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Immortal Review: Unchained. Another “no room for error”

Undoubtedly, the Dark Souls series has spawned an epidemic of hardcore games for the spiritually tough and titanic players. Without hiding their mastermind, the Swedes from Toadman Interactive entered the world market with their brainchild “not for weaklings” – Immortal: Unchained… The developers had a rather limited budget, but they assured that it would not harm the game in any way. Unless the picture is perfect. There will be “Dark Souls, with guns only.” But did it really happen? In this review, we will figure out whether the Swedish company has succeeded.

Immortal: Unchained review

A little about the universe

Even from the first launch, the game leaves a rather unpleasant aftertaste: instead of a colorful CGI or just some interesting solution for the introduction, we are waiting for the most boring scraps of ENT, shown on the cards. The stylistics of all this could have been liked by someone except in the middle of the 2000s. And then, far from the most sophisticated gamers.

By the way, about the plot. It practically does not exist. We wake up remembering nothing, chained in chains. Further, the hero breaks the shackles and the gameplay begins. So Unchained… After death, we are constantly resurrected by a mysterious monolith that gave birth to all life in the universe. So Immortal… Our character can be customized in every possible way, fill him with a cyber tattoo, choose a class (which differs only in basic characteristics) and … gender. A little tip: you better not choose a female model. Never. Especially if you are an impressionable person.

So, having taken control of the recently freed prisoner, we begin to explore those very corridor locations that, even in the screenshots, seemed to many fans of hardcore adventures either boring or designed very clumsily. Everyone waited for the release in the hope that the first impression was deceiving. But no.

Immortal: Unchained review

The game takes place in the future, where the world is filled with cyborg-like creatures, ready to kill whatever they see. We have to play for such a liquidator – armed with our assault rifle, destroy everything that gets in our way. In general, Dark Souls, only with guns. It all sounds pretty intriguing. But everything starts to fade as soon as the first half hour in the world of the game is spent. The levels in Immortal: Unchained are awful. With rare exceptions, we will be constantly running around gray, uninteresting rooms, which, it would seem, remained in the action games of the 2000s. But it’s 2018, and you are offered a couple of dozen hours to spend in the worst locations of the first Doom‘a 1993. With a slightly nicer picture. This is how it feels. Of course, this approach can be attributed to the small budget of Immortal: Unchained, but with the proper will and diligence, you can design interesting, memorable places. Even in a 16-bit indie puzzle game.

Peace and history

Another important aspect is how the game presents its world to us. Particles of a conditional ENT can be collected by traveling along the same endless corridors (which is not particularly interesting to anyone and not at all necessary), obelisks serve as check points (read bonfires), near which all the characteristics existing in the game are restored, and upon death you lose the so-called bytes – the same souls. As in Dark Souls, they remain at the place of death and the player is given the opportunity to pick them up later. Moreover, they can disappear both after one death, and after as much as five or six. How it works is unclear, most likely depends on the location. Perhaps just random. The nice thing is that after each of your deaths you don’t have to run around the already boring corridors in search of missing consumables. Everything that you picked up before death will remain with you. And this is undoubtedly a huge plus. Among other things, standard traps and a fairly large number of antagonists await us. The so-called “trash” in the game is more than enough and combat with it is often more difficult than battles with bosses (of which there are plenty in the game).

Immortal: Unchained review

About gameplay and mechanics

Putting aside the gaps of tedious running around the worst locations in the past year, there are a couple of real strengths of Immortal: Unchained. First, it’s really tricky here. And this will undoubtedly appeal to those very lovers of masochism in the style of Dark Souls. I stumbled a little – fell into a ditch, hesitated for a second – you were roasted by one of hundreds of mobs, did not pay attention to suspicious cuts in the wall – the trap left no chance. And this will happen very, very often. The battle itself is quite dynamic and is one of the strongest sides in the game: your enemies react to every shot, the weapon feels very confident, the effect of shooting is surprisingly realistic. In general, the mechanics of combat are something like this: a certain type of NPC has weak points, having figured out which we need to actively attack them. It may sound simple enough, but when you face several of these enemies, your patience will be severely tested.

But this only applies to mobs. The bosses are getting more boring. A good half of the game at the end of each level will be awaited by the leaders with almost always identical murder mechanics – run in circles and shoot a lot. Here, too, you will have to look for weak points, but you expect something more interesting from the boss than a battle with a bigger and thicker enemy. Towards the end of the game, the situation changes for the better, the leaders are finally learning something new, there are more and more enemy NPCs. Even the levels are getting a little more interesting, perhaps so it seems because of the increased hardcore.

But there is one very strange moment: in the game, which by its main feature sets the difficulty of passing and the solution of insidious tasks, there is an auto-aim. Of course, it can be ignored, but still, to a certain extent, it destroys all hardcore. The hero by himself attacks in the right places, killing enemies one by one. Of course, everything is far from simple, as in some Call of Duty, but still.

Immortal: Unchained review

Graphics and sound

Without undue modesty, we can say – the picture in the game is just a nightmare! Even on ultra settings in the PC version, the player will have to endure the graphics of the late 2000s, and maybe worse. You will often come across surfaces and objects that can be blinded in a couple of minutes in some free constructor set from 2010. Filters in Immortal: Unchained are a separate topic. Even at well-executed levels, you sometimes have to deal with fog that is terrible for the human eye, blizzard effects, etc. And what is the animation of the throw and explosion of grenades (which is not clear why here at all) is a separate story altogether.

And here it will not work to refer to a small budget. Here the point is completely different. It’s about the details. Rather, how these details are crooked and irresponsible. Is a developer who really loves his project will depict the explosion of a grenade with a pair of yellow pixels of three shades in the place of its fall, accompanying all this with plastic sound effects? I think no.

Eventually

Ultimately we have a rather complex, monotonous and gray clone of Dark Souls with guns. May only be liked by ardent fans of creations Hidetaki Miyazaki

LID2PRO reviewer verdict

Playability

Hardcore is, nothing else. Familiar mechanics, which are implemented in terrible scenery. The sheds did not keep their promise.

Everything is very, very bad. Starting from animation and ending with the number of polygons. Pleases only weapons and reaction to shots from the NPC.

Boring. The cheapness of any rustle creeps out of every hole.

Single player campaign

If you wanted to plunge into a harsh but exciting world, to figure out what made it so cruel – then this is not the place. You won’t be interested, I promise.

It is quite convenient for itself, annoying only the lack of a sight when throwing a grenade and an auto-sight when firing from a rifle. The developers were a little confused, apparently.

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