Blood Typing

Monolith's cult classic gets remastered

Monolith's grotesque 1997 FPS Blood is finally getting a proper remaster courtesy of Nightdive Studios, PC game archaeologist extraordinaires.

Running in 3D Realms' popular Build engine (Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, etc), Blood brought - yes! - bloody horror-comedy to gamers worldwide. Taking control of the wisecracking, movie quoting Caleb (pop culture-savvy characters were a staple of Build games), players annihilated waves of zombies, mad cultists, gargoyles and many other gothic nightmares.

Blood does some great things with Build, offering a spectacular moving train - and inevitable crash - along with much enjoyable gimmickery such as a carnival with playable attractions. Levels are brilliantly designed and intricately packed with fiendish secrets; you'll need to scour every nook and cranny, because even on lower difficulties this is a tough one to crack. While the graphics can be a little muddy, it suits the oppressive, eerie atmosphere and over-the-top gory violence, calling to mind gonzo VHS splatter classics such as Evil Dead, The Burning and Zombie Flesh Eaters.

Despite my love for its predecessors, I'd call Blood the best Build game. The superb array of weapons, consistent quality of the environments, smooth controls and meaty challenge elevate it over the mixed-bag design and uncomfortable stereotyping of its contemporaries.

Details on the remaster are presently thin, but expect something in line with Nightdive's excellent takes on Strife, 7th Guest et al - a faithful presentation of the original, scaled to modern resolutions and featuring smoother controls. The package will be the One Unit Whole Blood set, featuring the game and its Plasma Pak/Cryptic Passage expansions. I can't wait. And, to end this article in the most numbingly predictable way possible, let's hear from Caleb himself!

 "I live... again!"

 You sure do, Caleb! You sure do.