"Go, set the world alight."

These are apparently the words that birthed the Jesuit movement, when some saint said it to another saint. That's what a Jesuit PDF I found via a Google search claims. It also notes that the words weren't meant to be taken literally, which is good, because there's enough history of Christians setting fire to other people's stuff (and its owners) as it is. Regardless of context, it's a very inspiring sentence. I can imagine it preceding great things being done by the speaker's target. I can contemplate it being spoken to a fresh-faced, short-arsed Lieutenant Buonaparte or at the beginning of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" tour. I can even envisage John Romero's ghost* whispering it to Gabe Newell in 1996.

This column's purpose is to revisit a series of first-person shooters. None of them are Half-Life. Our subjects were typically released in the first five years of the second millennium**, or during the sixth generation of consoles if you like; history has largely forgotten about them because they're, well, mediocre. And here it comes: or are they?

Mostly, yes.

We will discern how badly (or well) these games hold up after several years' passage, and it would be nice if we could find something unfairly treated at its release that time has vindicated: maybe not set the world alight, but at least combusted little bits of it.

The other reason I opened with the whole Jesuit thing is because Wikipedia says they're known as "God's Marines," which is just cool and worth repeating.

*Dead to me.
**"The second millennium" sounds infinitely more grandiose than "the 21st century".

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