Oldschool FPS action!
8Bit Killer is a retro first-person shooter inspired by classics in the genre as well as S/NES-era gaming. In the 25th century, an alien known as the Master Brain has ushered in a new era on Earth, and all who oppose it are crushed. This game is an account of the final acts of the last resistance holdouts (of which you are a member).
On the surface, 8Bit Killer seems to simply mimic earlier titles in the FPS genre, such as the classic Wolfenstein games. It features pixelated graphics, 2D enemy sprites and chiptune music. Staying true to form, it also stays far away from concepts such as jumping, sprinting and vertical aiming. As a fan of original Doom and similar classic shooters, I'd be pleased with even "more of the same" as long as it was competently made (which this title is).
Looking a bit deeper, you'll find that 8Bit Killer is also heavily influenced by a number of classic console games, both in terms of aesthetics and gameplay. I found myself using combat strategies learned so long ago in Mega Man, Metroid and Contra - and to my surprise they translated quite well to a 3D environment.
Many of the enemies (particularly the bosses) looked and acted like they were part of my childhood gaming experience, and the adrenaline-pumping chiptune songs had me recalling a number of classic action titles. Between levels, dialogue scenes feature portraits of the characters in a way that reminds me heavily of NES-era favorites.
8Bit Killer is absolutely steeped in nostalgia, which admittedly can be a double-edged sword. Older players will catch the nods to oldschool gaming and generally accept the game's (self-imposed) limitations. Newer generations will mostly balk at the low-quality visuals, crudely rendered music, and lack of features that have long been standard in the genre. Regardless of your appreciation for 8Bit Killer's style, you have to admit it remains pretty faithful to the content it's inspired by.
While I enjoyed the game immensely, it could use a few minor tweaks. For starters, the 'Esc' key quits the game entirely with no prompt. This is a glaring oversight, especially since the weapon selection screen also serves as the pause menu. It's gamer instinct that pressing Escape from either of these screens resumes play. I suppose one could argue this is mimics old PC games, but realistically there's no reason to punish your players so severely for hitting one wrong key these days.
Speaking of weapon selection, I was kind of surprised to find a lack of both selection via number keys and a cycling feature. Having gotten as far as I did though, I learned to appreciate the pause feature included in weapon selection. It gave me a chance to decide what weapon would be most useful for the situation and made managing ammo something you had to consider.
Sadly, I did happen upon a fairly annoying glitch against the first boss. I was killed by its missile barrage while I was close to the building's edge. For some reason, the entire perspective skewed drastically (as if I fell off the building) and the helicopter kept firing when the game should've brought up a continue prompt. I had no choice but to exit and play the game over from the beginning.
These few issues aside, I was well pleased with 8Bit Killer as a whole. There's a certain charm to classic shooters that's both dated, yet timeless. The added console nostalgia was just icing on the cake... and I can't wait to get myself another slice!