Pariah is one of that generic first person shooter that you can live without it and will never miss it for not playing.
All in this game is poorly made, and anyone who plays it will see a lot of elements from other games, from the life system to combat, music and items. Only the history escape a little of this and start with a relative good premise, but, through the game, you'll have characters without will, too 'robotic', without emotion or any power to captivate you.
The history gives us a good start. The player controls Jack, which is escorting some sort of 'patient' for somewhere. In the middle of the trip, the airship is hit by a missile and fall to the ground. Fortunately (or not..), Jack survive the crash and, discovery that the name of the 'patient' is Karina and, after an attack, she disappears and after this point, you'll pass some few hours (thank God!) looking for her. The point is that she contain some sort of contagious virus with unknown effects and side effects, and the worse is that the own Jack is contaminated through Karina.
Well, after this, the history starts to become very confuse. You just had to shoot in ANY thing that appears on your screen. Even when the enemies are shooting each other, they are all enemies for Jack. Probably the worse is the fact that the most enemies look equal, with same face, movements and voices. I don't know, but I have sure that the only difference between Jack and his enemies are the hair. He have some hair, his enemies no.
If the producers just were without inspiration and creativity to create some more variety enemies, then, you should see the weapons. They're ugly and most of them don't work like you should like. This game have the one of most ridiculous shotguns that I had seen; the rocket launcher almost never go where you're aiming and, when you attempt to get the lock the missiles on your enemies, the missile miss more when you try to hit without that "lock system".
At least, this game probably has the most useful grenade launcher of all times. Also, the sniper rifle works really good and is very strong, with a scope that give you the possibility to search your enemies through their heat.
Actually, the big problem with the weapons is its sound effects. Not only the sound effects of the weapons, but of almost all elements of the game. When you shoot with a machine gun, you want to hear a machine gun sound or, at least, something that give you the sensation that you're really firing a machine gun. And inside this 'little problem', you should include: explosions, voices, screams, fire, vehicles, doors, airships…
Pariah brings one interest system to upgrade your weapons and, if wasn't that listed problems, this would be a great implementation on the game. Each weapon can be upgraded three times. To upgrade them, you must collect some special item that can be find in some hidden places or even on obvious locations. Have to mention that the healing system is the most ridiculous of all times…
The last thing that will claim for your attention is the graphics. Pariah was released at 2005, in a time where more powerful and beautiful engines were working around, like the ones used in Half-Life 2, Quake 4, Fear and Call of Duty 2. And the one used here is the same used on Unreal 2 and, even two years old than Pariah, it have much more elaborated graphics. The lack of effects, details, lights and shadows make this game almost lifeless, making everything seems extremely unnatural and empty.
Because of its length, for its luck, Pariah ends before the player gives up. The lack of creativity in the design of levels, poor AI quality… this game really had to be a lot of polished before its launch, but it's seems that the developers were forced to end it before give a solid base for the game. My advice is that you don't play it, mainly because of the difficult to 'extract' some fun from this game…