After a short fall, I find myself staring down a dark tunnel, my flashlight illuminating the wall at the far end. I can hear grunting within a few feet of me, but turning frantically I can’t see anything. I spin around again, pausing this time to study the blood on the wall up ahead. It’s a message: ‘Don’t trust your eyes’.
The grunting gets louder and instinctively I fire a shot down the corridor, which reveals a four-legged creature with a deer skull for a head. I’m in a tight space with no room to flank, so I run backwards, a shotgun in each hand, frantically shooting at the beast and jumping from side to side to avoid taking any damage.
That’s how Dusk introduced me to strafe-jumping, a mechanic I’ve tried to master when making hipsterish forays into FPS classics like Quake III Arena, but never managed to pull off with any consistency. So why have I found this notoriously tricky movement technique so easy in Dusk? Simple: I need only jump and hold one of the strafe keys at the same time. There’s no need to flick my aim from side to side or time my jumps to perfection – I can even grind along walls without losing any momentum. It’s strafe-jumping with training wheels and it’s bloody good fun.