Strife (video game)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2010)|
|Release date(s)||May 31, 1996|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, Role-playing|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer 2-4 player Deathmatch or Co-op)|
Strife is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rogue Entertainment and published by Velocity, based on the Doom engine from id Software. Strife added some role-playing game elements and allowed players to talk to other characters in the game's world. Along with Pathways into Darkness, Ultima Underworld and System Shock, it is considered one of the first FPS-RPG games.
The game is set in a world where a dark religion called The Order has taken over. The Order is composed of cyborgs who forcefully convert humans into their ranks. The player assumes the role of a member of rebel forces led by Macil. The primary goal is collect all pieces of a mysterious artifact, the Sigil in order to eliminate The Order's leaders, including The Programmer, The Bishop, and The Loremaster. This eventually leads the main character to final confrontation with the mysterious alien (The Entity) behind The Order.
Defeating the final boss may show two endings: one better (player decided to trust Macil earlier), where all the fighting stops and the rebuilding of human civilization begins, and one worse (player decided to trust the Oracle), where The Order still exists and there is little hope for the survivors to hold on long enough for the situation to improve on its own. If the player decides to trust the Oracle, the game is drastically shorter, with the entire Commons, Catacombs and Mines sections removed, though it is also more difficult due to the order in which the bosses are fought. If the player dies during the battle with the final boss, The Entity acquires the complete Sigil, leading to the worst ending in which humanity is extinct. If the player uses a cheat to warp to the final level, either s/he won't be able to enter the final room to confront the Entity (because the door to that room can only be opened if one is in possession of the complete Sigil), or (perhaps if another cheat is used to gain the Sigil) the best the player can hope for is the "bad" victory ending described above (because the flags for the "good" ending have not been set).
The world is a comprehensive environment, not divided into levels like most other 3D shooters of the time. Instead, the player travels from a central hub-like area in the city between various levels which will stay the same as when the player left them. It shares this feature with another Doom engine title: Hexen: Beyond Heretic by Raven Software.
Another singular feature not found in other contemporary shooters, the player can talk to NPCs and some decisions affect the future gameplay. The game also has several paths to follow (for example, at one point the player can kill Macil, the rebel leader, or decide to still trust him), and can result in one of 3 different endings.
Strife was originally being developed by Cygnus Studios, the creators of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, for id Software. However, Cygnus canceled the game when their founder, Scott Host, decided to move back to Chicago where he grew up.
Since the original source code to the game was lost by Rogue Entertainment, game engine recreations of Strife were created by Doom source port developers through reverse engineering, notably by Jānis Legzdiņš (author of the Doom source port Vavoom), Randy Heit (author of ZDoom), Samuel Villarreal (author of SvStrife) and James Haley (author with Samuel Villareal of Chocolate Strife). Except for the last, these projects allow high resolution video modes, better mouselook, and expanded modding capabilities.
Strife was ported to the Commodore Amiga in 2013.