After languishing in disputed rights hell for several years, is source code an elusive holy grail, 1997 shooter Blood lives again as Blood: Fresh Supply. Published by retro FPS saviors NightDive Studio and source-ported to a modern engine by Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal, Blood is finally playable on current operating systems.
As a '97 title, Blood was a bit of an anachronism when Monolith originally released it. Quake had just rocked the FPS world and Half-Life was little more than a year away; the Build engine, despite being only 2 years old, was starting to look a bit long in the tooth. Monolith offset this technical disparity by making Blood one of the most impressive games ever made on the Build engine. The tricks they pulled off to give the impression of full 3D space in a 2.5D engine are still impressive to this day.
In fact, among the Build "trilogy" of Shadow Warrior, Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, Blood is arguably the best of the three, with the most advanced level design, best difficulty balance and surprising world building. The game stars Caleb, an undead gunslinger out for revenge against the Lovecraftian cultists who murdered him. Naturally the Evil Dead references are numerous, but the game has a grim sense of humor all its own, and its weapon set focuses on explosives and guilty-pleasure immolation.
This new release runs on NightDive's proprietary KEX engine, and spearheaded by Kaiser Villarreal, who is known for working on their modern Turok ports, among other notable work. Fresh Supply includes the original expansion packs--Cryptic Passage and Plasma Pak--and costs a paltry $10 on Steam and GOG. On GOG, if you already own the DOSBox emulated version Blood: One Whole Unit, you can pick up Fresh Supply for $5 until June 9th. It's so refreshing to see one of the last great 90s FPS get a new lease on life, or undeath as it were.
I know it's a bit much to ask, what with all the Disney and EA shenanigans going on, but I'd love to see NightDive and Kaiser tackle Star Wars: Dark Forces next. Hey, a crusty old 90s gamer can dream, right?