Currently, the gaming industry in a bit of a crisis. Concerned about the risk of funding a new IP (intellectual property) which has no guaranteed fanbase or sales as a result, publishers are unlikely to spend money on new ideas. Too, developers have to resort to developing licensed titles with unoriginal and uninspired ideas to fund their creativity and the job that they love to do. There’s also the fact that the current generation of consoles is coming to a close with the Wii U already out and the PS4 and Xbox One on the way, no one is going to change up the remedy before the next powerful machines come out. What this means is that gamers are stuck for choice after boring choice, but somewhere, online, in the realm of browser titles, Pac-Man is making a return, as one of the most original games yet.
Usually when these kind of things happen and a critical title or a classic, ‘retro’ blast from the past is made for the modern era, it’s usually a reskinned, rehashed and reheated version of the exact same gameplay, albeit with flashier graphics, but that’s not the case here. Called ‘FPS-Man’, Tom Davies, a freelance game developer, has taken Pac-Man, the cult hit of old and has turned into a game that allows gamers to see the corridors through Pac-Man’s world. Those colourful floating ghouls that used to be tiny irritants to your game? Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde (the names of the Pac-Man ghosts) become horrifying monsters, haunting your through the infamous maze as you attempt to hoover up orbs for points.
While technically the title is a first person shooter, as you would gather from the ‘FPS-Man’ title, Davies’ genre twisting game actually plays out more like a survival horror, more fitting in the realm of Silent Hill and Resident Evil than of Call of Duty, Battlefield and other soldier based war shooters and the like. The biggest example of FPS-Man ramping up the scares in a way that the original Pac-Man never could, is that you actually have no idea of knowing where the aforementioned ghosts are lurking about in the shadows. Because the top down map in the original has been replaced with huge walls to form the famous maze, you can’t see your enemies like you could before. However, the four ghosts do emit a slight glow as they near you, so, while they aren’t easy to locate, they are still noticeable, albeit in the creepiest way possible.
One way the game has kept to the original is that just like Pac-Man, FPS-Man includes that almighty power-up that allows you top chomping through Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde like chowder, making them as disposable as ever. Racing through the immersive corridors means that this is an even more fun experience the second time around.
Could we see more modern reboots done so originally in the future? Hopefully, we’ll see more of these sorts of reboots soon. We’ll keep you posted on any new titles worth noticing. Play FPS-Man here.