Blood: Fresh Supply is a brilliant port of the super-gorey, cult-classic shooter. As the anti-hero Caleb, you set off to kill the evil god that cast you down, taking down monsters and insane worshippers along the way. Despite its steep difficulty curve, retro game shooter fans still hold the title in such high regard. One of the big reasons for this is because of the atmospheric, intricately-designed maps. This list is made up of the best of the bunch, ranging from a carnival under siege, to a not-so-relaxing ride on a Steamboat.
Cradle to Grave
“I live… again!” The very first level is a funeral home full of zombies, spiders and crazy cultists. A lack of ammo makes it almost feel like a survival horror game. Thanks to its numerous secret areas, destructible environments and numerous props to interact with, Cradle to Grave is a fantastic foray into the world of Blood. Its fairly compact size also makes it a great choice for multiplayer matches, too.
All aboard! Caleb has just hopped on a Cabal-infested train, and must derail it by overloading its boiler. The level is long, thin, and can feel a bit claustrophobic at times. However, there are numerous rooms to explore in the locomotive’s six carriages, like the VIP lounge and kitchen. Eagle-eyed players will stumble across some sweet loot, like a damage-reflecting orb. Sending the baddies flying off of the train or out of the window with a well-timed shotgun blast never gets old.
Emerging from the rubble of the recently-destroyed Phantom Express, Caleb stumbles across one of the fa favourites of Blood. Zombie head football, a tightrope walk across a pit of snakes, and a shooting gallery are but some of the attractions you can take part in at this demented circus. Best of all, not only are there mimes that you can jab at with your pitchfork, but there’s even a secret cameo from Duke Nukem. Shake it, baby.
The Overlooked Hotel
A very large level, and an unforgettable one at that. The Overlooked Hotel has many hidden areas. A secret passageway filled with Phantasms is interconnected to many areas in the map, making it a perfect shortcut for speedrunners and anyone wanting to avoid conflict. A few devious ambushes and traps are thrown into the mix as well, like a stone carving that’ll blast you with napalm once you grab the master room key. All in all, it’s a classic.
Blood embraces horror tropes, often to the point of parodying classic literature and pop culture. The Haunting is the most cliché mission of the bunch, as it’s set in a haunted mansion. Spooky whispering can be heard when you enter the front door, so it’s a good thing smashing the backyard windows open is a perfectly viable alternative means of getting inside. Gargoyles, zombies and Phantasms are in abundance within the mansion’s hallways, the dusty library, and outside in the garden. Good news: you won’t find any pesky hitscan enemies. Bad news: six keys are required to escape!
The Sick Ward
Caleb’s here to donate some blood (someone else’s) in this twisted, morbid hospital. Numerous tricks and traps make this one a particularly devious mission to play. It’s a fine example of the black humour you’ll find in the game, like the encounter with the headless corpse strapped to life support (it still has a pulse!). Expect spectral encounters in the ‘Assisted Suicide’ room, possessed hands in the morgue, and flamethrower turrets ready to fry caged civilians in the hospital catacombs, along with you if you’re too careless.
Mall of the Dead
As if being chased by a Stone Gargoyle and a pack of HellHounds wasn’t problematic enough, the rest of the mall is filled with the undead. Some inappropriately cheery music continuously blares out of the mall speakers on loop, which is good for a laugh. If you love levels with high enemy counts, then this feel like a dream come true.
The Plasma Pak add-on is partially made up of recycled missions from previous builds of Blood. Forbidden Rituals is an enclosed fortress with enemies around every corner and peering over every platform. A squad of monks with Tesla Cannons will even drop down into the undercroft to ambush you. There are multiple ways to reach the exit, of which is guarded by worshippers chanting around a murky-looking altar. It may not be a pretty or complex map, but it’s an action-packed banger.
There are so many great missions in the Cryptic Passage expansion pack. Only one of them, however, is set on a stinkin’ Steamboat. Multiple floors are stacked on top of one another in this tight, restrictive map. While small, it’s an excellent example of the map pack’s consistent and detail level design, with a notable eye for minor details. Once the bar has been liberated, you’ll need to clear out the living quarters at the top floor, and the engine room at the bottom. For reasons unknown, they have a velociraptor trapped in a cage in the engine room.
Hot take: the boss battles in Blood were not that great. They were short missions that either put you up against some underpowered foes, or just lacked enough ammo (sometimes both). The final mission for Cryptic Passage has a long build-up to the finale, forcing you to explore a brilliantly-designed fortress, including its undercrofts, library, and a battleground against up to four Stone Gargoyles. Soon enough, you’ll hop through a portal to the Otherworld, and after a ride through the void and into the temple, you will spar with the napalm-spitting Cerberus and his twin brother. Castle is spectacular in every sense of the word.
Have you played Blood: Fresh Supply? What are some of your favourite levels? Be sure to share your views in the comments below!