Strife was originally in development by Cygnus Studios, the creators of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, and id Software was supposed to publish the game. However, game designer Jim Molinets left Cygnus and joined Rogue Entertainment, thus carrying his game design over with him. Cygnus and id no longer had anything to do with Strife at that point. Rich Fleider and Tim Neveu from Cygnus also joined the Rogue team as well to work on Strife. Shortly afterwards, Cygnus Studios was renamed to Mountain King Studios, and Mountain King hired new staff to work on their next project, Demonstar.
The publisher Velocity closed down shortly after Strife was released and it is unclear who has held the rights to the game ever since, which is one of the reasons for its rarity.
Ads in US PC gaming magazines displayed review scores for the game-- 82% from PC Gamer, and 3/5 from Computer Gaming World. These are respectable but less-than-fantastic scores, so seems a bit odd that Velocity would choose to display these so prominently.
One of the things that people really complained about when Strife was released, was that it only had one save slot. This was pretty inexcusable for a game that had large FPS elements, where death could lurk around any corner.
Anyway, you don't actually have to worry about this 'feature', because Rogue fixed it in the version 1.3 patch, allowing you to have multiple save slots. Make sure you download the patch, if you're going to play the game!
Strife (at least, here in the UK) had a wonderfully controversial advertising campaign. The ad took the form of a recipe:
(for 8 people)
Ingredients: 1 brain (medium), 1 pair of balls (large)
Blend until smooth.
Sip during game play.
The main part of the ad was a huge photo - The surface of a kitchen table with a few nice-looking herbs scattered around and, right in the middle, what looked like a big, wet, recently removed human brain and a large pair of...of...ah...hmm...
Needless to say, there were lots of complaints and many magazines either refused to run the ad or plastered huge black boxes over the entire thing.
The CDROM package includes the "town map" on one side and the "field guide" on the other side of a sheet. The field guide illustrates the different enemies, weapons, ammo, armor, medical supplies, cold hard cash ;) and miscellaneous items encountered during the game.
Strife was the Doom engine's last gasps for air. It would be the final game to use id's engine.
While Doom and some other games using its engine have had 3D-accelerated updates in recent times, courtesy of code-releases from the developers and some talented fans in the community, sadly it looks as if this may not happen with Strife. Members of Rogue Entertainment have commented that they would love to release the code to the community where it might be taken up by such projects, but they are legally unable to do so as they do not own all the rights that would allow them. (The game is superb, regardless.)