There's not a lot of choice when it comes to Christmas themed first person shooters or first person shooters set at Christmas. I've already played Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (in April). And that's all I can think of.
There's that Duke Nukem expansion pack, and I recall the main guy from Rise of the Triad has a Christmas hat on if you play it on Christmas Day.
What I need is something completely unique and unheard of. Something wholesome and wonderful that'll entertain the audience and fill the room with festive cheer.
(Also known as Xmas Carnage by folks who go by the CD sleeve and ignore the title screen, documentation, etc.)
Hooray! This title music is festive! It's helped along by the simple warming tones that only a naff SoundBlaster module can produce.
Hey, here's a snowman! It is a Christmas game, after all!
I'm running around in circles trying to find a better weapon, hoping that I've started next to one. The road leads off into the distance between rows of identical houses. Not a good idea to wander off before I've found my starting gun. Where is it?
They bleed an awful lot when I shoot them. These must be snowmen monsters.
Or perhaps they're people dressed as snowmen.
Objective 1: Get red key.
It's pistol ammo! Yay!
Wait. What kind of Santa gives children ammunition for Christmas? That's not right.
It's a guy in a santa hat with big white coat and a shotgun. As this digitised guy runs about, he likes to bellow an elbow-in-the-ribs style 'ho ho ho!' like he's just read out a Christmas cracker joke.
When he shoots me, he doesn't make a gun noise, he yells 'Beng!'.
Splat. I'm dead. I'm going to have to turn the difficulty down. There's no way that I'm supposed to be able to kill this many snowmen.
I've also found a Corridor 7-like map device! It's good to be able to tell where I've been, but what I'd really like to know is where to go.
Darn it. That was stupid. I should be paying more attention. I shoot the lab Santa and run up one of the staircases.
The music takes turns being festive and creepy. It's now moved on to a pipe organ section thats clipping all over the place and making a sound as if the cones of my speakers are being torn apart.
My money says that they're going to run out of elves before I run out of bullets.
I can't take the presents. I think they must be for weapons I've yet to find, and they block my path for some reason.
Sneaking successful! Now we're talking. Assault rifle, check. Red key, check. Health, check. Where did I leave the damned red door?
Okay, let's think about this logically. I could draw out a map on paper as I patrol the streets. Or I could check the documentation and see if there's a fullscreen map. Which there is! (The German word for fullscreen map is 'FullScreen-Map', fact fans.)
I'm gonna take screenshots of the fullscreen map and assemble them into a composite picture showing the whole level. Ready?
I started in the northwest corner. The little two-by-two room next to the corner is where I found the pistol. I found the red key in the castle to the south, where the pink areas lead to the battlements. The red key door is at the very top, next to a maze. Well, as far as I can tell, I've been everywhere...
UNLESS... those black squares to the right of the maze at the top are undiscovered squares!
(The half an hour of solid running around the streets like a maniac pressing Space on the walls has been omitted for brevity. I did find some neat secret areas though!)
That's only to be expected, really. There's nothing especially wrong with Christmas Carnage's controls. They're responsive and all in the right place.
There wasn't any sort of inter-level screen showing stats or anything. No sound effect, no change in music. The screen just faded out and faded back in again.
This elf has no idea I'm here. Means I don't have to stand that blasted laugh.
Ahh... white coat, snowy streets: camouflage! That Santa's a tricky one.
I can't pick a single one of them up because they're all for weapons I don't have!
I don't get it.
The music hasn't changed since I started the game. It's on a permenant rotation of Rudolph, some dramatic music, some festive music and that speaker breaking pipe organ music. It's sheer coincidence that the music is lining up with how I'm doing in the game.
My camera isn't going to be automatically yanked away as my character obediently tracks the designated 'scary thing', and I'm not going to be distracted by shiny effects while I wait for my character to finally respond to my desperate hammering of the fire button (through desperation and boredom).
In this castle, it's just me and some German dude's demented imagination.
I didn't accidentally shoot you (like I usually do)!
There's a part here where you have to crouch to get through some narrow passages. It's really, really difficult to get the game to let you uncrouch. If you manage to do it, the game will crash because you don't have a weapon equipped. It's really difficult to get a weapon out, too. Fortunately, unlike Rex Blade, the saves work.
For the first time in computer gaming history, they give you the map before you enter the maze, rather than giving you the map as a reward for completing the maze.
I head up a lift, only to be met with a corridor full of flamethrower angels, labcoat Santas, munching presents and magic elves. I have no ammo left. I can only hope to run past them all and hope for the best.
(That's German for 'Merry Christmas'!)
How did we get from running down corridors to a dismembered rabbit? The readme says I was playing as the Easter Bunny and I was trying to destroy Christmas! Who knew!
This is a nice image to end the year on, isn't it? Merry Christmas everyone!