I’m Too Young To Die: Bitmap Books’ new first-person shooter compendium brings back fond memories

There is also a lot to read in I'm Too Young To Die.

Do I really need to tell you who or what Bitmap Books is? In the past, numerous fantastic books have already been delivered on individual game series, systems and individual genres and now it is the turn of the first-person shooters. Or at least part of it, because I’m Too Young To Die, that’s the name of the latest book, covers the years 1992 to 2002 on its total of 424 pages.

Why only ten years? The book states: “We chose to focus primarily on the years 1992 to 2002 because each year during that period brought rapid advances in the first-person shooter genre, including changes in gaming platforms, the game engines, the controls, the graphics and even the audience.”

A first glance at the table of contents alone was enough for me to see numerous well-known names, which in turn brought back many fond memories of this period. Considering it’s a period that stretches from the age of seven to 17, I was playing a fair amount of first-person shooters back then. And loved. It was truly a golden decade.

There are many images in I'm Too Young To Die.

There is a lot to watch and read.

I could pick so many games here, some Battlefield 1942 which for me is the best part of the series to date. Or Command & Conquer Renegade, which I just liked the multiplayer approach including base building. Of course, id Software’s pioneers like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom shouldn’t be missing. Games like Halo and Half-Life are milestones in the genre, and as a sci-fi fan I naturally enjoyed titles like Star Wars: Dark Forces and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force.

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And that’s just a small selection of the games that are examined in more detail here. After a brief introduction to the genre and a look at the forerunners that came out before 1992, the book then moves its chapters in chronological order from year to year. Blockbuster titles are included, as are bad attempts and obscure works. Although the book doesn’t completely cover every shooter that has ever existed. But everyone is sure to find at least a handful that have played – or should have played.

One of the interviews in I'm Too Young To Die.
Several interviews are also included.

Smaller chapters look beyond 2002 and unreleased shooters, interspersed with interviews with numerous well-known personalities who have left their mark on the genre: Ian and Chris Andrew, David Smith, Scott Miller, Ken Silverman, James Hampton, John Romero, David Doak, Randy Pitchford, Ken Levine, Warren Spector, John Howard, Davor Hunski, and Karl Deckard.

As with any of Bitmap Books’ books, there is much to discover and learn, interesting insights and many nostalgic memories to evoke as you read. The quality is once again excellent, as usual from Bitmap Books. The paper is appropriately thick and feels valuable, and it really shows off the printed screenshots. The pages are again A4 size and the book is printed in landscape format.

No One Lives Forever in I'm Too Young To Die.
I haven’t given up hope of a remake or remaster yet.

If you already have works by Bitmap Books on your shelf, you can’t go wrong with I’m Too Young To Die. Apart from that, I can only recommend the book to both fans and non-fans of the genre who are interested in its history.