It's shooting time
Venom is a pretty neat old-school first person shooter, following in the footsteps of Doom and Hexen, but in a slightly more realistic setting and which paved the way for the later S.T.A.L.K.E.R. This one finds players in the early 21st Century when a meteor storm hits the United States. Scientists and soldiers are sent in to investigate but all disappear mysteriously, so another, better team follows up. They soon discover that the meteors contained a parasitic alien being, which has taken over the humans and turned them into ravening monsters. What follows is an FPS where the player controls two soldiers, chosen from a fairly large selection. There are fourteen missions to complete in the single player campaign, and while much of the game is familiar stuff, with a strong focus on full on shooting, one interesting element helps Venom to stand out. This is the way that you get to give orders to the second soldier, and while it may seem like a small addition, it does at least add some depth and variety to proceedings. Most other aspects are business as usual, with the standard array of weapons and gear to pick up, while some levels throw stealth into the mix. Venom is certainly no genre classic, but it achieves what it set out to do, which is provide a fairly exciting shooting experience, and which is combined with a simple but compelling story. The visuals are looking a tad dated now but have a bit of old-school charm, while the sound design is effective at adding atmosphere. Overall, a decent game but which is less than a must play.