Selaco – Demo Impressions

Selaco is a first-person boomer shooter running on GZDoom, and it’s made by the developer team Altered Orbit Studios. It’s bloody, very fast, and very retro-pixel, but is it good? Going by the demo, the game shows great potential, yet, it stumbles a bit on the actual shooter part, which to me is perplexing. Then again, maybe I’m not the audience for this.

Let’s start with the visuals. The game looks awesome, it has a ton of cool sleek effects with plenty of environmental interaction all over, which makes for stunning battle scenes. Overall, I find Selaco good to play, but I have one issue with it – the shooting doesn’t feel as expected going by the Doom legacy. I can’t pinpoint it, but the shooting just feels a little off to me, maybe it’s the purple blood? Too fast? Or maybe it’s a little too messy for me with all those effects, and lens-flares going off? I don’t know. I wish I could put my finger on it, but comparable to Doom, it doesn’t feel as satisfactory blasting dudes. Regardless, it isn’t bad, it just surprised me I would feel this way considering that everything else is top-notch.

Happy invasion day!

I didn’t read any of the many data-logs you can pick up in the demo, since it was clearly stated in the introduction that the story is disabled for the demo. But from the vibes I got from it, it felt a bit like Deus Ex, mixed with System Shock just 10 times the speed of gameplay. The UI design for checking information feels very RPG-like, which I think shows interesting promise for the future. I do wonder, though, if it will be wasted on a game like this? I could easily imagine a slower paced RPG with stealth in this engine, setting and visual style – alas, it is what it is, and it isn’t bad, it’s actually good, but it still had me longing when walking around the cool looking space station environments.

Something else to add from the demo is that the sound design and music is great. Every item seems to have some kind of sound effect, in both working and broken condition, which adds an awesome atmosphere to the soundscape. Especially after a big battle. That feeling of combat aftermath-silence with random interrupts by trashed equipment making electric buzzes and beeps and boops is just excellent. The music fits perfectly and got my blood pumping at times, I’m not really sure where I would place it genre-wise, but it’s fast and cool. When I think about, it does have some throwback elements to it too.

I highly recommend giving the demo a go. It’s a good boomer shooter with a lot of promise, I just hope they tighten up the shooting a bit for a more rewarding experience. This is highly subjective of course, for you, it might be the best stuff ever! Regardless, it’s nice to see that GZDoom can look this nice.

Thanks for reading.

/Thomas


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