Back in the 90’s while Doom and Quake were dominating the FPS genre; John Romero quickly climbed the gaming industry with his innovative game/level design and his free flowing long hair. Making the FPS genre popular to the masses and coining the term “Deathmatch” which is the integral part of any modern FPS shooter released as of today.
As soon as he left Id Software, everything else was a disaster. He had an “ambitious” game in mind; so “ambitious” that it was considered one of the worst games ever made.
As a kid growing up in the early 90’s, the internet was not that much of a deal in my country. I relied on reading gaming magazines and seeing the edgy ads from John Romero’s Daikatana. It was all hype from there. He threatened to make me his bitch, and I didn’t even know what that meant as a young kid.
When the game was released back in May 23, 2000 reviewers left and right slammed the game for lagging behind technologically and being over hyped. This was a year where games are taking it to the next level, with legendary titles like Half-Life, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament. Daikatana did not reach anyone’s expectations; it came out as a “Quake 2 mod with unresponsive AI sidekicks, with a lot of bugs and glitches”.
Now, as of writing, it’s available on Steam for $6.99–try it out with a grain of salt. Knowing of all of its mishaps and shortcomings, I appreciated it. No, seriously. It was rushed out the door, but if given the time, John Romero would’ve done great things to the game. But alas, it’s too late.
I appreciate his vision at that time. It would’ve done better if he had some talent available in his team, like a “John Carmack” per se. I won’t go and repeat every reviewer’s bad experience of this game, it’s deadbeat. It was the Duke Nukem Forever of the year 2000. Now that’s out of the way, it’s best to try it on your risk, laugh it off and regret that you gave 7 bucks to this game.
Don’t get me wrong, it is still a bad game; as the old adage goes, you gotta “Experience the bad before you appreciate the good.”
There is a group of modders who are doing a project for reviving Daikatana, based on the QuakeC engine it will be hopefully released for Windows/Linux. I wish they can clean up its mess and do John Romero and the game itself some justice.
I leave you with this piece of infamous marketing ad.
A “Fresh” Take on Daikatana
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