digitaleidoscope has a new home.
We’re going independent — losing the ads, dropping the “.wordpress” and opening the book to the next chapter. I hope you’ll join us over at the brand new digitaleidoscope.com, where this here blogger will live from now on.
Just to be clear, digitaleidoscope.wordpress.com, as of today, won’t be updated anymore. All new posts will be over at the new site. I’ll keep the old one up for quite a while, probably, in the hope of pointing the stragglers in the right direction.
Otherwise, there won’t be a whole lot going on here. Head on over to the new site and join the party!
This post is going to be fairly… spoiler-heavy. Or, at the very least, revealing — about a game that’s better played while it’s still mysterious and strange. If you haven’t played Betrayer, I urge you to check it out before reading any further. Or if a more general overview would help, I’ve got you covered over here.
Today, on the other hand, we’re going to get into the meat of Betrayer. We’re going to talk about things that I couldn’t (or didn’t want to) bring up in my more surface-level review. I’ve finished a second playthrough, mulled over the experience for almost a month, and now I’m itching for a detailed critique. Also — I just love this game too much to leave it at one post.
Let’s begin with the most obvious part…
A World Without Color
Or rather, a world with one color: red.
Betrayer is not what you think it is.
Even if you’ve seen screenshots or watched trailers, it’s still probably not quite what you’re expecting. Which is actually great, because half the joy of Betrayer is the slow process of discovering just what the heck it is.
When you wash up on the shore of this strange land, some surface details will be immediately apparent. The first-person perspective. The striking monochrome visuals. The profound lack of information or context.
Two years ago, in the early days of this blog, I wrote a post about Ascendancy II.
It was in part a celebration of Ascendancy, the people who created it, and the immense role the game played in my childhood… and in the other part it was a vaguely bitter and definitely melodramatic rant about The Logic Factory saying they might develop the sequel to Ascendancy on a platform I had no access to. So — pretty on par with the quality and professionalism you should expect from the first year or so of my blogging career.
Here’s the weird part: that post is the most visited page on this blog. With almost double the hits of my next most popular post. Even now there’s still a slow trickle of people coming here for that post alone. And while it’s no longer the case, for a long time I was on the first page of the Google search results when you typed in “ascendancy 2.”
That says a lot if you look between the lines. For starters, people love Ascendancy just like I do — and they want to know what’s up with the sequel. Not a big surprise, since the old fans have been waiting for a sequel for almost twenty years, and the iOS port created a whole new generation of fans to join us in the waiting game.
We’ve got work to do.
We finally know what the ultimate goal of Thor’s Hammer was. And where their base is.
But we’re on the clock. Their grand plan is even more ambitious than we thought. It’s not the panzerkleins or the beam weaponry alone that they’ll use to take over the world. Any moment now, they’ll be launching a weapons platform into orbit. It’ll be capable of hitting any place on Earth — wiping any city, or country, from the map if they oppose the Hammer.
That orbital weapon is preparing for launch as we speak at the Hammer base in the North Sea. Closer than we ever imagined. And somewhere inside that base must be the enigmatic leader we’ve only heard addressed by her first name: Helena.
When we get Berger back to our interrogator, he confirms what we’ve already guessed… and gives us the full name of our enemy.
The winding, labyrinthine halls of Berger’s factory all lead to this last corridor. All his men were guarding this final room.
I guess we should have taken a peek inside before we all shoved through the door.
And shut it behind us?
Let me get this straight. You couldn’t make it as the hero in dumb action movies, so you decided to be a dumb action hero in real life.
…more or less.
Uncle Petr, owing us a favor, lets us raid the building. Not only that, but he doesn’t even get upset when we start rifling through locked containers! And firing weapons inside! And breaking into the top secret documents in the basement!
Doom turns 21 tomorrow.
That’s right — my baby is gonna be old enough to drink. Before it turns to a life of debauchery and sin, though, I thought we’d take a look back at the baby pictures. Or the toddler pictures, more like.
Doom, 2.5 yrs old (July 1996)
This is Memento Mori II, one of the earliest — and greatest 32-level megaWADs of all time. What can I say about it that hasn’t been said before?
I have to confess that I didn’t play the Memento Mori twins when they came out in ’96. I didn’t touch them until 2002 when I first got into PWADs. But even then, finding Memento Mori II was a revelation. Now it’s been twelve more years; replaying it in 2014, does it hold up?