Thing Thing Arena 3 - A 'kill and repeat' shoot-em-up with style and substance
If it’s one thing that I enjoyed about the Thing Thing series of games, it was the relentless killing of anything that moved whose brutality was only matched by the sheer lack of remorse felt for killing such a sadistic number of people. In order to validate much of the killing that takes place in the Thing Thing games, there was a long-running storyline that puts the Systems Corp company at fault, so from then on it is ok to do the very thing that you were designed for, which is to relieve anyone that stands against your revenge quest of their oxygen addiction. Kill and continue has always been the way for this series, but Thing Thing Arena 3 continues the Thing Thing tradition only without the need for a storyline. This is killing without cause or worry, but you must do it to survive. Classic Thing Thing gameplay awaits, only this time the experience is condensed down to its essential feature: killing.
Splatter and Repeat (rinse not necessary)
As hinted at in the previous paragraph, Thing Thing Arena 3 is all about the killing. Now I know the original Thing Thing series was also quite heavy on the mindless slaughter, but this game is exclusively based around ending the lives of your opponents with little more explanation as to why this is happening aside from the fact that it simply is. I’m ok with the lack of justification, however, since the game is actually quite addictive. It has all of the gameplay elements of the Thing Thing titles only with less guns, fewer levels and no storyline.
The premise is achingly simple: you are placed in a discrete area of limited size which acts as your arena; enemies are spawned in this arena which you must kill repeatedly, picking up their guns in the process. This procedure continues in this manner pretty much forever, with the occasional moving to the next size of arena (with about 15 in total). Movement controls remain the same as they have always been, with A and D moving you from side to side, W allowing you to jump, and the mouse controlling the aiming and firing (and believe me, there is going to be an inordinate amount of firing).
Addictive, though inferior
In spite of the addiction potential of this game (and it is extremely addictive, I’d just like to make that clear), the act of killing and killing and killing to infinity is a little too repetitive to keep me engaged for more than ten minutes. The only game that can get away with this in my eyes is Half Life: Counterstrike and Counterstrike: Source, and the basis of Thing Thing’s gameplay simply isn’t good enough to strip down and be played in a concentrated form like this. The selling point of Thing Thing 4, for example, was the sheer number of guns that could be acquired: Thing Thing Arena 3 has a limited selection of guns, and the lack of storyline meant it struggled to keep me interested. This game is very good at what it does; it just so happens that what it does isn’t something that I value as highly as what the original series from Diseased Productions has to offer.