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Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 160: Project Firestart, the first survival horror game

This week's episode is a 20-minute retrospective of Project: Firestart, suggested by viewer (and fellow English professor) Chris Oatis. This is a VERY interesting game from a historical perspective, and there's a good case to be made that this is the first-ever "full" survival horror game. There's some contention, of course, since it's not true 3D (it uses a "pseudo-3D" comparable to early Sierra titles). Otherwise, everything that most people associate with the genre is in there, such as logs to flesh out the backstory, limited ammo, cinematic cut scenes, etc. The game is also interesting because it was released exclusively for the Commodore 64/128--in 1989! That decision just didn't make sense, as acknowledged later by the developers themselves. On a positive note, though, it's some REALLY impressive C-64 coding work, since it looks as good if not better than many games for the Genesis or Amiga/ST. You can read more about the game and its impact on the genre here.

Download the video here (only Matt Chat supporters, please).

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