Merger 3D (PC) Review

By Athanasios 02.10.2016

Review for Merger 3D on PC

Why would someone keep playing an FPS fossil like Wolfenstein 3D when there are better FPS "fossils" like Doom, Heretic, Duke Nukem 3D, or Shadow Warrior? Don't know… but nostalgia is a weird thing, and it's kind of easy to see the charm in these primeval pioneers of the genre… and that's why someone thought to make Merger 3D; a trip back to those low-resolution-and-simple-on-gameplay days. Too bad they didn't think this over as well as they should.

Creating something with a simple premise is ok, but it's somewhat strange when that very creation is coupled by the most ancient looking visuals imaginable. Merger 3D is a pure love letter to games like Wolfenstein 3D, Corridor 7, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, and (can't believe this is mentioned) Super 3D Noah's Ark.

With that being said, it looks good for what it is, the death animations are quite gory, the weapon models are cool, and although some of the levels look pretty ugly due to the lack of contrast (like the very first one), this actually captures the magic of that distant era of FPS history. Furthermore, the midi-like hard rock tunes and various sound effects are pretty good and of generally high quality... again, high for the time this pays tribute to.

Screenshot for Merger 3D on PC

The basic premise is… well, basic, but that's not really a problem. Again, this is a throwback to that age where FPS gameplay was like "shoot everything that isn't you," and, to be honest, it was great. Furthermore, Merger 3D is quite fast, there are tons of things to shoot at, and each level has the right size, none ever overstay their welcome. Yes, it's all quite repetitive but it's good… in theory that is.

For starters, besides being able to adjust the audio setting, this title is devoid of any meaningful options, and especially the ability to key-bind - and while the controls are simple and all, it would be very helpful if it was possible to change the mouse-look sensitivity, since many will find the default one to be a bit too high. Once inside the actual battlefield, however, things get even worse.

Screenshot for Merger 3D on PC

As mentioned before, each level has lots of baddies to shoot (approximately 1000+ ones in the course of 15 levels). The problem? They come from all directions, they only become visible after getting close, and they don't ever make a sound (like in Doom, for example), to let you know that they are near. This results in the player walking into a room, only for the health meter to start decreasing in a matter of milliseconds, before the one who is doing all the hurting is found.

Even worse, besides the basic, melee-only monster, the rest of the bad guys here are all perfect hit-scanners. In other words, there's no way to avoid their bullets with strafing, and therefore, unless they are dead, they will keep on shooting at the unfortunate hero. Exactly like in Wolfenstein 3D, that is something that's annoying on its own, but Merger 3D has even deeper issues.

Screenshot for Merger 3D on PC

Besides being hard to make out where is who due to the heavily pixelated graphics, enemies can actually shoot behind objects that keep them completely out of view. The main character can do so too, but the one behind the mouse and keyboard can't see through these obstacles. Even worse, at times enemies can shoot at you even when they are behind cover! In conclusion: get ready to save a lot.

The weapons, plus the aforementioned fast pace, are surely the saving grace of this mess. Besides all but one having their use, the ammunition scattered around can be used for all of them, something that adds a thin layer of strategy. Unfortunately, besides the two available projectile weapons not being able to shoot through "transparent" objects, the weapon cycle goes only one way, meaning that in order to go from weapon #2 to - the very useful - #1, one has to go all the way through #2 to #6 before selecting it, which is not a good idea for such a demanding title.

Screenshot for Merger 3D on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Why is Doom better than Wolfenstein 3D? Because the action feels better, faster, more dynamic, less constricting. Why is Wolfenstein 3D better than Merger 3D, which was obviously inspired by it? Because, while identical in terms of gameplay, "Wolfie" actually had a team of capable game designers behind it.

Developer

Mahhaon

Publisher

Sometimes You

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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