REDNECK RAMPAGE / Interplay / PC
In the wake of Duke Nukem's success, 3D Realms stood ready to license their Build engine to any and all comers who thought they could handle the cutting-edge tech of small jumps and looking up and down at 45-degree angles. One of their takers was Xatrix, who dabbled in shooters based on crude stereotypes before branching out into prescription medication. Redneck Rampage stars two hillbillies on a quest to do Lord knows what, but somehow it involves shooting hell out of every other violent hick in the immediate area.
The game is full of Larry The Cable Guy-esque yelling, both from your character and the enemies. Some of the quips are actually kind of amusing, but with only eight or so enemy types for the entire game they do wear pretty quickly. Fortunately, the soundtrack has a large amount of licensed music from the Reverend Horton Heat, Mojo Nixon and other notables of the "psychobilly" movement that is surprisingly listenable.
The gameplay is ... ehh. If you don't miss the keycard hunt-a-thons of the DOS days, this won't do anything to change your mind. Each level requires you to hunt up three keys, and they're often in obtuse places and hard to see. In the first level, I spent about 20 minutes blundering around without even realizing I'd already picked up the second key! Not only are the key locations obscure, but sometimes the doors you use them in are too, as there's no color-coding. I actually like the enemy placement overall in most levels, though there's a lot of unintentional pistol sniping required since they can see (and hit) you from pretty far away, but at least it doesn't lean on Romero-style constant cheap ambushes for challenge. Again, the lack of different enemy types also kind of degrades things here.
The game was also kinda an early trailblazer for the DLC Culture we find ourselves mired in today. The base game actually only comes with two episodes of eight levels each, but an absolute shitboat of (paid) add-ons were released after the fact.
It's not the greatest representative of '90s FPS, but it's just well-put-together enough and offers up just enough chuckles that genre fans who've already run through all the other big names and crave Moar may enjoy it. Likely too dated and crude of an experience for everyone else, though.
* Gameplay Video