Did you know that Xbox Game Pass has a huge library of awesome games you can play for one low monthly fee? Of course, you did, but a game you might have slept on so far on the PC is Prodeus. It's been in early access on Steam for a while but has now joined the Xbox Game Pass ranks in Microsoft's Game Preview program. And it is a riot.
Seriously, this is the most fun I've had playing a shooter in a long time. You have to try it.
Right now you'll have to jump in on PC, though according to the initial crowdfunding campaign, there are plans for a console release across Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
Old-school look, modern feel
If you're a fan of old-school shooters, I mean, really old school, like DOOM, Wolfenstein, anything built on the Build engine, you're going to fall in love with this instantly. Visually, Prodeus harks back to that age with a pixel-art style that's still capable of packing a punch. And a lot of gore. It's pixelated gore, but it's absolutely fantastic, right down to the way it splashes over your weapons.
But this isn't a game like Ion Fury, a modern game built on an old engine, the retro goes only as far as the visuals. Underneath, Prodeus is fast and smooth, like the modern DOOM or Wolfenstein games. But for true retro fans, there are included visual tools to drop the virtual resolution down to make things a little more pixelated, even some filters to add scanlines or CRT display effects.
This game really is a perfect mesh of old and new. I'm sure there's some kind of a story underneath, but frankly, I've been having too much fun blowing sh*t up to get into that.
Fantastic level design
One of the defining aspects of the shooters of old are the intricate level designs packed with hidden secrets and puzzle aspects. Prodeus is no different, with each level boasting all of this and a degree of verticality. You're going up and down as well as across. All of the levels I've played so far are very different to each other, with their own challenges.
It also means the enemies are never just in front of you, they're often above or below. Fortunately, you've got a strong array of weapons, including a most satisfying rocket launcher, to dispense with the various foes. Some of them hit hard, too.
Other classic traits like searching for color-coded keys find their way into Prodeus' level design, so you really do have to explore. The in-game map is extremely helpful, though, and very detailed as far as maps go, with a 3D effect that blends perfectly with the rest of the game's aesthetic.
Oh, and the soundtrack absolutely bangs. This game really is the complete package.
You're missing out not trying Prodeus on Game Pass
For me, this is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games right now. It isn't finished yet, but it's absolutely worth playing right now, because you'll be hooked. There's plenty of replayability too, with plenty of difficulties to scale up, and an ever-growing library of community-created maps to give you a real challenge.
Sometimes you want a deep story or sweet loot to grind for. Others, you want some light-hearted shooty bang bang, and that's what you've got here. Prodeus is one of the most fun games I've played this year, and you're missing out if you have Game Pass and you don't give this a shot. It's the best DOOM-like game since, well, DOOM.
Alternatively, you can buy a copy on the Microsoft Store or on Steam.
The Best DOOM since DOOM
Mixing old-school style and modern-feeling mechanics, Prodeus is an absolute gem and you're missing out if you're not playing it. Also available on Xbox Game Pass for PC.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine