I remember playing a game by Konami, way back in the mists of time. That game was called Parodius, and while that was a great game, it has absolutely nothing to do with Prodeus, despite the two sounding the same in my lovely northern accent. 

Prodeus comes from developers Bounding Box Software, promising to take us back to a time when DOOM was king of the hill and when there wasn’t a computer network anywhere in the world without a copy of the classic installed. So, come back in time with me as we take a look at one of the best love letters/homages I have ever played.

prodeus review 1

Fire up Prodeus and you’ll discover that there is a severe lack of a story. But honestly, this game doesn’t really feel any the poorer for the lack of narrative. What we do have is a selection of levels, a selection of heavy weaponry and a selection of enemies, and we need to bring two of those components into contact with each other. That’s it: there is a pleasing simplicity to the fact that all we need to do is get from Point A to Point B, and make sure we leave nothing but empty shell casings and bits of monsters in our wake.

It looks good though and the visual quality of Prodeus will take gamers of my vintage all the way back to DOOM on the PC, back when the world was young. The way the game looks just screams retro 90’s boomer shooter, but it all moves at a very smooth, slick pace that belies the simple graphics. It’s helped that the enemies pixelate when you get close to them, and there’s sheer joy in the way they come apart when you hit them with a shotgun blast. In fact, the insane amount of blood and dismemberment makes Prodeus more fun than something that is very fun indeed.

The sound is another plus factor, with a wide range of shooty gun noises, monster screams, squelches as they fall to bits and a pumping heavy metal soundtrack that all combine to take me right back to the glory days of those FPS games. There are even colored keys that open coloured doors to contend with too. 

So we’ve seen that there is the traditional lack of story, and the traditional blood, gore and violence, but what about the actual gameplay of Prodeus, can that be as good as the original Doom? Well, the short answer is no, it isn’t as good as the original Doom. I’d go as far as to say that it’s better. See, playing Doom these days is an odd experience, as the enemies are always on the same level as you, even when they aren’t, if you get what I mean? In Prodeus, not only can we jump about the place like a demented rabbit, we can aim up and down, and take out enemies on different planes before we try to figure out how to get up there. 

prodeus review 2

The speed of Prodeus is a revelation as well, as despite the fact that with the style of the graphics it doesn’t feel like the Xbox is being asked to do any heavy lifting, everything is as fast and responsive as you could possibly hope for. The pace of the game feels silky smooth as you run about, and is a joy to control.

The gunplay is a big part of the draw in games like this, and it is sublime here as well. The difference between your puny fists, which are all you start the game with, through the weedy pistol all the way up a rocket launcher or a mini gun is what brings the booming fun. And every weapon has a different feel and quite often a secondary fire mode too, so a gun that fires red lightning looking rounds can be zoomed in and used like a sniper rifle, or the grenade launcher can change from firing regular grenades to sticky ones, for instance. Running around with twin sub machine guns is pretty cool, and you’ll soon find your favourite weapon.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, as there is a collectible kind of mechanic going on. Finding and collecting ore fragments will allow you to go to the shop and buy new weapons, such as a super shotgun or a plasma rifle. And don’t think the shop is just a single screen, oh no: it is an entire level, with various tests of gun control to complete in addition to being able to purchase not only guns, but upgrades as well.

Multiplayer has been included in the package as well, and while I am not a fan of the PvP modes, of which there are many (Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and more, for up to sixteen people), of most interest is the four player co-op mode, where you can get some like minded friends in to help you with the trickier levels. Failing that, you can join a random game to help out a stranger. Honestly, this is a ton of fun and time just flew by as we fought to destroy all. 

prodeus review 3

There is very little to complain about with Prodeus, and even after racking my brain, the only thing I can come up with is that the checkpoint system makes things a bit easy. It’s powered by “Nexus Points” and if you hit a Nexus Point, kill a load of baddies and die in a set piece, when you spawn in again, all the enemies you have killed will still be dead, but your ammo will be refilled. This makes the whole thing pretty straightforward, even on the harder difficulties. With a bit more of a challenge added to this mechanic, Prodeus would be nearing a perfect game.

Everything in Prodeus comes together to ensure that if you’re looking for a DOOM-styled shooter, this is one to take in. It looks great, comes with fast and fluid gameplay and allows you the chance to make the most of a whole host of guns. What more could you want?

Prodeus is on the Xbox Store

I remember playing a game by Konami, way back in the mists of time. That game was called Parodius, and while that was a great game, it has absolutely nothing to do with Prodeus, despite the two sounding the same in my lovely northern accent.  Prodeus comes from developers Bounding Box Software, promising to take us back to a time when DOOM was king of the hill and when there wasn’t a computer network anywhere in the world without a copy of the classic installed. So, come back in time with me as we take a look at one of…

Pros:

  • Great retro style to graphics
  • Gameplay is fast, frantic and gory
  • Guns are great to use and decide which you prefer

Cons:

  • Checkpoint system removes a lot of challenge

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 23 September 2022
  • Launch price from - £19.99
TXH Score

4.5/5

Pros:

  • Great retro style to graphics
  • Gameplay is fast, frantic and gory
  • Guns are great to use and decide which you prefer

Cons:

  • Checkpoint system removes a lot of challenge

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 23 September 2022
  • Launch price from - £19.99

User Rating: 4.7 ( 1 votes)
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