KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child

Action 2000 Windows Gathering of Developers Shooter

Fun but shallow shooter

This rather bizarre first person shooter is based on a comic book by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and despite its name, doesn't really have a lot to do with legendary rock band Kiss. If you can get over this, then what you will find is an exhilarating and frantic, but ultimately shallow shooter that doesn't compare too favourably with the classics like Doom or Quake. Players take a journey into a twisted nightmare world of freak shows, steel plants and a demon-infested Hell, blasting everything they meet with the usual array of weapons. There is no real exploration to be done here, as this is a shooter of the old-school, pure and simple and initially it is great fun knocking down the seemingly endless array of enemies. Speaking of which, while there are a few intriguing creatures which display some imagination in their design, most are fairly bland and forgettable and lack any real nightmare qualities. The levels themselves borrow heavily from the aforementioned classics, with hi-tech corridors sitting uncomfortably alongside circuses and castles which will prove familiar to anyone who has played the likes of Half-life or Unreal. Graphically however, they are quite impressive with atmospheric lighting, good textures and nice detail. Overall, Psycho Circus is a sound blaster, fun for its purity, but quickly becoming repetitive for the same reason due to the lack of tactics or variety.

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