What was more fun in the 90’s than editing your config.sys and autoexec.bat file and trying your damned hardest to get that game to load as well as keeping your soundcard working. OK, probably quite a lot as that wasn’t fun at all. I would spend hours fiddling with those pesky files just so that I could play Quake on my PC.
I must have been about 15 when i saw my first PC game. I was an Amiga owner and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Then, one day, I went round to my mates house (Andy Wilcox, in case you read this one day). He had an IBM PC DX2/66 i believe. He loaded up Doom and my jaw hit the floor; I had never seen a first person shooter before. From that moment on, the Amiga was relegated to a box in the loft as I became the lucky owner of a DX2/66 with turbo button on the front. Yes a TURBO button. It did nothing, but it said TURBO on it. Here’s a the lowdown on a few of my favourite games from my early journey into the IBM PC.
Along with Wolfenstein 3D, this is the game that laid the path for all first person shooters to follow. It captured the imagination of millions of gamers. Not only was it a cracking game, it was one of the first moddable games - custom maps and sprites were the order of the day. I remember playing Aliens doom and it the was the first game to ever scare me to the point of having to switch it off to calm down a bit. The sound of Bill Paxton (god rest his soul), shouting “There’s movement all over the place” before an alien ran across the corridor in front of you was horrifying. Of course, there was a Doom remake made, and even a movie but nothing is better than the original game in my opinion.
Rise of the Triad
I’m not sure if this game was good or not, my memory of it is not good but I know i spent a load of time playing it. From what i’ve seen on youtube to refresh my memory, the level design was shit and repetitive. I believe the main attraction of this game was one of the cheat modes that put the gore level up to max. You could shoot people to pieces and literally get eyeballs falling down the screen.
What a game this was. It was like Doom on drugs. It introduced the ability to look in any direction while moving in any direction at the same time. In order to do this well, you used the mouse to move your view while using the keys to move forward or backward and strafe left or right. To the young-uns reading this, it’s second nature, but to those of us who used just the keyboard in Doom, mouselook mode was an advancement that changed the landscape of FPS yet again. Throw in multiplayer mode and the LAN party was born. I remember lugging my PC to my mates house and spending hour chasing each other around, blowing the crap out of each other.
Quake was good, and then Unreal turned up and blasted it out of the water. The graphics engine that shipped with this game was bleeding edge, rendering water and lighting in a way that i’d never seen before. I didn’t think that the gameplay was quite as good as Quake, but it was still an excellent game to play. The multiplayer mode introduced me to sniper rifle camping as well as weapons that you could fire and bounce off walls. Bounce, bounce, bounce, DECAPITATION!
Another FPS game, but this one was bloody difficult. You flew around some really small corridors in a spaceship type thing. It introduced full 3-dimensional movement and another load of keys that you needed to press. I guess i just never really got the hang of this one as much as I tried. Every time i played this game I must have gotten about 30 minutes in before getting completely frustrated by it and then loading up Quake or Doom instead!
A bit of a change from the usual FPS games that i played. I think i must have owned every single incarnation of the Fifa football series since 96 and the series has been my favourite of all time. This incarnation was buggy as hell - you could score pretty much every time with a swerving shot from the halfway line
Released by Bullfrog, this was, in my opinion, Peter Molyneux's finest hour. This game took hours of my time, raising and lowering land, building stuff, sending troops into battle and then setting stuff on fire. Turns out that this kind of God game wasnt really my thing though, and after getting bored with Populous 2 and discovering that sports games and FPS were more my thing, I've never really been back to them apart from a brief spell playing Black and White.
Im sure i played a load more games than this, but my fragile old mind is not as good at remembering as it used to be. Anyway, thanks for reading - look forward to reading your comments on what your favourite early PC games were.