Chasm: The Rift
The background story to Chasm is a typical story for the action games of the time with a science fiction influence . The role of the bad guys is taken over by so-called "Timestrikers", monsters from a foreign dimension who invade Earth with the help of a space portal. In the role of a member of a special military unit, the player must travel to several epochs of human history in order to destroy the space portals there. The mission takes him to ancient Egypt , Babylonia , the Middle Ages and finally to a distant future. The game is not only based on id Software's genre pioneer Quake in this respect . The four worlds are divided into four levels each; In the final level of each world there is a particularly powerful boss who cannot be defeated with pure force of arms, but mostly with a trick.
Between the levels, the player receives an animated detailed briefing from a general and the scientist Dr. Strickland. Fighting is done with weapons known from other games such as pump guns , gatling guns or grenade launchers . The enemies are partly fantasy figures such as aliens or lion people, partly also halfway realistic beings like Vikings , cavemen and wild boars .
Unlike many other first-person shooters of the period, Chasm does not use the then very popular and often licensed build engine from 3D Realms , but is based on an engine that was developed in-house. Similar to Quake, the figures and items are all three-dimensional; In addition, the engine can process individual light sources (such as torches on the walls, after which it becomes noticeably darker after they are destroyed) and comes up with smaller graphic effects such as the representation of smoke, dust, sparks or raindrops. On the other hand, weaknesses appear in the level design; evidently the engine could not generate worlds built especially high, but limited itself to levels that are located on a single floor level . There are no stairs or elevators like in Quake.
The game offers the possibility to shoot down all parts of the body (feet, arms, head) individually. The player can use this primarily to disarm and render the enemies harmless.
Although the game was delivered together with the official level editor, no user-created additional maps are known. An add-on made available for free download by the manufacturer adds new monsters and three new levels to the main game.
Chasm was first published in the US, distributed by GT Interactive . A German version was created later; it has severe limitations. The color red was completely removed from the game and replaced by green; however, the mutilation of enemies is still possible. The briefings were also deleted (apparently for cost reasons) and replaced by simple text pages.