The boomer shooter genre grew a little bit larger today with the early access release of Supplice, a game that began life as a total conversion for Doom before evolving into a standalone shooter built in the GZDoom engine by members of the Doom modding community.
The story in Supplice is very Doom-like: Humanity develops technology that enables it to travel to the stars, but unfortunately the galaxy is not an overly welcoming place. The exocolony Methuselah has been overrun by terrifying alien creatures, and it falls to you to either chase them away or wipe them out.
"The first FPS games had simple but genius premises and the Supplice team is following in those perfect footsteps," said Mateusz Filipek, marketing manager at Supplice publisher Hyperstrange. "Our story sets the stage for everything else in this game to shine. Polished retro-stylized graphics, classic level design full of environmental story-telling, and references to other fan-favorite shooters are just a few things old-school FPS fans can look forward to!"
I'm not sure I'd call the premise of games like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D "genius," but simplicity can be a strength when all you really want to do is wheel around some big guns and turn large numbers of interstellar goons into a sticky paste. Supplice definitely follows in that tradition: I played through the first level and it feels a lot like OG Doom, which is to say it's fast, chunky, and tough. Even on the "normal" difficulty setting I got my ass kicked a few times when I charged carelessly into monster-infested areas.
My one potential criticism at this extremely early stage—so early that it's not really "criticism" but just something I've noticed—is that the map designs might be a little overly large and complex for this type of game: I had trouble at times figuring out exactly where I was supposed to go and how to get there, a problem exacerbated by the fact that there's no jumping, so you can't get over obstacles and have to find the path around them.
To be fair, I put less than an hour into Supplice, which isn't nearly enough time to make any sort of complete judgment about it—especially since I didn't get my hands on any cool guns, either.
The early access release of Supplice includes the first of a planned six episodes, which is made up of five "quite extensive" maps and a boss fight at the end. The developers figure it'll take anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 hours to finish, "depending on the player's approach and selected difficulty level," and while the first episode doesn't include all the planned weapons or enemy types, it does support user-made content, including some fan-made maps that are already available.