This oppressively dark Soviet FPS now features a simply adorable little model train set

Holding sickle in view looking at a model train set rendered in HROT.
(Image credit: Spytihněv)
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Despite its incredibly grim atmosphere and ultra violence, the throwback FPS Hrot remains one of the funniest games I've ever played. You can play the piano, read your Lenin, kiss portraits of Czechoslovakian president Gustáv Husák (opens in new tab) (who is also the second episode's final boss), and play an in-game clone of Game & Watch based on the Soviet cartoon, Nu, Pogodi! (opens in new tab)

That ribald sense of humor is alive and well in our first preview of Hrot's third and final act, Gastroscopy. After releasing Episode 2: The Degustation (opens in new tab) this summer, solo developer Spytihněv has been hard at work on the game's conclusion, and they dropped a demo of sorts for it on November 27: E3M3, Roztyly (opens in new tab).

Roztyly is a tightly wound knot of a level, having you criss-cross back and forth over a fairly constrained horizontal space as you ascend from some dank sewers up through an apartment block then out and back down through an industrial area to exit the level. So far, Episode 3 has yet to introduce new weapons or enemies, but Roztyly's sense of outdoor verticality is a nice change of pace compared to previous maps.

I am also incredibly fond of the cute little model train set stashed away in one of the apartments. It's fully functional too, letting you adjust the speed of the trains as they zoom through a miniaturized slice of Czech countryside⁠—a calming reprieve from intense shooting through a beige-and-brown fever dream, and I'm a sucker for these little interactable gags Spytihněv sprinkles throughout the levels.

I'll be interested to see the overall direction Spytihněv takes with Episode 3. I was a huge fan of the setting shift in The Degustation, which did away with Episode 1's urban environments in favor of more rustic, almost pagan locales like a gothic castle or a witch's farm (E2M7: Granny's Valley.) Roztyly could easily fit into Episode 1's milieu, but I suspect Gastroscopy still has plenty of surprises in store for its full release. You can wishlist Hrot or check it out in early access on Steam (opens in new tab).

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.