Test – Wrath Aeon of Ruin: the retro FPS shines on consoles

Released last February on PC, the very nice Wrath: Aeon of Ruin has already been ported to home consoles.

Among the good surprises at the start of the year, Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most successful retro FPS games of recent months. Published by the legendary 3D Realms, the title arrives this week on consoles. And the portage is a great success.

Taking inspiration quite openly from Doom and Quake, Wrath aims to be a resolutely retro FPS, both in its construction, its gameplay and its production. However, it differs from its models by the construction of its universe which is similar to a sort of mini open-world which allows access to different levels which of course resemble labyrinths and take up the canons of the genre: secrets to discover, piles of objects to collect, blocked doors, keys that allow you to open them.

Some visual effects are frankly missed.

This is not the only originality of the title, which leans more towards Hexen in terms of its medieval-fantasy universe, and also plays more the card of hand-to-hand combat with a bladed weapon in addition to traditional firearms.

As we said above, the gameplay revolves around hubs. From these you are launched into levels of increasing difficulty, following a similar approach to classic games where saving is not always at hand! You need to obtain an artifact that you can use to save at any time, with the little added challenge of only being able to recover the health you had at the time of saving. Otherwise, of course, you can always return to the hub…

The fights are quite intense.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin’s gameplay is both accessible and unforgiving. Although ammo is plentiful, it requires great skill to advance far in the game. You’ll need mastery and a “try and fail” mentality to quickly learn the level layouts and prepare to take on enemies. In line with classic games, the difficulty is high, but Wrath: Aeon of Ruin finds a balance that still makes it surmountable.

This FPS doesn’t just follow the usual formula; it incorporates some light RPG elements. You can improve your character by collecting artifacts throughout the adventure, and a logbook is available to guide you.

Retro games often use floating powerups, a holdover from early 2D games. While this creates a nostalgic atmosphere, it can break immersion. Wrath: Aeon of Ruin takes a more moderate approach: only save points and weapons are visible while suspended, but these elements can be justified in the context of the game.

The game universe leans towards heroic fantasy.

If it was pleasantly played with the keyboard/mouse, the game is also very pleasant to play with the controller but be careful with the precision, the difficulty is only increased!

On the technical side, the title of course doesn’t really impress since it runs on the same engine as Quake, which dates from 1996. It is also the first game to be released on this engine in 20 years! It has its charm but also its drawbacks: some renderings are filthy, like water. The feeling of the weapons is also not fantastic for a title released in 2024. At €24.99, the bill is certainly a bit steep, but the game is worth it, believe us. Content-wise, the title is generous with lots of boss levels and enemies. The progression is pleasant, even if we would have liked more diversity in the environments and a few more surprises in terms of game modes…

Conclusion

Released on PC last February, Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is entitled to a proper release on consoles. At €24.99, the bill may seem steep for a small indie FPS that reuses the Quake engine. But the title manages to pleasantly surprise us with its heroic-fantasy universe, its intense combat and its few small originalities in terms of gameplay. It’s probably not the best retro FPS we’ve played, but fans of the genre will largely find what they’re looking for!

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Wrath: Aeon of Ruin

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WE love :

Old-fashioned style

Original gameplay

The authenticity of the Quake engine

Some good ideas

We like less:

A little expensive (€24.99)

It’s still a bit short…

Some failed visual effects

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