Some serious Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight fueling station vibes

DUSK was an exceptionally lovable game with some fancy footwork, the kind of game that sets the bar very high and makes it hard to welcome the next thing down the list with open arms. After grabbing a zappy trident and giving the game a fair shake, I have nothing to say about New Blood’s new publication, Amid Evil, other than how much I utterly, unapologetically love every minute of it.

The whoop-whoop-bing of running down a skewed line of powerups, the beloved ice-scepter… mace… thing that’s effectively the closest you’ll find to a spear shotgun… Amid Evil just asks that you lay waste to baddies as effectively as possible in some of the most vividly colorful environments I’ve seen in a long time. Is it a game? No, it’s absolutely a work of art that leverages every second of abstract geometry and offensively perplexing pathfinding while you plow through exceptionally creative enemy designs and some of the most satisfying tools of destruction this side of Maximum Action.

I’m just going to come out and say it: This game fucks. It doesn’t hold your hand or pull any punches, it doesn’t ask you to lower your skills or set aside the things you’ve learned from any other shooter. It’s the closest I’ve played in a long while to the same kind of strafing, projectile-dodging movement we’ve come to love in games like DOOM, and I’m very much here for it.

The pacing, the texture work, the sound effects… the soundtrack! It’s all utterly superb, with pulsating vibes, somehow all the while never getting in the way of your experience. The level design treads a narrow path and manages to strike a continuous balance, keeping you on your toes yet giving you the room to effectively maneuver around any number of enemies, challenging your tactical knowhow without making you needlessly backtrack or sit around wondering what obscure mapmaker’s trick you missed. The lore is short and sweet, peppered throughout in the game’s various glyphs and diegetically within the world itself, leaving you focused on the spellcasting and still leaving enough flavor to keep you coming back to the abstract arenas. Elevators, moving staircases, sprawling flower petals of stone and machinery… everything just works so smoothly.

Just go and experience it for yourself. The price of entry is unlikely to prompt regret no matter what, and if you loved DUSK, you may find yourself loving this just as much if not more.

Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice