|Publisher(s)||Head Games (Activision)|
|Designer(s)||Carlos Cuello, Andre Lowe, Joe Wilcox|
Extreme Paintbrawl is a paintball video game released for DOS/Microsoft Windows on October 31, 1998. The game uses a modified version of the Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition v1.5 executable. The game is considered to be one of the worst video games ever made. Extreme Paintbrawl was developed in two weeks, with a soundtrack by musician Todd Duane, who sent his demo tracks to Head Games. The game was followed by Extreme Paintbrawl 2 in 1999, Ultimate Paintbrawl 3 in 2000, and Extreme Paintbrawl 4 in 2002, all of which were met with negative reviews.
Despite being "distinguished as the first non-violent 3D shooter" by the Philadelphia Daily News, prior examples of non-violent first-person shooters have existed on the market a few years before Extreme Paintbrawl was released, namely Super 3D Noah's Ark by Christian video game developer Wisdom Tree and Chex Quest, an advergame total conversion of Doom for children.
In Extreme Paintbrawl, there are three game modes available to the player: Season Mode, Single Game, and Practice. Season Mode allows one to manage a team of eight recruits through an entire season. The player is able to hire and fire recruits, buy markers, and compete against other teams for the championship in compliance with a fixed schedule. There were several flaws in this mode such as the inability to swap markers between recruits. Single Game allows the player to play a single paintball match. The objective is to score by either capturing your opponent's flag or marking an opponent. Practice mode leaves the player alone on the field of his/her choice with no specific targets to shoot.
Extreme Paintbrawl received extremely negative reviews; criticism was directed toward its use of the obsolete Build engine, lack of game modes beyond a variation of capture the flag, maps that did not resemble actual paintball fields at all, an unfitting soundtrack, and a practice mode that only allowed players to roam through a map without any enemies or targets. The game was also plagued by bizarre AI behavior, including computer-controlled teammates getting caught near doors and walls or standing still in open areas of the map, but also being able to also exhibit perfect aim.
GameSpot gave Extreme Paintbrawl a 1.7/10, stating that the game took the first-person shooter genre too far by trying to "wed a tired game engine with the paintball phenomenon." Its AI was criticized for being "perhaps one of the worst attempts at modeling a team sport" due to its inconsistent behavior, and the game was also criticized for making it too difficult to distinguish between enemies and allies. In conclusion, Extreme PaintBrawl was considered to be "perhaps one of the worst games I've seen in years, as much out of touch with reality as it is out of step with the gaming world at large." IGN gave Extreme Paintbrawl a 0.7/10, making it the second lowest score IGN has ever given to a video game. The review remarked that the soundtrack was the only aspect of the entire game that could constitute being described as "extreme".
The game spawned a number of sequels.
Extreme Paintbrawl 2 was released for Microsoft Windows on November 15, 1999. The game was developed and published by Head Games. The game uses a modified version of the Genesis3D engine. The game was criticised for its AI, as the player's teammates constantly run into walls and get stuck anywhere possible. IGN gave the game a score of 2.6/10.
Extreme Paintbrawl 4 was developed by Activision Value and published by Cat Daddy Games. It was released on May 13, 2002. It was a re-release of Ultimate Paintbrawl 3. The game received negative reviews due to outdated graphics and a broken multiplayer mode. GameSpot gave the game a 2.4/10, and IGN gave it a 4.0/10.
- "Extreme Paintbrawl Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2011-10-28. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "IGN: Extreme PaintBrawl Review: Extreme?!? Yeah, like my mom at her modern dance class!!!". IGN.com. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
- IGN: Extreme Paintbrawl 2 Review
- IGN's Review of Extreme Paintbrawl 4
- GameSpot's Review of Extreme Paintbrawl 4