The infamous shooter that tarnished John Romero’s reputation can now be sucked down on Windows 8.
Before Duke Nukem Forever, there was Daikatana. The brainchild of John Romero and Ion Storm, Daikatana was supposed to be the next big thing in PC gaming. Three years after its planned release, gamers finally sat down to discover out-of-date graphics, incompetent AI companions, and artificially limited level saves. Coupled with a marketing campaign that promised to make us John Romero’s bitch, the game found itself reviled even by fans of Romero’s work. Now the infamous PC shooter has found a home with GOG.com, where today’s gamers can decide for themselves whether Daikatana was a misunderstood gem, or honestly deserves all the hatred heaped upon it.
To be fair, Daikatana did have an interesting story going for it. In the year 2455 AD, the evil Kage Mishima has used a magical sword, the Daikatana, to alter time and conquer the planet. The player takes control of Hiro Miyamoto, a young man who remembers how things once were, and travels through time and space to set things right. Along the way, Miyamoto and his partners defeat Mishma’s monsters in Ancient Greece, Medieval Norway, and Near-Future Los Angeles before returning to 2455 for a final showdown.
Although I’ve never played Daikatana myself, I can’t help but feel conflicted about this re-release. On the one hand, even if the game had launched in 1997, it would likely still be a broken disappointment. Gamers appear to agree on this point, since at the time of writing, the PC version doesn’t even warrant its own GameFAQ. On the other hand, that trailer doesn’t look half-bad. While the levels could certainly use a wider color palate, the monster designs are really interesting and the whole thing has a classic Unreal vibe to it. If it weren’t for the lack of gameplay footage, I’d probably be trying it right now.
At the very least, I have to admire GOG.com for making the infamous title available so we can decide for ourselves. Daikatana can now be purchased for $5.99 on the website, where it is available on all modern versions of Windows.