Cultists, which is actually too much of an overlap. There’s some of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and the original DOOM in there as well though, and the game as a whole still feels like a unique product that stands tall on its own. This is largely thanks to good level design, where different locations and big-sized maps with occasional multiple approaches possible give the game an edge that makes it highly enjoyable.

Conclusion

We completed the entirety of CULTIC aside from the survival levels, and upon completion, we felt the urge to play it again on a higher difficulty. That alone says a lot about the quality of a game as we enjoyed the overall work that has been put into it with the retro graphics, music, tense vibes, and good combat. While we were disappointed in the story, it’s still a great game for any of us who are into retro FPS games, and we recommend it wholeheartedly.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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CULTIC - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Impaler – Review
    January 24, 2023, 00:01

    […] These consist of totally new creations but also remakes and sequels for old classics. Think of Cultic or Nightmare Reaper as homages to the past, or the popular, new DOOM series where DOOM Eternal is […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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