Chasm plays like a competent conversion of the original Quake...

User Rating: 7.6 | Chasm: The Rift PC
It’s telling that every time I try to recall a specific level or area from Chasm, I think of one of my favorite encounters from the original Quake. Chasm played like a decent true-3D shooter (like Quake) constructed on top of an older 2.5D engine (like Duke). The ability to look freely in any direction was limited and the talking-head cutscenes were static and poorly written, but the action found in the game itself was on the exact same level as id’s early masterpiece.

Try as I might, Chasm does not work on my XP-driven P4 rig. I still have a copy of the game installed on my old Pentium 2 and played it briefly this past fall. At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll say again: Chasm is like taking a turn on a particularly good total conversion of Quake, one which allows for such low-poly-count delights as detachable limbs and some nicely differentiated weaponry. Armor, power-ups, and small groups of minimally-detailed but well-designed monsters tend to pop out from behind sliding walls. Chasm’s damage model is appreciably tough on the hard setting, but I was never desperately short on ammo. All of the above characteristics should be familiar to anyone who traversed Quake’s dark and grotty realms.

There is nothing wrong with designing a me-too product that replicates all of the better parts of a big, well-known title. After all, Shadow Warrior, Redneck Rampage, and even Blood were just variations of Duke 3D. They all used the Build engine, of course, but they also contained many of the same features and combat scenarios. Although Chasm doesn’t use the same engine as its seminal cousin, it feels so much like Quake that my own memory often can’t tell them apart. Anyone who can still find a working copy of Action Forms’ competent first endeavor might do well to give Chasm a try.