The fast-paced retro FPS Dread Templar has recently made landfall on PC last January 27, 2023. The question is if the game was able to shake the foundations of the genre by bringing new content and innovations into the fray. To answer that question, we will take a quick overview of the game’s development history and critics’ review consensus. If you are one of those players who loves a good story, do not worry since our article does not contain hard spoilers. So if you are ready, read this overview and jump right into hell in T19’s Dread Templar game.
T19 Games’ Hell Hunt
On May 29, 2020, T19 Games posted Demo 0.610i which is a short tutorial for a dark shooter game called Hell Hunt on their itch.io page. In less than a year, Hell Hunt became Dread Templar in March 2021. With a new name in place, the developers focused playtests and Q&A events on its gameplay and other things.
In August 2021, Dread Templar entered the STEAM early access program until January 27, 2023. Fast forward to today, the game is a fully launched title in the STEAM library with a price tag of $14.99. Like most new releases, Dread Templar had its share of flaws. But, the good thing is that the developers were able to fix some of the issues in less than 12 days.
Some of the issues addressed include a health pack blocked by an invisible wall, direct activation of super-secret, and incorrect stat. Even better is that the developers are continuously encouraging the community to share their experience with the game. Which, for the most part, is a more than welcomed if not an uncommon gesture in the video game industry.
Dread Templar Game PC Review Consensus
Dread Templar, like every other major release title, has been through the scrutinizing eyes of the industry’s critics. With that said, let us take a quick look at what the consensus is on the game’s graphics, story, and gameplay. As of writing, the game has managed to get an average Metascore of 74/100 on Metacritic and a “Fair” rating from OpenCritic.
Dread Templar features a drab, pixelated, low-polygon 3D graphic style, which was highly popular in the 1990s. The game takes on a despondent and hostile tone where vile animals are waiting to erupt unexpectedly with violence in their eyes, in an effort to frighten the life out of you. There are a lot of eerie dungeons and moss-covered stone buildings that make the nightmare even worse. If the game’s indoor location smothers you and you intend to get some fresh air, do not assume that the eeriness will leave you alone.
All game features, such as weapons, characters, and landscapes in Dread Templar are handmade in a vintage pixelated art design typical to shooters from the 1990s. You may also apply one of five distinct filters to the game to provide it with a unique appearance. The game’s graphics are not for everyone, especially those who are not used to pixel-based artwork. Nevertheless, for those who are looking for a nostalgic experience, Dread Templar will not disappoint.
The plot revolves around the protagonist searching for vengeance against horrific beasts. The plot follows a youngster who after a horrific incident met an enigmatic figure wearing a black robe. The figure became his guide toward becoming a Dread Templar. As a Dread Templar, the protagonist can manipulate the dread force and enter the dark realm. The dark realm is where demons reside and he evolved to become their worst nightmare.
As far as plotlines go, Dread Templar is generic if not straightforward. It follows the typical revenge story structure: inciting tragedy – confrontation – rising action – the midpoint – resolution – pre-climax – climax – denouement. This means that if you are expecting some twists, there is little to nothing that you will find in this game. What it does offer is action-packed gameplay complete with bullet time effects.
The gameplay is similar to that of a traditional first-person game wherein players avoid projectiles by swerving to the side. Constant movement is one of the classic maneuvers to avoid becoming an easy target. Although players will not be doing this move in the early levels. They will eventually do so since the game features an escalating level of difficulty. This means that the game will hold your hand for a while before feeding you to the wolves midway.
You begin the game with two katanas and two pistols. When used up close, the katanas’ cutting blades can sever the hellspawn, although they are not that constrained. Merging these blades produces a projectile that, when hurled at foes, deals significant damage while allowing you to save ammunition. As a side note, the ability meter would need a few seconds to replenish after performing this move.
Three gameplay elements persist to ease the process a bit: first, the bullet time, to slow down time. Then there is the dash, which allows for a quick fire. Both bullet time and the dash comes with a cool-down system to prohibit users from abusing them too much. The other crucial feature is enhancement or upgrades.
Every single weapon at your disposal is upgradeable including a few of the protagonist’s talents. Upgrades require gathering various types of runes at each level. These runes can raise the power of pistols, rifles, or missile launchers, improve the rate of fire, and increase ammunition capacity. It can also open alternative assaults or substitute the two guns with upgraded versions.
Revenge… is Sometimes a Dish Best Served Hot
Going back to our question of whether the game’s landfall was able to shake the FPS genre, it has not. However, Dread Templar boasts enough elements to keep an FPS fan entertained for hours. Not to mention that the developers are continuously communicating with the players to make the game even better.
Although the game has its faults, they are just minor. The generic and fast revenge plot is enough to provide players with a bit of motivation to eliminate the demons in hell. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then this one is scorching hot. Overall, if you are looking for a new FPS challenge, then Dread Templar is definitely worth every penny.