There have been so many indie video games launching these days, it’s crazy. Though they bring us a lot of pure passion projects unburdened by publisher shackles, the number of bad games, whether they are terrible mechanically or end up being cheap asset-flipping, money-grabbing pile of codes are also higher than ever. Hence why I mockingly call STEAM the Playstore for PC every now and then. No need to get your pitchforks boys, I’m with our Lord Gaben in the long run. In the war between unbelievably good indies and STEAM’s tendency to give exposure to outright terrible ones, some gems get the short end of the shaft.
With so many games popping up on the STEAM store every day, it’s hard to notice let alone keep track of the games that deserve the attention. Hence I often let some of my favourite Tubers enlighten me on underappreciated or obscure gems so that I may add it to my ever-increasing wishlist. Even with all the buzz surrounding the recent renaissance of oldschool FPS (thanks to awesome games like DUSK, Amid Evil and more), everyone seems to have missed this particular game I’m talking about today.
The game in question is SUFFER and I believe fate led me to it because suffer is also what I do in my spare time. Come to think of it, this game was literally everywhere whether that be the store page, curated page, recommendations and discovery queue. Gee, thanks STEAM for pulling a ‘Google ads’ on me. For the life in me, I couldn’t find anything about this game outside of STEAM (yeah I like to do extensive researches on a game before I buy it and don’t go around crying in forums saying this game sucks because it’s not for me). All I knew was that SUFFER is a horror-punk shoot ’em 75 Handcrafted Levels, a brutal difficulty. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I and bought SUFFER for INR 174 this summer sale. With a deadline hanging above my head regarding the editorial this week, I saw this as a golden opportunity for a quick write up and jumped into the game blind. And you know what, it was a well-spent 174 Rupees.
SUFFER is exactly what it says itself to be. It’s a fast-paced old-school first-person shooter where you shoot first and never ask any questions. It’s very simplistic in design but works really well for what it aims to achieve. The story or the lack-there-of involves your character, an anarchist pumping totalitarian fascists full of hot lead while showing them the middle finger. I don’t expect anything less from a one-man studio titled Anarchy Softworks who calls the music in his games filthy, the graphics pixel vomit, and the code that holds everything together, a mess of spaghetti. Self-conscious developers like these, who give the utmost priority to artistic freedom are dime a dozen.
SUFFER looks like the after product of a busy day in an ‘open’ Indian fast food joint. Seriously, it looks like an SNES port of a ’90s FPS. Are you even playing SUFFER if you’re not bleeding from the eyes? But hey, if things like that turned me down, I wouldn’t be here giving the game a big ‘ol thumbs up now, would I? Even when coming to the gameplay, SUFFER is not the best indie FPS out there. The level design is very chaotic, the enemy AI is super aggressive and there’s even some early 3D era platforming thrown in. But SUFFER does a faithful job of sending you back on a nostalgic trip to the late-last century when video game design was more of a passion than marketing meetings and stock conferences.
You shoot at stuff multiple times, they explode violently. You hack and slash at enemy sprites, they explode violently. More than that, you can do it all in style. SUFFER lets you run at super-high speeds, dash, jump and even circle strafe to dispatch enemies with precision and grace. The gunplay is smooth and punchy, the weapons feel great to use, the number of levels is ridiculous and so on and so on. If nothing else, SUFFER is a pure stress-buster. I wish there was more I could say about the game but there really isn’t a need. What you see is what you get.
At the end of the day, you may mock SUFFER for its crappy visuals, crass presentation, anti-consumeristic themes and the sense of anarchy but you can’t take away the fun. SUFFER is unapologetically edgy, violent, old school in design and above all, it’s a video game through and through. You know the saying The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts? That applies to SUFFER. If you’re ready to shut down your overthinking brain for a few hours and are ready for some mindless carnage, SUFFER is at an all-time low on STEAM at the moment.