Remember when Quake and Duke Nukem were considered the cutting edge of gaming? Then say hello to You Are Empty, a first-person shooter that's about 10 years behind the times.

I won't mince words here: You Are Empty is a bad game. The graphics look hideously outdated, the gameplay is ridiculously stiff, and the storyline is skeletal and confusing (although the cool cutscenes with their hand-sketched vibe are one of the few things this game does do right).

I've seen fan-made mods with better production values than You Are Empty. But for all its faults, I couldn't help but like it a little because it reminded me of my long gone youth, when I was staying up late to play games on my state of the art PC with an Intel 386SX processor, 2 megabytes of RAM and a 40 meg hard drive.

Had You Are Empty come out in that era, we would all have fond memories of playing it. But the calendar now reads 2007 and our expectations have risen far beyond You Are Empty's grasp. The game does a rather poor job of setting things up, but we believe you are some sort of security guard. You wake up in a mental hospital and find yourself surrounded by crazy, twisted nurses and patients who are all out to kill you. You make an escape and start journeying through towns that are all populated by more crazy, twisted people.

You are armed with the usual complement of FPS weaponry - a wrench to start, pistols and shotguns and such later on - and you run around various levels, shooting enemies and climbing ladders until you reach the end. Unfortunately, You Are Empty's graphics just aren't up to snuff: the character models, aside from being horrendous, repeat often and your character moves with all the zip of a drugged elephant.

You Are Empty: Specs

  • Windows PC
  • Windows PC


You Are Empty has a nostalgic feel to it, making us long for the days of DOS commands and config.sys tomfoolery. Unfortunately, nostalgia can't remove You Are Empty's faults.