Throwback Thursday is taking a weird turn this week. Whether bad or good, we play through those games and try to see if those games are still playable in any way shape or form. So let’s explore a rather interesting part of gaming history and take a look at a classic and probably slightly offensive game; Messiah.
Messiah is a huge ‘trip’ down memory lane
Oh Bob, how I used to love helping you, the Messiah, possess the unwilling participants of the world and wreaking havoc on the world around me. But alas, not even the talented software engineers over at GOG can make it a truly great experience any more. No, no more can I punish the corrupt and sinful all the while trying to get the attention of a neighbor downstairs.
Unfortunately Messiah not the game I remembered at all. I used to absolutely love this game. It combine a unique and comical future world with the lovable and winsome putto, Bob. Bob hilariously commented on the crumbling world around us in a way that we could all agree with. He shows us that doing God’s work doesn’t have to be so serious
Slam down into the Earth to punish the sinful humans around us, taking possession of the physical bodies of the world like they’re your playthings. It was fun, it was hilarious, and it was refreshing. But it isn’t at all what I remembered. Maybe the nostalgic feeling is coloring my perception of it, then.
I remember a delightful game, but instead was greeted with a horribly put together game that was difficult to even start. And I’m not even talking about the graphics. Sure, they’re incredibly dated and decidedly low resolution compared to the likes of DOOM in 4K, but they’re acceptable. No, it’s the control scheme and the horrible balance. By the stars it seems that the guards and other humans are invincible, but my own enchanted human body is but a fragile flower.
That and those controls just don’t work. Whether it’s how it was installed on my system or perhaps something else that I might be able to change (and I did try, I tried a lot of different remedies). Still, though, it was a far more difficult game than I ever remembered, It wasn’t fun, and it didn’t provide any measure of entertainment. It was far too frustrating and I ended up quitting after the first level.
But it isn’t all so bad, is it. Messiah represents a break from the normal direction that developers were taking at the time. Shiny Entertainment and Interplay made a break from the straight line of third person action games and ran right into completely new territory. The story is innovative, the music by Jesper Kyd and Fear Factory is great to listen to and the gameplay elements they introduced are quite notable. Even the overall religious theme was relatively accepted, despite treading on uneasy territory.
It’s the final package, then, that fails to impress. It’s unplayable and not fun anymore. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the innovations that it brought to the table. It should perhaps be remembered as a game that changed the landscape. It challenge the norm and succeeded somewhat.