Chasm: The Rift Mission Pack

The chasm widens by a few more levels.

European developer Action Trip released this bonus mission pack download for Chasm shortly after it was released. It’s not a meaty offering – while some new textures and better level design are definitely present, the inclusion of only three extra singleplayer maps and a lame boss fight leaves one ultimately disappointed.

Snap4_1The levels again feel like they’re composed of intersecting geometry spread across an enormous 2D plane. So while you encounter platforms, archways and nice outdoor areas, the engine’s architecture is one that doesn’t permit the use of elevators, room-over-room geometry or dips down underwater passageways or fatal falls. In short it’s about as constrictive as the first Doom engine despite its gratuitous use of poly-based models for everything from trees to monsters and weapons (to its credit, Doom at least pushed its level design way beyond what Chasm could ever produce).

Overall the graphics are good for a game that doesn’t need a 3D card – transparent water, smoke effects, actual shadows and detailed modelling overall make for a good looking if otherwise terribly conventional Quake clone.

Playing through it also reminded me why I got annoyed with Chasm in the first place. Most of the weapons outside the traditional shotgun-chaingun-rocket launcher roster feel fundamentally the same. The lack of pop-up messaging means you never quite know for sure what you’ve just picked up, and the game combat mechanics, particularly the weapons with not much bang, make the game feel a little off.

System Requirements: 100 Mhz CPU, 16 MB RAM, 75 MB Space, SVGA, Win95, MS-DOS

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