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Project Warlock review for PS4, Xbox One, Switch


Platform: PS4
Also on: PC, Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Crunching Koalas
Developer: Buckshot Software
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

I have a couple of very vague memories of playing Doom back in the mid-’90s at a friend’s house. (It may well have been Wolfenstein, for all I know.) I was terrible at it. Needless to say, it didn’t leave a lasting impression, nor did it engender in me a sense of nostalgia for that whole genre of early first-person shooters.

As such, there’s not a lot about Project Warlock that speaks to me, since the whole game is built around hoping that not only do people desperately want to play Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem, et al, once again, they’ll play this instead of playing any of those classics, most of which are still easily available even today (and generally at much cheaper prices).

It’s not that Project Warlock is badly made or anything, because it’s not. Between the 3D pixel art graphics and the over-the-top gore (not to mention the insane difficulty level), this game very faithfully evokes all its 25+-year-old influences. You could put it alongside any of its forebears, and you might not be able to tell the difference. I mean, you probably would, since Project Warlock looks like a modern game trying to look retro, but you’d at least have to spend a moment or two thinking about it.

But that’s kind of the problem with the game, too. It’s so wholly indebted to the past, it never tries to do anything new. Sure, it looks a little cleaner, and I suspect the controls are a little smoother, but there’s nothing here that suggests it’s aware of any developments in gaming post-1995. There’s barely even a story holding it all together — it’s just all nostalgia, all the time.

Obviously, if that kind of nostalgia speaks to you, then you’ll probably find plenty to enjoy in Project Warlock. But if you want anything more than reheated Doom, you’re better off looking elsewhere, because you won’t find it here.

Crunching Koalas provided us with a Project Warlock PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: C