Chaser is a first-person shooter action video game developed by Cauldron HQ. The game is built on the CloakNT 3D engine. The player character passes through real environments and uses real weapons. Unlike many other sci-fi first-person shooter (FPS) games like Halo, Pariah, WarPath, and Unreal Tournament, Chaser's weapons fire modern day projectiles.
The story of the game begins in the year 2044 on Mars with the UN establishing MARSCORP (Martian Security and Economics Committee) under the leadership of Samuel Longwood. In the years that follow, the UN gradually loses control of MARSCORP, mainly due to the non-transparent license policy of its director. Samuel Longwood uses his autonomous status to create vassal relations between the corporations and MARSCORP. The strong power position of MARSCORP is supported by the companies and thus they acquire additional rights and licenses. Samuel Longwood and his consortium become extremely wealthy from this arrangement. However, dissenting voices in MARSCORP begin to challenge Samuel Longwood's authoritarian policy. They demand the dismissal of Samuel Longwood as director and a complete redistribution of the mining rights.
John Chaser, the game's main character, awakens on board the spaceship H.M.S. Majestic. He doesn't know who he is, what he's doing there, why he is being sought by men in black uniforms and what they will do to him when they find him. The player's goal in the game is to find out who Chaser really is and why he is being hunted. The story leads the player from the H.M.S. Majestic to the fictional Montack City on Earth, then on to Siberia, and finally to Mars, where the trail ends and hopefully the truth can be found.
He discovers in the end that he IS Stone, and shoots longwood.
- Based on Cauldron's CloakNT engine; which works well for rendering large environments.
- The weapons used in the game are modeled in detail after their real-life equivalents.
- Multiplayer support via GameSpy as well as dedicated servers.
- Numerous multiplayer modes including teamplay modes in the style of Counter-Strike and Team Fortress as well as deathmatch, capture the flag, et al.
- Samuel Longwood - Samuel Longwood uses his autonomous status to create vassal relations between various corporations and MARSCORP. The unshakable position of power MARSCORP enjoys is supported by these companies, and they acquire additional rights and licenses as a result. Longwood and his consortium become extremely wealthy from this arrangement. However, dissenting voices in MARSCORP begin to challenge Longwood's authoritarian policy. They demand his dismissal as director and a complete redistribution of all mining rights. But Longwood keeps an ace up his sleeve for occasions like these…
- John Chaser - The main character. He's a man without any sense of identity or memory of his past. Caught in a bloody conflict, his unnatural ability to survive raises more questions than it answers.
- Gomez - One of the most dangerous members of the Montack City Military Unit (MCMU). A descendant of Mexican immigrants, he worked his way up from the bottom. In the self-appointed city police, he is the only person who can help Chaser find his past - but his work comes at a price.
- Shimako - A hacking prodigy, there is no system too advanced for her and no information buried too deeply. She works for the underground and MCMU, and has immunity from both sides. She can truly take care of herself without outside help.
- Kabir - Kabir is the de facto leader of local smuggling operations. His working style is eminently professional, which encourages many of his clients. Unfortunately, his cowardice has earned him many enemies in the underground. He has maintained control through guile and cunning.
- Exoskeleton - Better known as the "living tank," the combat exoskeleton XV28c is equipped with a Tuz-42 heavy machine gun and the rapid-fire S12 rocket launcher. The suit's extreme firepower, superhuman abilities, and nigh-indestructible armor make it a very useful weapon. Rumors persist that jetpack-equipped exoskeletons are under testing and development.
- MCMU Commando - The members of the MCMU commandos have agreed to replace various body parts with cybernetic implants. A widely used cyberplant is the cybernetic eye, which grants thermal and night vision. Members of the corps enjoy legal immunity, a primary incentive for joining.
There are many different kind of soldiers you encounter in the game. These are the main types:
- Arctic Soldier - These special forces working in Siberia fight with tremendous skill, armed or unarmed. Their special thermal electric heating suits allow them to operate in temperatures as low as -50 C.
- Federal Army - The Federal Army recruits only the best of the best. These soldiers protect one of the most important commerce centers of the northeastern United States. These soldiers go through intensive combat training and do not hesitate to obey orders.
- MarsCorps - Any man who has encountered the MarsCorps and lived to tell the tale will not hesitate to call members of the MarsCorps perfect warriors. High marksmanship and excellent tactical skills make them deadly opponents. Combat, research, and elite military personnel come together in special training camps called "Euklides." These are hidden underground, beneath Mars' polar ice caps. There, in the most inhuman conditions, Samuel Longwood's men become the perfect fighting machines.
Chaser's multiplayer does little to distingish itself from any other FPS. In Chaser, multiplayer games are played either via LAN or Internet. You can find populated multiplayer games with in-game browser or using GameSpy. Like most FPS, Chaser has a game type that's unique. The gameplay is reminiscent of the Quake series due to its rapidity, but you have real guns(Winchester 1200, AK-74... and much more), the game is pretty much inactive now(around 100 players) but some players are trying to save it, getting better servers, and inviting other people to start playing it.
In this game everyone plays for themselves. You need to kill anyone you see. Each kill is called a frag and winner is the one who frags the most opponents in a specified time or reaches the frag limit first. In the lower left corner of the screen you can see your score and score of the leading player or, if you are in the lead, then the score of the second placed player. Your score is highlighted. Below both scores there is a smaller number which shows current score of the next placed player.
TDM: Team Deathmatch
Similar to a deathmatch but players are divided into two teams that fight each other. The winner is the team which has the highest number of frags after a specified time or reaches the frag limit first.
CTF: Capture the Flag
Players are divided into two teams and the goal of each team is to reach the opponent team’s base and steal his flag. The opponents flag then needs to be taken to your own base, where your own flag is located. You can only win if your own flag is still in your base, otherwise you will need to take on your opponents and hunt for your own flag. When you kill a player with a flag, the flag will be dropped. You can take the flag by moving through it.
Shocktroops is a game for two teams in which each team has to achieve specified goals. You can list the goals by pressing the score key. Each game has a time limit (round time) and the winner is the team which achieves their goals first. When a player is killed then he needs to wait until the next round to resume. A killed player can switch between views of players in his own team or his opponents (depending on game settings).
Each player has a rank which is derived from his experience. He can gain experience by killing opponents or fulfilling a goal. Experience can be also lost e.g. by killing a teammate. The higher rank a player has, the more money he gets for each round. Money which is not spent in a round is transferred into the next round. However, each player has a limit to the amount of money he can have according to his rank. A player can spend his money on weaponry or equipment. He can buy them at buy points which are markets indicated by a small dollar sign. Players can buy items a maximum of three times in any one round. The buy screen can be toggled at the buy points with the buy screen key defined in Options\Keyboard screen.
Chaser received average to good reviews from critics. GameSpot reviewer Scott Osborne gave the game an 8 out of 10 saying that Chaser offers "loads of thrilling, old school shooter action." Ign reviewer Chris Hudak rated the game a 7.5 out of 10 for "cinematic presentation" and artful surprises."