Chaser

aka: Chaser: Défiez l'enfer, Chaser: Fight Your Way Through Hell, Chaser: If You Can Hold A Gun You're Not Dead
Moby ID: 9632
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Description official descriptions

In the year 2044 the UN established MARSCORP (Martian Security and Economics Committee). Its president Samuel Longwood gradually became unpopular with other companies by acquiring a considerable amount of wealth from dubious sources. Meanwhile, a man named John Chaser, wakes up on board the spaceship H.M.S. Majestic. He does not remember who he is, but after a very short time he finds himself fighting for his life, persecuted by mysterious men in black uniforms. Chaser must survive, regain his memory, and regain the dark secrets of Earth and Mars.

Chaser is a traditional cutscene-driven first-person shooter with some sneaking and submarine-navigating segments. The player character fights his way through indoor and outdoor levels, utilizing standard modern-day firearms as well as a "bullet time"-like feature (called "Adrenaline" in the game). Multiplayer offers Deathmatch as well as team-based modes such as Capture-the-Flag.

Spellings

  • Chaser: Вспомнить все - Russian spelling
  • チェイサー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

129 People (101 developers, 28 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 38 ratings with 6 reviews)

One of the few games I have actually thrown away.

The Good
I so SO wanted to like Chaser: It had a great game engine for its time with lots of environment tricks; the audio (especially the music) was fantastic; the story setting was my cup of tea (sci-fi). The opening sequence where you have to get off of a ship while it is in the process of breaking up wasn't original, but was well executed. After the first 20 minutes, I was pumped.

The Bad
The rest of the 20+ hours I wasted trying to finish this game was so wrought with frustration that I broke down and just started cheating in an effort to just get to the next damn level. I don't have a problem with the difficulty of games as long as they're engaging, but level after level just went on and on and on... it was beyond tedious. Unreal 2 did the same thing, but at least they announced when a level was going to be tedious; you had warning. Like others have said before, this game had tons of potential and simply squandered it. The voice acting was stiff, the levels were monotonous, and for being a sci-fi game it had surprisingly few sci-fi weapons or locales.

Ultimately, it was a disappointment because there were so many missed opportunities. There was no coherent storyline other than a lame attempt to string together all of the completely different levels that were created. Wait, I take that back -- the very very end of the story (spoiler warning!) had some thought, but only because it was a lame rip-off of Total Recall (except this time the ending ended on a sour note, almost as if the developers were mocking you for actually completing their game).

And, oh yes, you can't install the game under Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher -- I had to uninstall SP2 to install the game, then reinstall SP2. JoWood has acknowledged the problem and publicly stated there will be no fix. Great.

The Bottom Line
Don't bother. Honestly, there's no point -- I could have spent the 20+ hours playing some other game instead. Hell, I could have played Tron 2.0 for a fourth time.

(Yes, I really did throw the game away -- and I'm one of the founders of MobyGames, I never throw games away!)

Windows · by Trixter (8954) · 2004

Chaser: Navigate your way through boredom

The Good
Chaser offers a large amount of weapons, divided into good & old stuff on Earth like the M4 assault rifle and some high-tech toys on planet Mars where you can use e.g. the G200. And there is a reason for this plenty of weapons: A lot of bad guys and these bad guys are shared above various levels. You will need some time to win Chaser so this is not the kind of game that you can win accidentally in one evening.

The Bad
Or maybe I only think that Chaser takes that long because this game is boring like hell. There are some missions where you do nothing. If you’re the lucky one, then you have to walk through empty levels with nothing to shoot at. The major problem in most of the levels is to find the right way. Oftentimes you have several places that could be the right way. Then you try way No. 1, missing it several times and continuing to way No. 2 where the game begins again. If you have tested all possible way and don’t find the right way, well then you have to test all ways again. Yeah, that’s entertaining. Can I have a coffee, black with extra coffin? Otherwise I will fall asleep in this Jump’n’Run. The story is not a reason to play this game because it is (yes, you guessed right) boring and unimaginative. The summarize the whole thing: Everyone you meet will betrayal you so you have to kill them all. Various, isn’t it? But this had one good thing: All the characters in the game are so sympathetic that I loved to kill them, only because I won’t see them again. Unfortunately the most unsympathetic character is Chaser itself and I’m not allowed to kill these guy. Another disappointing fact is the AI. The opponents are as intelligent as three meters of a road (without a curve). The bad guys are able to run and to shoot and that’s it. No teamwork, no coverage, no grenades. Even the developer thought “How can we make the game more thrilling?” and of course they choose the simplest way: They betrayal. The enemies get stronger weapons and armour. Not the kinds you will get, that would be fair. No, the enemy equipment is stronger. Let me give a an example: You will find a new kind of grenade launcher on planet Mars. To kill one of the heavy armoured guys, they have your kind of armour, you will need three or four direct hits. Same situation with a little difference: Now the bad guys have the grenade launcher. They fire and, because you are a smart hero and dodge, the grenade impacts several meters behind you. Previously you had 100% armour and 100% health, afterwards just 40% of health. Last point on the bad list: The graphic! Ok, the levels look different, but there is one thing that is overall the same: the levels look like the cleaning lady just walks through it. No garbage, no weed, no debris. Maybe that’s good, because if you found some, you will encounter the problem of “How to move around that thing?” The collision detection is not very good, to say it polite…

The Bottom Line
There is only one reason to play Chaser: You want to develop your own shooter-game and want to determine how you should not do it. Or you have insomnia and want to try something else then sleeping pills. At least the sleeping pills from the drugstore. I guess Chaser: Fight your way through boredom is the better title for the game.

Windows · by jaXen (261014) · 2007

I'm glad to have played this game, but I have suspicions that I hate it on a deep level.

The Good
Right from the get-go, the graphics are outstanding. I mean that, too. For a 2003 game, these are 2004 graphics (cliché, but true). The accurate reflections on any wet spot of ground, off the window glass, and the ripple-prone water. The glass will fragment, and breaks about as you’d expect too, and oh is it spectacular. This all comes at a frame rate you can adore; on a Geforce 4 4400, Athlon XP 2700+, there were no hitches to speak of. Granted, the computer is no slouch, but it’s also a far cry from running Far Cry (I never get tired of that pun).

Sound is similarly pleasing, though it doesn’t hold a candle to the graphics. The soundtrack adds just the right amount of flavor to the combat, and once turned down to an acceptable volume, it makes the boring parts of the shooter more tolerable. The weapon sounds are good, though once you’ve fired several thousand rounds from a gun you tend not to ‘hear’ them anymore. The screams from your armed victims are pretty satisfying too.

A final strong point would be the story, which is what you can thank for this review. From the opening scene of the intro, you know you’re in for good, cheap sci-fi. It’s the standard fare, but it’s done well. When you start playing and there’s a space station in Earth orbit that’s exploding all around you, you know you’re in for a ride. Chaser does not disappoint, and I congratulate the writers. This is the kind of game that can make a person pick up a copy of Analog just to quench the thirst for talented, quickie sci-fi.

A final note; I picked this game up because I wanted to check out the story. I didn’t try the multiplayer in the full version, but I played the heck out of the demo. I can’t attest to the current state of multiplayer, but I do know that I regret not buying this game when it was first released when multiplayer would have been going strongest. Multiplay was solid in the demo, and I expect it is in the full version too.

The Bad
There are two major flaws to this game in single-play. I’ll start with the one that annoyed me the most… the difficulty. Because I just wanted to experience the game and its story, I opted for normal (out of Easy-Normal-Hard). I play a lot of Unreal Tournament 2004 and its mods, I’ve played a lot of multiplayer everything, and more single-player games than I can count. I can honestly attest that normal mode for this game is the hardest ‘normal’ I’ve ever encountered. You will quicksave/quickload so many times during the course of the game that you will be using the keys for those two functions almost as much as your ‘weapon reload’ key. The game’s Adrenaline mode (akin to bullet-time, but different enough to make its own mark) does not offset this inherent difficulty. When you finish the game, the story is all the sweeter, but damn. This is one hard game.

The second flaw, which I probably shouldn’t gripe about, but I have to register the complaint. It’s well-documented in the game reviews, I’m sure. This game drags out. It will drag out to the point of your being in tears due to the sheer volume of bad guys to kill, of tunnels to go through, of quicksaves and quickloads. The game’s story is epic, and the gameplay is near-infinite. I enjoyed the length at first, but when story was waiting for repetitious shooting sequences to finish, I had had enough. The game is just too long.

The Bottom Line
If you have patience, you enjoy a good single-player game, and you enjoy cheap, Analog-grade sci-fi, Chaser’s single-play will make you giddy and/or content. I would recommend the Easy setting, and I don’t say that lightly. The graphics don’t stop being good at any point of the game, and the music will keep you company during the slow parts of the game. I found the ending to be worth it, and there were many novel sequences that I’m glad to have seen and experienced. It’s not for everyone, but it is worth a shot. Just don’t expect a Half-Life, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Windows · by Bet (473) · 2006

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Trivia

Doors

The most dangerous enemy in the first level on the Majestic Station are the doors. Then can kill you instantly if you stay in their way when closing.

German version

In the German version all blood effects (except the ones which appear when the player character gets hurt) were removed. Corpses also disappear instantly.

Soundtrack

As of 2006, the soundtrack for the game can be downloaded at Cauldron's site.

Support

JoWood and Cauldron have released several free downloadable add-ons for Chaser including an official map pack (with five new maps), a level editor, and a stand alone server package.

Map pack and/or level editor.

Server pack and/or v1.50 patch.

Information also contributed by ClydeFrog, Karthik KANE and Silmarillion.

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  • MobyGames ID: 9632
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Felix Knoke.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Sciere, Scott Monster, formercontrib, Klaster_1, Patrick Bregger, Zhuzha.

Game added July 8, 2003. Last modified February 11, 2024.