Abuse (video game)
A little known gem from the days when platformers were still big on the PC, Abuse is a dark (both literally and figuratively) platform shooter created by Crack Dot Com and published by Origin Systems, by then a division of Electronic Arts, in 1996.
Abuse puts players in the shoes of Nick Vrenna, a man unjustly incarcerated in a maximum-security prison that is being used for ethically-questionable experiments. Predictably, all hell breaks loose when inmates and staff get transformed into monsters by a biological agent called Abuse. Only Nick is immune, so he decides to take advantage of the chaos by stealing a suit of Powered Armor and making good his escape.
The player must guide Nick through a series of increasingly difficult, sometimes maze-like levels while shooting Mutants, robots and turrets with eight distinct weapons. The game was known for its convincing atmosphere and silky-smooth controls which included a unique mouse-aiming system, an unprecedented feature that earned it the moniker of "Doom in 2D." The game shipped in a very mod-friendly state, with a fully functional map editor and a rudimentary sprite/texture editing program. The source code has been freely available since the late 90s.
It was also distributed to the Macintosh via Bungie Studios (yes, that Bungie) and was a game in the Mac Action Sack. Much more recently, it received an Amiga OS 4 port in 2009, and an iOS port titled Abuse Classic.
- Badass Normal
- Critical Annoyance: Low health results in a constantly faster and louder heartbeat.
- Critical Existence Failure: Both Nick and the enemies explode upon death, no matter what the cause.
- Death Trap: Many examples, including automated turrets, lava pits, Spikes of Doom, Advancing Drills of Doom.
- Doom Doors: The garden-variety mooks use the "Hell Knight Death" sound from Doom when they spawn.
- Everything Fades
- Expy: Most of the mutants bear a suspicious resemblance to xenomorphs, and Nick's armor contains some obvious design DNA from another sci-fi classic.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Many of Nick's weapons are large enough that he should only be able to carry one or two
- Metroidvania: The original game isn't like this, but the free version (fRaBs) is structured like one.
- Nintendo Hard: The game delights in dropping Nick into monster-filled pits which are also in the firing lines of multiple turrets. Luckily friendly fire is in full effect even among enemies.
- One Word Title
- Platform Game
- Spike Balls of Doom: Which are also Asteroids Monsters.
- Teleporting Keycard Squad/Cat Scare/Videogame Set Piece: Most of the enemies are dormant, and burst out of the walls/ceiling/floor in ambushes. The levels are packed with low growls and lighting scares to keep you on your toes.
- The Virus
- A Winner Is You: After the end of the last level the game just states matter-of-factly that Nick has escaped from the prison. That's all the ending you get.