''Pariah'' is a FirstPersonShooter developed by Digital Extremes, co-developers of the VideoGame/{{Unreal}} series. It was released by Groove Games on May 3, 2005 for [[UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows PC]] and UsefulNotes/XBox. A UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 version was planned but never materialized. It used a modified version of the [[GameEngine Unreal 2 Engine]] and the [[WreakingHavok Havok physics engine.]]

[[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture It is the year 2520.]] Thirty years ago, the human [[OneWorldGovernment Alliance]] fought a war against a sinister and mysterious foe, the Shroud. We won, though in the process, [[EarthThatWas a large portion of the Earth's surface was turned into harsh wastelands: "The Zone."]] Most of humanity now lives in off-world colonies.

You play the role of Jack Mason, [[TheMedic a medic]] in the Alliance military whose been demoted numerous times for insubordination and [[ReassignedToAntarctica now gets stuck with all the crappy jobs.]] In this case, he's supposed to transport a woman named Karina off-world from a high-security prison called [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace The Anvil.]] She's carrying a [[PlayingWithSyringes highly-classified]] [[TheVirus transgenic virus]] that gives her [[PersonOfMassDestruction bizarre and destructive powers.]]

Only on his way out, his ship gets shot down by [[DisasterScavengers The Scavengers]], the inhabitants of the outlaw Zone. Karina is released from her stasis cell in the crash and runs off, leaving the player to go chase after her, which is where the game begins.

[[SoOkayItsAverage The game recieved mixed reviews]] and despite a small, dedicated fanbase pushing for the game to go pro, the CompetitiveMultiplayer never took off. A sequel was in development, though because ''Pariah'' was such a flop, the sequel became ''Warpath'', an unrelated (story-wise) game that retained this iteration's few good elements: namely, [[EvolvingWeapon the weapon upgrade system.]]

''Pariah'' provides examples of:

* AwesomeButImpractical: The Rocket Launcher. Its [[StuffBlowingUp ludicrous damage]] does not make up for the scarcity of its ammo, the lack of enemies that actually warrant its use, and the presence of equally good or better options when those enemies do appear.
* {{BFG}}: This being an VideoGame/{{Unreal}} engine game, ''all of them.'' First prize probably goes to the Shroud's "Titan's Fist" [[EnergyWeapon energy cannon]], only usable by [[TheVirus infected]] individuals.
* BoringButPractical: The Bulldog PDW. It's the first real weapon you get, but you are likely to use it well into the later stages. When upgraded, it attains the [[MoreDakka fastest fire rate]] out of all your weapons, with some decent accuracy to back it up. Add to that its plentiful ammo supply and the fact that it deals good damage to virtually every enemy type, and you can see why it's Mason's WeaponOfChoice in cutscenes and promo materials.
* CoolBike: The Scavengers make use of a large, three-wheeled off-roader with [[GatlingGood gatling guns.]]
* CollectionSidequest: The Weapon Energy Cores. Completely optional, they have no relevance to the plot other than a throwaway line from Jack connecting them to the Shroud.
* DeflectorShields: One of the powers granted by TheVirus is a personal energy barrier.
* [[spoiler:DownerEnding: Maybe the [[BuffySpeak downest.]] [[DrivenToSuicide Holy]] ''[[KillEmAll CRAP.]]'']]
* [[spoiler: DrivenToSuicide: Mason.]]
* DespairEventHorizon: Karina crosses it [[spoiler: when she sees [[DrivenToSuicide Mason shoot himself.]] [[PersonOfMassDestruction She being what she is,]] that means ''[[KillEmAll everybody else dies too.]]'']]
* DisasterScavengers: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Scavengers.]]
* EarthThatWas: A lot of it's still habitable, but the rest is outlaw wastes. [[ApocalypseHow It's not a total disaster area,]] but it's rough.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: [[spoiler: Mason finally exhibits powers very late in the game.]]
* EnemyMine: Karina and Mason are prisoner and captor, but are forced to work together to overcome the Scavengers.
* EvolvingWeapon: One of the highlights of the game (maybe the only one) was the ability to upgrade your weapons using modular "Weapon Energy Cores". Each weapon could be upgrades a total of three times and gained new and impressively destructive abilities as you did so.
* ExplodingBarrels
* GasMaskMooks
* GrenadeLauncher
* HealThyself: You have a medical injector that restores one bar of health per use and has to be reloaded like a weapon.
* HumanAliens: ''Maybe.'' [[spoiler: The Shroud are shown to be pale, hairless, corpse-like people vaguely resembling [[VideoGame/{{Unreal}} the Necris.]] What they actually are is never explained. Dialogue in the game referring to the war as "officially a domestic incident" and "bullshit politics" seems to equate them with terrorists more than anything else. Given the ties to ''Unreal'', the most likely explanation would be they are analogous to the Necris; a human group that figured out a way to reanimate the dead, used it to become a separate species and recruit followers, and then made an unsuccessful power play.]]
* InfraredXrayCamera: Upgrading the SniperRifle gives its scope function the ability to work like this. While it does avert the tendency for this sort of camera to see through walls, it only seems to pick up heat produced by enemies, and not by the surroundings.
* InformedAbility: Mason doesn't do a lot of healing (besides [[HealThyself himself]]) so much as [[ASpaceMarineIsYou shooting.]]
* InterfaceSpoiler: Mixed with AllThereInTheManual. The game's manual lists Alliance Soldiers in the enemies section, thereby spoiling the fact that [[spoiler:the Alliance betrays you]].
* LostInMediasRes: That blurb up there? That's literally ''all the exposition there is.'' There's a plot, sure, [[SelfDemonstratingArticle Just look at all these spoilers.]] Its just that it exists in near-vacuum.
* LostTechnology: One of Jack's monologues states that the Weapon Energy Cores were once Shroud technology used during the war. May or may not also be ImportedAlienPhlebotinum, given that it's not revealed what the Shroud are.
* ManipulativeBastard: Colonel Stockton, warden of The Anvil. [[spoiler: Not only does he pay the Scavengers to shoot down Mason's ship in order to capture Karina, but he then captures her himself and doesn't pay them. ''Then'' he infects himself with TheVirus and [[JerkAss tries to kill you.]]]]
* MeleeATrois: Scavengers, Alliance Security, and escaped Anvil prisoners will all fight each other as well as the player during the Anvil levels. Oddly, the A.I. characters do 0 damage to each other, so all fights between them will just grind on until the player intervenes.
* NotQuiteDead: The [[spoiler: Shroud.]] They're still around, they're pissed, and they'll likely make you [[DemonicSpiders reload your last save a few times.]]
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Karina. [[spoiler: [[LaserGuidedTykebomb She was created by the Shroud.]] Stockton briefly becomes one, though you [[OneWingedAngel clip his wings]] before he can realize his potential.]]
* {{Prison}}: The Anvil.
* RealIsBrown: Approximately four-fifths of the game uses this so heavily that the only textures you'll see much of are reddish-brown rocks, sand, concrete and rusty metal. The remaining fifth consist mainly of sterile-looking grey concrete or steel paired with UnnaturallyBlueLighting.
* RedShirt: Stubbs, the pilot of the ship ferrying you and Karina, and the only other friendly face in the game arms you with the Bulldog and helps you fight off the Scavengers for a few minutes in the first chapter before he's unceremoniously killed off-screen.
* RegeneratingHealth: A variant. You have 4 (upgrade-able up to 6) health bars that drain out as you take damage, starting from the rightmost one. A bar not completely emptied will regenerate on its own, but one completely drained requires the [[HealThyself use of your medical injector to be refilled]]. Emptying all those bars means [[CriticalExistenceFailure death, of course]].
* TheReveal: Several, but probably the biggest (and most unexpected) is that [[spoiler: Mason was working for the Shroud all along. After killing Stockton he [[MoralEventHorizon delivers Karina into their hands.]] Why? Because they can supposedly resurrect his dead daughter. When they refuse to do so, he has a HeroicBSOD, goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge to try and save Karina, and [[DrivenToSuicide then shoots himself]], prompting Karina to [[KillEmAll obliterate everything.]]]] ''Damn.''
* SequelHook: Somewhat unusual in that it's not explicit, but it's definitely there. It's shown earlier in the game that Karina is capable of [[spoiler: surviving the explosions she generates]], which hints that [[spoiler: she may have survived the massive explosion at the end of the game, even if no one else did]].
* SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat: The Scavengers, The Alliance troops, and finally [[spoiler: The Shroud.]]
* SphereOfDestruction: The chief ability granted by TheVirus. Kills {{Mooks}} dead.
* StandardFPSGuns: [[BoringButPractical Bulldog]] [[MoreDakka PDW]], GrenadeLauncher, [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Frag]] [[NonIndicativeName Rifle]], [[FrickinLaserBeams Plasma]] [[ChargedAttack Gun]], SniperRifle, [[StuffBlowingUp Rocket Launcher]] and [[spoiler: [[EleventhHourSuperpower Titan's Fist]]]]. It's just they're all [[{{BFG}} huge]] and can be [[EvolvingWeapon exponentially multiplied in power.]] [[spoiler: Except for the last one.]]
* StuffBlowingUp
* UnorthodoxReload: The [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Frag Rifle]] has a vertically-oriented internal magazine, cycling through the shells like a soda dispenser as it fires. Going with that metaphor, reloading it looks like stuffing a six-pack of shells into open port of the gun, before removing some sort of pin that held them all together.
* VehicularCombat: The story mode has a few instances where you can man an armed vehicle, and such vehicles are also available in multiplayer maps. While decent and perfectly playable, these instances seem [[FollowTheLeader rather derivative]] of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''.
* TheVirus: A top-secret bio-weapon that grants incredible powers but often at the risk of [[PowerIncontinence suddenly exploding.]] Karina is it's vector, and Mason gets infected during the crash, giving him an excuse to chase after her when she escapes.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: All of Stockton's villainous actions are done in order to obtain a means to fight the Shroud, whom Stockton feel are still a threat, despite his superiors' belief that they no longer exist and research into finding means of fighting them is no longer a priority. [[spoiler: And it turns out, Stockton is absolutely right.]]