Rex Blade/Domination

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Rex Blade/Domination

Post by MrFlibble »

Rex Blade is yet another one of the more obscure 2.5D FPS that was released in mid-nineties. Initially planned as a series of three separate episodes, only the first one called Rex Blade: The Battle Begins was released as a stand-alone game, while the entire trilogy got bundled in a single package, later re-titled Domination.

The game was criticized for dated graphics, non intuitive controls and lack of proper Windows support (the developers themselves indicated that it is better to run it in pure DOS than under Win95). However, one of the authors, André LaMothe, cites schedule issues as the reason why the game was not developed to its full potential:
I had to write that game in 45 days from concept to shrink wrap. That schedule was the problem. The engine is an advanced ray caster that I wrote, but simon and schuster wouldn't give me time to finish the 2nd version, so the engine we had to use wasn't in high rez, and had to go with 320x200. But, the graphics are similar to doom, it had advanced lighting, shading, glass, and other effects. The 640x480 engine had to be shelved. But, the game had 10-12 different planets, each with its own graphics and theme, the shear amount of art, graphics, etc. made it nearly impossible. But, bottom line, finished a FPS from scratch in 45 days, sold about 100K copies. I needed a good 9-12 months to do something really clean. However, the game has ideas in it that were way ahead of its time. For example, there are computers that you access to do things like exit, etc. But, these computers are REAL, you can program them, so they work -- and you can write games on them, or hack the level and turn things on/off, open doors, so it was a thinking hacking aspect to the game never fully explored.

Finally, the game had REAL AI, the actors have memory and communicate to each other about weapons location, ammo, food, and plan accordingly. If you put the game into god mode and look down you can see that the creatures are all doing things. Unlike doom and other games, the characters just sit and wait for you to flip a virtual switch then attack. But, I was trying to create something that had an ecosystem that was alive and worked.

But, 45 days -- shit, most people can't write "hello world" in 45 days let alone a million lines of computer code and publish a game, so I am very happy with it nevertheless. It was just bad timing, bad publisher, bad schedule, with a good concept, GREAT character and idea "Rex Blade" rocks as a concept and if you read about it, its interesting since I invented it 5 years before HALO, but Rex Blade is very similar to the Master Chief, he was used in a time of war, hyper advanced, genetically modified, and the game starts off by re-starting him in his orbiting capsule since he was in hypersleep.

Anyway, after Rex blade, we did 2 more follow up packs to the game and I decided without real funding, $1-5M a game, and 1-2 years a project there is no way to do what I want, so I started doing the casual games and that worked really really, 1-6 months a project, they cost $5-50K and all made at least 10x their cost, some 100x, so amazing ROI.

But, you never know... I might bring Rex Blade back some day and give him justice.
(quoted from here)

The game has quite a few unusual twists, like an in-game programming language that can be used through computer terminals that are found on a level:
But, what's really impressive is that in a video game, there is a virtual processor, environment, OS, language, interface, then you could walk up to the console in the FPS itself, login, code, and WRITE a game within the game :) Kinda like Inception :) So, we had asteroids, breakout, and a few others we wrote that you could find on the "mainframes" memory system.

Anyway, bottom line, my interest was in making objects real, not just look real. I want liquid to act like liquid, but also be used as fuel. Imagine a game like HL, but instead of just physics working, simple electrical systems could be constructed, you could build things in a "lab" then use them -- or whatever a simple radio, or timer to blow up some C4, etc. Right now, games have destruction and its pretty damn amazing, but it would be cool, if things BURNED -- for real, melted, gave off vapor, even some simple models would be really interesting.

Or when you mix chemicals they react in the way they should (within reason), so you could make acids, explosives, and so forth with chemicals found in a game. That stuff is just cool since you have to figure out ways to do it in real time, plus make the models fairly realistic.

Not to mention you might learn something about electronics or chemistry playing a game! Not a bad trade off for the USA since we have the worst public schools on the planet and we are behind everyone in education now.

Although many of those features sound like a deviation from the main game, there sure are some interesting concepts in the game, and who knows, maybe if it weren't rushed, it would have been an interesting addition to the FPS genre. The critics, however, mostly panned the game for being generally outdated both in terms of graphics and gameplay features, clumsy controls and poor design.

Rex Blade Review at Super Adventures in Gaming
Download Rex Blade Demo from FilePlanet
Download Domination Shareware Episode from
Download Domination Shareware Episode from

The shareware episode contains 9 missions spanning across three worlds.
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