Extreme PaintBrawl, sometimes known as Extreme PaintBrawl: The Ultimate Combat Experience, is a first-person paintball game developed by Creative Carnage and published by HeadGames Publishing for Windows PCs on October 20, 1998.
It is the earliest known first-person shooter to be based on the shooting sport of paintball, and is incorrectly billed as "The 1st Non-Violent 3D Shooter". Players manage their own paintball team in a season, using their winnings to manage weaponry, ammunition (both paintballs and CO2 canisters), and A.I. companions. The game includes five unconventional maps, including a vast desert, a medieval keep, and a space station. It also supports both LAN and direct-dial multiplayer, using a traditional deathmatch mode, and includes in-game advertising with the Sheridan and Crosman brands of paintball gear.
While the game is unique for interfacing a Windows-based front-end with gameplay set in the DOS-based Build Engine (both of which cause different compatibility issues on later versions of Windows), the game was known for its numerous issues (such as a lackluster A.I. and slapdash presentation). Sometimes considered one of the worst game of all time, it was later revealed that the developer was given only two weeks of development time and that the redbook audio soundtrack is a set of unpolished demo tracks the musician sent to HeadGames.
Despite its negative reception, the game received three sequels (none of which were developed by Creative Carnage). In addition, HeadGames released several other games in their Extreme line of sports games.
Extreme PaintBrawl plays like a simple first-person shooter, with players moving around, looking up and down, running, jumping, and ducking. There are two different game modes:
- A single-player 8-on-8 "capture the flag" mode, where the first team to tag all opposing players or touch the enemy flag wins the match. Players use the number keys to switch to a different teammate (as long as they are live), and each teammate only has one weapon (with shared reserves).
- A multiplayer free-for-all deathmatch mode. Players use the number keys to switch between all of the game's weapons (all of which have maximum reserves). This is also used in the game's practice mode, with no enemies.
While each weapon has a limited amount in their "hopper", players cannot reload manually, requiring them to either deplete the hopper or switch to a different teammate (which reloads the hopper automatically). In addition, the single-player mode makes use of limited stamina (shown on the HUD as beating heart), which causes them to move extremely slow, regardless of chosen character, when fatigued. It is unclear how to reduce fatigue, if it is even possible.
Switching between teammates is one of the more buggier aspects of the game, as it switches to a random teammate using the gear of the selected teammate slot. Sometimes switching to a teammate glitches the player outside of the map, forcing them to switch again or quit. In addition, players cannot issue orders to their teammates, forcing them to rely on the A.I. (which often gets stuck behind obstacles).
The game's main menu interface (or "Extreme Screen") is a mouse-based interface that has everything needed to set up a single-player campaign (or "Season").
During a Season, players play a match against each of the nine random opposing teams in a random assortment of maps, and are ranked based on how many points they earn per match (which is based on the team's performance). Players also earn money based on their performance, and cannot progress if they fail to manage their teammates' salaries.
Much of the interface is in the game's shop, which is used to purchase new guns, sell surplus guns, purchase CO2 air canisters and paintballs, and manage their team's roster.
The game includes eight different paintball guns, each categorized in paintball velocity ("air"), hopper capacity ("paint"), accuracy, rate-of-fire, and cost of purchase. Three of these guns, however, are upgrades and share the same weapon sprites.
All of these guns function the same way, firing in "full-auto" when the trigger is held down. All of these fire paintball projectiles that are affected by gravity and accuracy (without any "hitscan"), with the accuracy being affected by player movement.
In rare cases, the player is unable to fire their current gun, or their paintball splats in mid-air, due to the game's numerous glitches.
- PGP Pump Pistol, PGP II
- P68-AT Auto-Trigger
- VM-68 Virtual Machine
- EXC-68, EXC-68 II Full Auto
- VM-68 Sniper, VM-68 Exterminator
The game includes five different maps, set in various "extreme" locales.
- Urban Assault Course - Set in an urban city.
- Deep Space Ninety - Set in a sci-fi space station.
- Haunted Forest - Set in a woodland forest.
- Paint Keep - Set in a medieval keep.
- Desert of Death - Set in a large desert.