Prodeus is a Retro-Styled fast-paced FPS reminiscent of old school boomer shooters like classic Doom. It features satisfying combat with a strong metal soundtrack to make you feel like the demon slaying one man army we’ve come to expect. Although Prodeus provides a single player campaign to go through, the story definitely takes a back seat here. The plot is only shown through brief descriptions of each level from the world map.
The combat stays true to its genre and doesn’t try any new or unnecessary changes in pace or mechanics. It consists of your typical array of weapons: Starting Pistol, Shotgun, SMGs, Sci-fi Rifle, Stronger Shotgun, Minigun, Rocket Launcher, Grenade Launcher. Most of which have a secondary fire mode and are all just as capable of painting each and every corridor of the map red with over the top gore effects. The gun play is great, with the gun feedback feeling powerful and satisfying. Each weapon has a unique style of play and allows you to take different tactical approaches should you choose to think beyond running in at full speed, rapidly clicking.
Filled with a wide array of enemy types similar to its inspiration: melee soldier, gun soldier, fire throwing imp, fast tanky demon, flying explosive demon, and so on. These enemies do feel a little disappointing, as they have become the standard for this genre. Although they are reliable, the art design isn’t as iconic as we have seen from the classics that inspired Prodeus, they do make an interesting twist. The enemies are then split into two factions, one with blue eyes and one with orange eyes. These factions will often fight each other as well as you whenever they cross during the story, which keeps levels interesting due to turning a siege on enemy hordes into an active warzone. The new types of enemies you have not yet encountered are introduced at regular intervals during the campaign, with a smaller handful of enemies to get used to the new threat. Then thrown back in towards the end of the levels where rooms are bigger and packed full of enemies to give you one last intense showdown before moving to the next mission.
Prodeus has taken the 2D sprites’ art style to stay true to its inspiration, but has decided to go with its own twist. Each object in the game is composed of high detail art, with separate sprites for each angle that you view an enemy from, including different frames for each animation and even vertical lines of sight. Not to mention there’s the gore aspects, attacks resulting in loss of limbs and body damage consistent from every angle possible. Although it would have been much easier to move to 3D models or even just the standard 2 or 3 sprites as you see in old FPS games that inspired Prodeus, this feels like a feature that they are particularly proud of and makes it really stand out. It elevates it to something more interesting than any other method they could have used, and shows effort and passion the devs have for this game and the history of the FPS genre.
Where the art style does let Prodeus down is the colour scheme. The levels are all painted with a darker, dingy palette of greys and browns which works well for the levels mostly based around run down rusted spaceships and facilities built into barren and jagged rocky scenery. However, the enemies are then painted in the same palette with an extra splash of orange or blue, depending on the faction. This makes the visuals bleak and although the combat stays fast, messy and entertaining it does still take away from the overall experience.
The level design is perfected for this genre in Prodeus. It uses a combination of well laid out paths and constantly spawning new enemies in the direction you need to head to next to completely ruin the chance of getting lost and frustrated. It uses the typical method of colour coded key cards being required to move on to the next stage or press a button here to open a door there, but for a default campaign the simplicity works and doesn’t feel lazy or weak.
Each level has stats and medals for any completionist out there who wants to know just how much of a mess they have made in each mission, this shows the percentage of enemies killed, secrets found, number of deaths and time to complete. There is also a level editor built into the game and a method for browsing custom campaigns and levels, which is promoted as much as the main campaign of the game.
Overall, Prodeus is an incredibly fun and well-made interpretation of old school FPS classics. Its intentions are pure, and it’s a strong tribute passionate project made by a team who want to build what they enjoy, providing for the FPS community. If you enjoy Doom or any games similar to it, then Prodeus is a must-try. The fast-paced movement, extreme gore, and the metal soundtrack really perfects the tribute that Prodeus is making to classics like Doom. It Takes a risky but brave creative artistic choice and provides more of that classic FPS vibe!
- Great Level Design.
- Fun and Engaging Gameplay.
- Lots of Replayability.
- The sprites can often blend with backgrounds.
- Slightly generic enemy types.
- Somewhat limited plot.