Good news: the self-proclaimed "best game ever" is now available for PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4. That highest of honors apparently belongs to Strafe, an FPS developed by Pixel Titans and published by Devolver Digital, which described the title as the "much-anticipated megahit video game from 1996."
Plenty of games play on your nostalgia. Shovel Knight evokes NES classics, Sonic Mania would have been at home on a Sega Genesis, and Yooka-Laylee is a modern take on Nintendo 64 era platformers. Strafe doesn't want to remind you of an old console--it wants to make you feel like you're playing early PC shooters with their low polygon counts, bizarre physics, and more gore than An Inconvenient Truth. (Ba-dum-tss.)
“Strafe changes everything you've ever known or will know about Strafe,” Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker said in the press release. “It’s the next generation of the last generation, and we’re not all that sure gamers will be able to handle that sort of power.” Chances are good that you will indeed be able to handle that sort of power, because the recommended specs involve an Intel Core i3-4160, a GTX 460, or their AMD equivalents.
Playing on your nostalgia isn't the only trend Strafe follows. The game is also randomly generated, much like the many indie rogue-lites available today, and Devolver Digital also released the game's soundtrack for $7. As much as it's a love letter to '90s shooters, Strafe is also the result of recent indie game development trends. That isn't a bad thing--trends are trends for a reason--but it's still worth pointing out.
That continues with the game's various purchase options. Besides the usual digital platforms (Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store) there was also a Strafe 1996 Throwback Collector's Edition that came with a 3.5" floppy disk, Steam key, cassette soundtrack, lapel pins, stickers, indoor sunglasses, and POGs, though it's sold out now. You can, however, still pre-order a physical copy for the PS4 that also includes a Steam Key for the PC version.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.
I will never get the appeal of procedural generation. Hooray, an infinite number of mediocre, repetitive levels. Who wants that? Quantity over quality to the max.Reply
You probably don't remember playing the very awesome TaiPan :DReply
This developer is awesome. So nostalgic. Their website is reminiscent of a geocities website, AOL keyword: STRAFE. Some great attention to detail there. Procedural generation is a hallmark of rogue-lite-like type games and this one looks refreshing. This is a ballsy dev I wouldn't mind supporting.Reply
I'm amazed by the insanely high requirements, if we actually compare it to pre-2000 games. This should be perfectly playable on low end mobile integrated gpus, or even cpu rendering!Reply