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Title: Blood
Author:Monolith Productions
Rom Player:
Reviewer: Ralf Loire

Synopsis: There's been lots of games out there with a horror based theme (one particular series that comes to mind is Resident Evil, of course), but then there's one that I've found to be the most amusing to play... that game is Blood.

Blood, released in 1996/1997 by Monolith Productions, a rising PC-game company at the time, was originally going to be developed by 3D Realms, the same people who brought us that classic, Duke Nukem 3D (Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all outta gum.), but somehow, it wound up in Monolith's hands. However, that's not a bad thing--they handled Blood well.

The story is that you play Caleb, a dark, undead gunfighter from western Texas of 1847. Caleb, like or pal Duke Nukem, is clearly someone you shouldn't screw around with--whereas Duke will kick your ass, Caleb will blow you away and laugh, especially since this boy gets his jollies from his bloodlust. With his friend Ophelia, Gabriel, and Ishamel, they are the "Chosen" serving under the order of a cabal led by the dreaded Tchernobog (he could have used a better name, unfortunately).

All seems to be going well, but for some reason he thinks they have betrayed him, and so, he puts some serious punishment on the Chosen with his minons and Caleb is cast back down into his body... big mistake. Now he aims to get revenge, and he'll use whatever's handy to do it.

The darkness in this game's setting (NOT environment, thankfully) works with the story nicely. Blood pays a tribute to the good old b-movie horror films of yesteryear (or yesterday), and it does it well. It even makes some references to some of the movies as well, with one stage having those whispering woods of Friday the 13th, and a level based on The Shining. And like Duke, Caleb shows his dark, yet humorous personality by making remarks, bursting into manianical laughter when blowing up stuff and singing show tunes if you leave him standing around long enough. Caleb is the MAN.

The monsters and enemies you face are fitting for the world of Blood, and disgusting or no, they are all dangerous. You've got your axe-weilding zombies, of course, and then you've got cultists and fanatics, both weilding armaments that could rip you apart if you let them. There's some pretty damn tough enemies too, like Hellhounds (which can set you on fire, VERY dangerous) and Gill Beasts (underwater nasties that can bite you for good damage), to name a couple others. There are even little pests like spiders and rats to deal with, and they are more dangerous than you may think. Even hands that have life all on their own are extremely dangerous (cause they can choke the life out of you)!

The weapondry in Blood is pretty interesting... and yet, its all satisfying. You've got a flare gun, which you can fire into enemies and set them on fire (with them screaming in pain), a sawed-off shotgun, a tommy gun, three kinds of detonators (dynamite, remotes and proximities)... yes, even a can of hairspray (which if applied to the lighter, makes a deadly flamethrower. Don't try this at home!). My personal favorite would happen to be the Voodoo Doll. Almost weapon comes with a "secondary fire" as well, which helps make the firefighting all much more effective.

There are plenty of power ups , ranging from one that lets you hold two of the same weapon (for some of them), and three different types of armor.

The enemies in the game have a great AI... it wasn't leaps and bounds, but it was pretty good for its time. Cultists will duck behind walls and other objects when you're fighting them, using it to their own advantage as you would, and zombies will sometimes chase down normal humans that are around at times and attack them before they go after you. It's not all perfect though... the glaring problem seems to be in the flying enemies, most noticably the gargoyles. Even though you're out there in the open, they'll fly around idiotically until they come after you, and that can, at times, take a while, mainly when you're trying to play it defensively. It's worse in larger areas, since it's a good idea to take them out before they can swoop down on you.

There are plenty of puzzles around in the game that will help make the game interesting. They aren't too mind-bending, but they all aren't too easy either. And, there's a ton of levels... over 47 in all if you count in deathmatch levels and secret levels.

Speaking of its Deathmatch, its like any other deathmatch... but there's an interesting twist in the killing part. Sometimes, when your victim is near death, he'll be on his knees and his view swaying about. It can allow you to kill your enemy in whichever other way you choose... which can be fun for you, and humiliating for your enemy. >:)

As far as music goes, the main MIDI theme of Blood sucks. It's all that plays through the whole game, so I recommend keeping it off. On the other hand, the CD Audio soundtrack is great--it sets the right feel and mood for the game, some of it is even interesting to listen to. The sound effects all sound appropriate... from the splattering of an enemies' guts to blood hitting the floor, its all there and it all sounds great.

Aptly named, blood is what Blood will give you... it will come raining in buckets, and it will stain walls and floors. Giblets of your enemies when you blow them up will lay all over the place, and will remain there as well! You can kick around the heads of the zombies like soccer balls if they are thrown off upon killing them!

The graphics also set the mood, and are dark in feel and in design, as are the enemies. Sure, its all 2D Sprites in a 3D environment, but this game does it quite well. The cinematic cutscenes are good, though when compared to the graphics we have in games today, they do seem to pale in comparison... but nonetheless they get the job done.

If you love b-horror movies, or first-person shooters, or both... I recommend Blood. You may have trouble finding it these days (your best bet might be eBay), but if you come across it in the bargain bin in Best Buy--get it. It may be too good a game to pass up for you. =) It has plenty to offer and will provide you with some great satisfaction, especially when you kill your enemies (I know I do... heheheheh...)

Best Cheats: To use these cheats, press "T" to turn on the Talk command during the game, and enter the codes for whichever effect you want below. Press the Enter key for it to go into action.

MPKFA - God mode
VOORHEES - God mode
CAPINMYASS - Turns God mode off
LARA CROFT - All weapons, plus unlimited ammo
IDAHO - All weapons
MONTANA - All weapons and inventory items
BUNZ - Guns akimbo (two weapons at once! Woo!)
SPORK - 200% health
GRISWOLD - All armor 200%
KEYMASTER - All keys
FUNKY SHOES - Jump boots
SATCHEL - All items
COUSTEAU - Diving suit and 200% health
ONERING - Invisibility
CALGON - Warp to another level
MARIO - Warp to another level
EVA GALLI - No clipping mode
GOONIES - Full map
KEVORKIAN - Commit suicide
MCGEE - Sets yourself on fire
KRUEGAR - 200% health and sets yourself on fire
RATE - Displays frame rate
JOJO - Drunken view

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 10
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 10

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