Chaser (video game)
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2011)|
|Release date(s)||August 30, 2003|
Chaser is a first-person shooter action video game developed by Cauldron. The game is built on the CloakNT 3D engine. Unlike many contemporary science fiction first-person shooters like Halo: Combat Evolved, Pariah, WarPath, and Unreal Tournament 2004, Chaser's weapons fire modern day projectiles.
The story of the game begins in the year 2044 on Mars with the UN establishing MARSCORP (Martian Security and Economics Committee) under the leadership of Samuel Longwood. In the years that follow, the UN gradually loses control of MARSCORP, mainly due to the non-transparent license policy of its director. Samuel Longwood uses his autonomous status to create vassal relations between the corporations and MARSCORP. The strong power position of MARSCORP is supported by the companies and thus they acquire additional rights and licenses. Samuel Longwood and his consortium become extremely wealthy from this arrangement. However, dissenting voices in MARSCORP begin to challenge Samuel Longwood's authoritarian policy. They demand the dismissal of Samuel Longwood as director and a complete redistribution of the mining rights.
John Chaser, the game's main character, awakens on board the space station H.M.S. Majestic. He does not know who he is, what he's doing there, why he is being sought by men in black uniforms and what they will do to him when they find him. The player's goal in the game is to find out who Chaser really is and why he is being hunted. The story leads the player from the H.M.S. Majestic to the fictional Montack City on Earth, then on to Siberia, and finally to Mars, where the trail ends and hopefully the truth can be found.
The main plot of the game is very similar to the story of Total Recall (1990 film) - a Hollywood movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. As in Total Recall, in the end turns out that the main character of the game - John Chaser - in truth is a head of Samuel Longwood's (the director of MARSCORP) security - Stone - who has planned all this operation with Longwood and erased his own memory to become John Chaser and infiltrate the Mars Resistance force. There are differences, especially in the first part of the game taking place on Earth, and there is no human mutants on Mars in Chaser, but all in all Chaser is a video game obviously inspired by the story of Total Recall. The ending is almost 1:1.
- Samuel Longwood - Samuel Longwood uses his autonomous relations to create vassal relations between various corporations and MARSCORP. The unshakable position of power MARSCORP enjoys is supported by these companies, and they acquire additional rights and licenses as a result. Longwood and his consortium become extremely wealthy from this arrangement. However, dissenting voices in MARSCORP begin to challenge Longwood's authoritarian policy. They demand his dismissal as director and a complete redistribution of all mining rights. But Longwood keeps an ace up his sleeve for occasions like these.
- John Chaser - The main character. He's a man without any sense of identity or memory of his past. Caught in a bloody conflict, his unnatural ability to survive raises more questions than it answers.
- Mike Gomez - One of the most dangerous members of the Montack City Military Unit (MCMU). A descendant of Mexican immigrants, he worked his way up from the bottom. In the self-appointed city police, he is the only person who can help Chaser find his past - but his work comes at a price.
- Shimako Sakai - A hacking prodigy, there is no system too advanced for her and no information buried too deeply. She works for the underground and MCMU, and has immunity from both sides. She can truly take care of herself without outside help.
- Kabir Ahmed - Kabir is the de facto leader of local smuggling operations. His working style is eminently professional, which encourages many of his clients. Unfortunately, his cowardice has earned him many enemies in the underground. He has maintained control through guile and cunning.
- Exoskeleton - Better known as the "living tank," the combat exoskeleton XV28c is equipped with a Tuz-42 heavy machine gun and the rapid-fire S12 rocket launcher. The suit's extreme firepower, superhuman abilities, and nigh-indestructible armor make it a very useful weapon. Rumors persist that jetpack-equipped exoskeletons are under testing and development.
- MCMU Commando - The members of the MCMU commandos have agreed to replace various body parts with cybernetic implants. A widely used cyberplant is the cybernetic eye, which grants thermal and night vision. Members of the corps enjoy legal immunity, a primary incentive for joining.
There are many different kind of soldiers you encounter in the game. These are the main types:
- Arctic Soldier - These special forces working in Siberia fight with tremendous skill, armed or unarmed. Their special thermal electric heating suits allow them to operate in temperatures as low as -50 C.
- Federal Army - The Federal Army recruits only the best of the best. These soldiers protect one of the most important commerce centers of the northeastern United States. These soldiers go through intensive combat training and do not hesitate to obey orders.
- MarsCorps - Any man who has encountered the MarsCorps and lived to tell the tale will not hesitate to call members of the MarsCorps perfect warriors. High marksmanship and excellent tactical skills make them deadly opponents. Combat, research, and elite military personnel come together in special training camps called "Euklides." These are hidden underground, beneath Mars' polar ice caps. There, in the most inhuman conditions, Samuel Longwood's men become the perfect fighting machines.
In Chaser, multiplayer games are played either via LAN or Internet (connect Internet). You can still play Chaser online using GCP Launcher. The gameplay is reminiscent of the Quake series due to its rapidity, with the exception of weapons, which are modeled after real-life prototypes.
In this game everyone plays for themselves. You need to kill anyone you see. Each kill is called a frag and winner is the one who frags the most opponents in a specified time or reaches the frag limit first. In the lower left corner of the screen you can see your score and score of the leading player or, if you are in the lead, then the score of the second placed player. Your score is highlighted. Below both scores there is a smaller number which shows current score of the next placed player.
Similar to a deathmatch but players are divided into two teams that fight each other. The winner is the team which has the highest number of frags after a specified time or reaches the frag limit first.
Capture the Flag
Players are divided into two teams and the goal of each team is to reach the opponent team’s base and steal his flag. The opponents flag then needs to be taken to your own base, where your own flag is located. You can only win if your own flag is still in your base, otherwise you will need to take on your opponents and hunt for your own flag. When you kill a player with a flag, the flag will be dropped. You can take the flag by moving through it.
Shocktroops is a game for two teams in which each team has to achieve specified goals. You can list the goals by pressing the score key. Each game has a time limit (round time) and the winner is the team which achieves their goals first. When a player is killed then he needs to wait until the next round to resume. A killed player can switch between views of players in his own team or his opponents (depending on game settings).
Each player has a rank which is derived from his experience. He can gain experience by killing opponents or fulfilling a goal. Experience can be also lost e.g. by killing a teammate. The higher rank a player has, the more money he gets for each round. Money which is not spent in a round is transferred into the next round. However, each player has a limit to the amount of money he can have according to his rank. A player can spend his money on weaponry or equipment. He can buy them at buy points which are markets indicated by a small dollar sign. Players can buy items a maximum of three times in any one round. The buy screen can be toggled at the buy points with the buy screen key defined in Options\Keyboard screen.
Chaser received mixed reviews from critics. The game currently holds a 66 out of 100 rating at Metacritic and a 70.04% ranking at GameRankings. Scott Osborne of GameSpot gave the game an 8.0 out of 10 rating, saying that Chaser offers "loads of thrilling, old school shooter action".  Chris Hudak of IGN rated the game a 7.5 out of 10 rating for "cinematic presentation" and "artful surprises". 
- "Mars game review - Chaser". humanMars.net. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- "Chaser for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "Chaser for PC - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Chris Hudak (August 22, 2003). "Chaser Review - PC Review at IGN". IGN. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Scott Osborne (August 26, 2003). "Chaser Review, Chaser PC Review - GameSpot.com". GameSpot. Retrieved September 23, 2011.