Boomer shooters are having a resurgence, and with a focused mix of weapons, shotguns, magic, and myths, Dread Templar is a great addition to the genre.
In a sea of the boomer shooter renaissance, a lot of games in the genre can feel too similar. There are the games that are like dusk or the ones that are like doom, all of these games are good in their own rights but don’t really stick out beyond just being a good game. Dread Templar makes a very good statement as to why it deserves to be around and also sometimes even feels like a parody of its brother and sister titles. Starting out Dread Templar doesn’t immediately stand out from the crowd, it feels like a quality QUAKE-inspired game with so many nooks and crannies to explore.
Halfway through the first substantial level, it begins to start twisting the formula in an interesting way by adding a secondary function to your guns and the first one is turning your stupid pistols into automatic pistols, so depending on the situation you can swap between them on the fly. A single-shot shotgun turns into a dual-barrel shotgun on the fly. The melee option of the game the dual katanas turns into a spear that you can huck at the enemy on a very short cool down. Constantly balancing a combat dance that is entrancing to a degree once you’re in the flow state of the game.
As you progress down into the depths of hell the additions to your guns become more hellish and paranormal, your pistols? Yeah, now they spitfire. Onto of all of the combat design is an upgrade system that the game has you use to explore every nook and cranny of a level for secrets that will inevitably have upgrades and blood gems that allow you to graft them into your gun. Dread Templar unveils itself through the first few hours as not just any boomer shooter-inspired game but one that is made with an intense love for the genre that inspired it and posits its own unique and admirable twists on the tried and true formula.
This review is based on a Steam code provided by the publisher to SideQuesting. It originally appeared on the January 25th, 2023 episode of The SideQuest. Logo, images, & game video courtesy Fulqrum Publishing and T19 Games.