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In my review of Blake Stone Aliens of Gold, I incorrectly mentioned that it was released shortly, Doom II. A forum member pointed out correctly that Aliens of Gold had been released exactly one week after Doom I came out. Thanks for your correction. Probably i got the dates of Aliens of Gold and its expansion pack Planet Strike flipped. In any case, the expansion pack to Aliens of Gold, Planet strike did come out shortly after Doom II, about 2 weeks after. By that time, Doom II was the hot killer app to push the graphical power of everyone's 486 computers, and by then Blake Stone with its grid-like maze levels was already a year old and mostly long forgotten by the players. Pity that back then too, brand new graphical effects were the main driving reason to buy games too.
Planet Strike brought additional action-filled, puzzle solving levels to the original game. As many have pointed out, in this expansion you actually get to fight Dr. Goldfire. Many of the features of the original game are still here, like the awesome menu-driven map selector, which allows you to go back and forth between levels, backtracking on some if necessary (something Doom II was not capable of doing). The friendly and not so friendly NPCs are there too, some providing you useful items like food tokens that can be used to buy food to regain your health at food stations, sort of like the medic stations in Half life. Some visual effects like fog were added too, as well as moving pillars which acted like doors.
Some may say by now that I dont like Doom II for taking the spotlight away from Blake Stone. I like Doom II. It was an awesome action game. It did that very well. But Blake Stone is an action game too, and more. It provided the blueprint which Rogue and Valve used to draft their classic games Strife and Half life respectively. With updated technology of course. Thats the entire point of this review.
As an extra commentary and info related to this game, there was a remake of the original Blake Stone levels made for Rise of the Triad released some time back, as some sort of tribute to this underappreciated classic game. It was included in one of the ROTT packs released as freeware. Like most old era games, it's so light in the bytesize area, that you might want to take your GOG version of Blake Stone with you when traveling. This week, john carmack re-released Wolfenstein 3D, the game whose engine powers Blake Stone, for mobile platforms. One can hope that Apogee might do the same for Blake Stone. In the meantime, theres the very cool mobile platform dosbox ports.