Hell visits Nebraska in newly released “DUSK”

Sean Dunn, News Editor

Something’s hidden in the cornfields. It ain’t no dog. It ain’t no farmhand. It ain’t no drunk high schooler running from the cops. It’s a scarecrow. No big deal, right? Except it’s moving and carrying a shotgun. Behind the scarecrow, a horde of chainsaw-wielding gunny-sack hooded maniacs, robed cultists, demonic goats and sickly looking rats are making their way forward, ready to unleash hell on Earth. This is a common scene in the 2018-released first-person shooter “DUSK.”

“DUSK” features a dark and harrowing opening. The main character (colloquially known as Dusk Dude) is surrounded by psychos in a dingy, dirty basement. A disembodied voice commands the chainsaw-wielding maniacs: “Kill the intruder.”

As the mysterious Dusk Dude, your main goal is to survive the onslaught of demonic entities and monsters and find the source of their invasion. You start the game off hacking away enemies with corn sickles that were previously dug into your back by religious fanatics.

As you go through more missions, you can find various new weapons such as pistols, shotguns, crossbows, and hunting rifles. Along with guns, you can also throw heavy objects and explosives to make your way through the various hordes of enemies you will be fighting.

Along with regular enemies, you will also face bosses that will force you to rethink how you take on enemies. Some are fast-paced and require you to match their speed, while others are slower but more powerful.

The game uses pixelated graphics to create a simple but eerie atmosphere for the world that “DUSK” takes place in. A lot of the colors you will see in the game ranges from ominous dark red to medium earthy brown to pitch black. There’s minimalistic gore; you get in close to an enemy with your super shotgun, you can expect them to turn into small giblets.

One of the main draws of this game is that it is heavily inspired by famous ‘90s first-person shooters “Quake” and “DOOM.” Both “Quake” and “DOOM” set the standard for the genre, and along with contributions from the revolutionary “Half-Life,” are considered the grandfathers of shooters. “DUSK” takes elements from all three games and puts its own spin on them. The main feel of these games is very simplistic. Move forward, collect guns, shoot your enemies, and reach the end.

The simplicity, however, leaves a lot of room for the imagination, good atmosphere building, and enemy design, to which “DUSK” stays true. Along with that, “DUSK” has a killer metal soundtrack, which really kicks in when you are in a room full of enemies swarming you all at once.

One more really fun thing that “DUSK” takes from the older games is the secrets. There are so many different ways for you to find weapons, ammo, and power-ups earlier on than you usually would when you become a little investigative in the environment.

Sometimes it’s just a little switch on the wall and a crack or hole in the ground. Other times, it’s looking for a specific point in the level that requires a specific item. Honestly, the secret room hunting is as much part of the game as fighting the enemies and completing the levels is.

Of course, if we compare “DUSK” and its spiritual predecessors to more modern shooters like “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” or “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” you might find that it lacks a sense of depth.

First of all, “DUSK” features no huge customization features (save for the multiplayer avatar). I haven’t played the multiplayer addition to the game because the server population is pretty low. The single-player mode, while fun, could get repetitive to some degree.

It did get that way for me towards the ending portion of the game. The enemies added a lot of flavor to the experience, but by some of the last missions I knew that it was just a matter of killing enemies to reach the end. Despite this, I had a lot of fun with the game.

For those who had seen the game and haven’t bought it yet or people who just aren’t sure whether they should buy the game just yet after reading this, I’ll give you all a small rundown: if you enjoy high-action and high adrenaline games, old-school first-person shooters, metal soundtracks, somewhat over-the-top horror elements, or have played “DOOM” or “Quake” and enjoyed them, I would say that “DUSK” is worth your $20.

However, if you don’t enjoy fast-paced games, somewhat repetitive gameplay, gory atmospheres, or occult themes, then you could probably find a better use for your cash.

If you’re looking to go on a rampage against some hellbeasts and occult worshippers, “DUSK” is the way to go. As the wise “Doom Guy” once said: “Rip and tear.”