In 1998, Dallas Texas based Ritual Entertainment released their first (and until now only) original first person shooter game SiN (all other games from the company until now have been adaptations or licensed games). The game itself, a Quake II engine based sci-fi action romp dealing with mutants, guns and a very sexy leading lady-villain, had a lot of things going for it; impressive level and character design, fun action-packed gameplay and multiplayer modes that included a level where players were pictured as being small inside a massive room.
There were two big problems with SiNís released, however. One was that the game shipped with show stopping bugs that forced Ritual to issue a patch that was considered massive for the time period. The other bigger problem was Half-Life. Valveís own Quake engine based first person shooter was released at the same time and got massive critical and sales notices and got most gamersí attention.
SiN, however, still has a loyal fan following to this day. The gameís publisher, Activsion, released a expansion pack for the game, Wages of Sin (developed by 2015) in early 1999. A few years later, ADV Films released an original Japanese anime movie based loosely on the game that became a huge success on DVD. Now SiN fans and gamers in general can return to Ritualís original creation in the newly released SiN Episodes: Emergence.
Ritual is taking something of a risk with this game. For one thing the company doesnít have a big publisher pushing SiN Episodes like Activision did back in 1998. An even bigger risk is that the game is just the first chapter in a projected nine episode series of brief (four to six hour) games designed to be released around every few months. However, Ritual does have the backing of, ironically enough, Valve. Their once former rival supplied both the Source engine as the graphical basis for SiN Episodes and is also providing Steam, their online content delivery system, to distribute SiN Episodes via the Internet (you can also buy SiN Episodes the old fashioned way in retail stores on DVD).
For fans of the original series, SiN Episodes: Emergenceís opening scenes are something of a surprise. Instead of starting at the beginning, players find themselves playing the lead character, HARDCorps Commander John Blade, smack dab in the middle of an ongoing story in SiNís futuristic Freeport City. Blade has been captured by SiNís main villain, Elexis Sinclaire (who apparently survived her fate at the end of the original SiN game) and is on a gurney at the beginning of the game and shot up with some kind of substance of Elexisí design. Fortunately, you are quickly rescued by your new HARDCorps partner Jessica Cannon while Elexis and her associate in crime Viktor Radek escape. The rest of the game is a frantic flurry of action, as you go after both Radek and Elexis to try to find out what they are up to.