In my reviews I have the tendency to conclude that the fans of this 'genre' will love the game and may or may not appeal to other people as much. This largely comes from reviewing niche games, and The Chaos Engine (CE) is very much one of those.
Released on the Amiga in 1993 and then ported to Computers and consoles, CE has now been released on Steam as a 'remastered' edition. To use the word 'remastered' implies a lot more than what is delivered here. The main additions to CE being a 'smoothed' option that makes the game look somewhat worse that it did in the 90s, improved 16-way controls over the old 8, and online play for co-op. There are always two characters on screen regardless if you play single player or co-op locally or online. In single player you choose both characters and the AI takes over one.
The characters you can choose from are Navvie, Thug, The Brigand, Mercenary, the Gentleman and Preacher. The first two have higher health, the next two are all-rounders and the last two are fast-moving with lower health. People who have played CE in the past will likely have their favourites but if youíre new it might be best off sticking with the tanks and all-rounder characters.
The game involves exploring top-down worlds where there are monsters roaming around waiting to shoot you, or waiting to come out of nearby hidey holes as you try to activate switches and nodes to get to the end of the level and start it all over again. This is an old game so I canít expect it to have a wide variety of objectives to break up all the shooting, but itís not fun unless you have a lot of nostalgia for games from this era. You can use a keyboard or you can use a controller and I found myself having to fight the 8 and 16 way controls trying to get the right angle to shoot monsters. If you can, use a controller.
I played CE in single player and could only imagine all the yelling that would occur in co-op when your friend picks up all the coins and pickups after you shot enemies too far away to collect from. I did get to experience that annoyance thanks to my AI friend; not that yelling at it would help as it kept taking the coins to upgrade their skills. There is an upgrade system where you use your money to boost your stats, if youíre playing with AI you can pick their upgrades too which is helpfulConclusion
This re-release will have an audience - the ones that held this game in high regard in the 90s and those who love retro gaming. You canít go wrong with this purchase if thatís the case. But without the nostalgia of having played CE Ďback in the dayí it has aged poorly and just isnít fun.