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Video Game / WRATH: Aeon of Ruin

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WRATH: Aeon of Ruin is a First-Person Shooter co-published by 3D Realms and Fulqrum Publishing. Similar to 3D Realms' own Ion Fury, which runs on a modified Build Engine, WRATH runs on another 90's game engine, namely the Quake engine*, and it's developed by Quake modding scene veterans, to boot (under the name KillPixel Games); chief among them is Jeremiah "KillPixel" Fox, who'd been working on WRATH for years before 3D Realms contacted him and offered to help him make the game. WRATH takes inspiration from the very game it shares an engine with, alongside several other 90's FPS titles.

In the game, you take on the role of Outlander who, after a time drifting the Ageless Sea, washes up on shore to find a world in the grasp of death. The Old World is gone. But dark forces still remain. A white-cloaked figure known as the Shepherd of Wayward Souls sets upon you a monumental task: hunt down the Guardians of the Old World that are still standing. As implied by their title, these huge angelic beings used to guard the world from threats, but corruption has turned them evil, and it's up to you to kill them all. You'll trek ruins, plunge into darkness, and fight the most terrifying of monsters on your way to each Guardian. It's a journey you're highly unlikely to come back from alive... but hey, it's worth a shot.

WRATH released in Early Access on PC via Steam and GOG on November 22nd, 2019, but this was only a taste of first blood; after several delays, the game's full release landed on PC (with the addition of the Epic Games Store) and Linux on February 27, 2024. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch ports will release April 25th of the same year, and a Mac port is forthcoming.

You will not survive WRATH: Aeon of Ruin's examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • The Retcher fires glowing green cysts that stick to walls and explode once enemies get close. If Outlander's animation upon first picking up the weapon is any indication, he's not a fan of having to handle them.
    • The Fang Spitter fires fangs. Appropriately enough, enemies that possess them will drop them upon death.
    • The Slag Cannon is a big portable furnace that fires projectiles made of molten metal ore.
  • Action Bomb: Covered in explosive cysts, the Afflicted enemies blow up and cause damage if you get too close.
  • Armor Points: There are two types of armor. Damage Reduction Armor, whose points are displayed as a smaller number compared to regular Hit Points in order to make room for the Body Armor as Hit Points dark armor points on top, which would be Hit Points.
  • Attack Deflector: The Orb of Deflection summons a shield around the Outlander that deflects any incoming projectiles while it is active.
  • Ballistic Bone: The Fang Spitter weapon... well... spits fangs at your enemies. Sometimes they're the fangs of your enemies.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Outlander has a blade equipped on his right forearm called the Ruination Blade; it serves as the game's melee weapon.
  • Blatant Item Placement: There are health and ammo pickups scattered about the game world as is tradition, but ammo can also drop from enemies, as well. Special mention goes to ammo for the Fang Spitter and Retcher, which are dropped from the Heretic/Widow and Afflicted enemies, respectively. Basically, you're stealing parts of their bodies as ammo for your weapons.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: There's the traditional retro FPS armor that only reduces the amount of health you lose when attacked, but there also exists dark armor, which is a separate value from normal armor; it must be depleted before normal armor (if you have it equipped) is affected by damage, and it also protects you from damage completely.
  • Body Horror: Most enemy types display this to some degree.
  • Chest Blaster: The primary weapon of Wretches is a large energy cannon, implanted where their chest cavities and lower jaws used to be.
  • The Goomba: The Fallen, which are slow and weak zombies that can be dispatched with a couple of hits of your Ruination Blade.
  • Hub Level: The game has three hub worlds to explore, each with five levels and a boss once those levels are all completed; you can choose which order you want to tackle the levels in, but those you pick towards the beginning will be easier than if you chose to enter them later on, since the difficulty scales dynamically with each level you complete.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Cruel Aegis Artifact grants you temporary invincibility when activated... but in exchange, your health is reduced to a measly 1 HP, so it's best to use it if there are healing items around or you have some Life Siphons to spare.
  • Life Drain: The Life Siphon Artifact heals you for every enemy you kill while it's active. You gain a different amount of health depending on each type of enemy you kill.
  • Light Is Not Good: True to the game's flavour text, the Guardians are immense, white-and-gold beings resembling amalgamations of religious icons and statues. They're still evil and out for your blood, so you gotta take them down regardless.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Expect body parts to fly around a lot when you get busy tearing through your enemies.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: By virtue of having mouths that extend down their torsos, the Widow enemies have a lot of teeth. On the bright side, it means quite a bit more ammo for the Fang Spitter to use when you kill one.
  • Retraux: The game is a throwback to early 3D First Person Shooters; it even runs on a modified version of the Quake engine. The 90's Windows logo is used in the announcement trailer when listing the platforms it supports.
  • Save Token: The Soul Tether item allows you to save your progress in a specific place so that if you die, you'll return to that place. It's kind of important, seeing as it replaces quicksaving in WRATH. You can build up a collection of Soul Tethers (99 of them, to be exact), but they should still be used wisely.
  • Secondary Fire: Every weapon in the game has an alternate attack:
    • The Ruination Blade has a charge attack that, when the button is released, sends you lunging forward through enemies. It's also useful for getting across gaps.
    • The Revolver fires from all three barrels at once.
    • The double-barreled Shotgun's secondary fire inserts a canister of liquid at the base of the barrels, which causes the shotgun to fire pellets that split into several on impact; compared to the primary fire, however, there's a brief pause to charge the attack.
    • The Fang Spitter fires fangs much more rapidly at the cost of accuracy. In earlier versions of the game, the alt-fire had it shoot from both barrels simultaneously instead of the barrels alternating.
    • The Retcher fires a burst of three bouncing cysts instead of sticky ones.
    • The Slag Cannon fires a big, explosive fireball.
    • The Mace of Devastation can either be swung in melee in or release a spread of explosive projectiles when charged with enemy souls.
    • The Crystallizer can either chain between multiple enemies or freeze one into a crystal statue that can reflect subsequent blasts in other directions.
    • The Lance is a sniper rifle that can also project a protective shield.