A Bungie classic that doesn't involve the Master Chief
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, retrogaming fan, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EVERY game in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey. So let's play those classic retro games we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Developer(s) Bungie Software
Genre(s) First-Person Shooter
Bungie's most successful FPS franchise is of course, Halo. However, before Halo there was Marathon. Growing up, I was aware of Marathon, but to me it was essentially just the Mac version of Doom. Over the years, I've learned a bit more about the series, and come to understand that though it was a "Doom clone" technically, it had many small innovations such as dual wielding and an emphasis on network play. Indeed, in Halo there are also many hidden Marathon references, and though the universes are not directly connected, they share some loose associations.
In terms of gameplay, Marathon did feel very Doom-like in that it had relatively simplistic levels that were quite maze-like. In fact, the first level of this game was so maze-like that I actually was unable to complete it! Talk about your rough starts.
The guns and enemies were fine, but I felt like the guns lacked impact and the enemies didn't seem that distinctive. Take these comments with a grain of salt considering how I wasn't able to progress far in the game, but though I got the sense that this game pushed past Doom in a few areas and had a nice "Mac-like" polish to it, it also felt weaker than Doom in some areas, such as the ferocity of enemies and the visceral might of the weapons.
Marathon is of course, a classic FPS. And it was one of the games that would eventually push Bungie to develop their far more influential franchise of Halo. However, where Halo almost immediately stood out as a revolutionary step forward in FPS games, Marathon felt more like a Mac-clone of Doom to me. If you're in the market for a retro-style FPS shooter that you know is quality, then this might be a game to play. If not, then you may want to read up on Marathon a little if you're a Bungie fan, but you can skip the game itself.
➙ Must You Play It?
Marathon was the Mac version of Doom when I was growing up. Though this game is a classic FPS from the 90's, it doesn't feel as unique or revolutionary as Bungie's better known series: Halo. If you're looking for a quality old school shooter you may want to give this one a shot, but otherwise it can be skipped.