*Early Access Review - Subject to Change
I backed this game up from Indiegogo and I am happy to say I am 100% satisfied by what it is at this stage and the things to come. Creepy, immersive, rogue-like and top down horror game with sounds,art and gameplay that will keep you on the edge of your feet, you'll also die alot. because this game is absolutely brutal with permadeath on.
To start off you'll have a couple of save files you can choose from with the ability to skip the entire prologue or play it. You'll also be able to turn on or off permadeath, the real way to play but that is up to you ;).
The game starts you off with explaining to you about a man with a dream, You'll be treated with some seriously scary art and you'll be very confused. You'll search around a bit to find an axe to break a passage but at the same time find your dog dieing and you'll have to make a choice, to end his suffering or to leave him. Now back to the log and you'll learn the tutorial of the game, the basics of attack and how to craft and the things you need to create to survive int his horrible hell. As you head south you'll find a cabin and there you'll meet a man inside which will begin the entire story of DarkWoods.
Darkwood is very immersive and scary, You'll feel it as you move your character around this living breathing world. The sound is downright phenomenal and done brilliantly to give so you can feel the world. It will scare you when you turn corners in this game. From the winds blowing across the trees, to the moving shadows, and the eerie noises around the woods. The characters you'll meet in this game is also very creepy, with well animated features drawn with personality combined with decent dialogue.
The gameplay is a survival top down game horror game that takes place in the woods somewhere in russia where theres day and night cycle with items and locations in the woods randomly generated and randomly placed. The story and building layout is usually the same, so are the quests but the amount of randomization is enought to keep you satisfied. Everything is done well to give you the feeling that everytime you step out its never the same. Also read everyone's dialogue or read your journals, yes Dialogue will give you hints of location changes of certain npcs you'll want to take advantage of, especially the wolf merchant. The further you go out into the woods the darker and more dangerous it'll get So keep your base in check because the map in this game doesn't tell you where your position is. You'll have to remember the way back. Also BE WARNED OF THE WELL MECHANIC YOU MUST DRINK FROM THE WELL TO SURVIVE EACH NIGHT or you will suffer death hence forcing you to return to base every night. The goal of the game at the moment is To explore the quest and survive.
The game mechanic works by your character facing a direction you'll see a frontal cone view, You can only see where you point your mouse and whats under certaint trees with the cursor on it, even if an enemy is behind you you'll have to look behind otherwise your vision is obscured. You also can't see past trees or buildings which will give you you immersion and realism. You'll also have to be on your feet and aware at all times.
The top left displays your health in red, stamina in grey and buffs along with debuffs go the very top left. Use up too much stamina and you'll move at a very slow rate so sprint wisely otherwise become easy target for monsters. Also at the same time the crafting and inventory is limited, but as you progress in the game you'll be able to discover recipes to craft things such as barricades, torches, traps, healing items and weapons and collect mushrooms to inject yourself so that you can improve your trait, later on with this feature you'll have to sacrifice a certain trait to gain a new one. Some will help your vision, some seems sorta useless at the moment.
You'll also be able to interact with objects to move it around like book cases to cover door etc or pick locks or even break down doors. To attack you'll have to equip an item into the limited 3 hotbar slots and then hold down right mousebutton followed by pressing left mouse button so the controls feels very unique and fits the game perfectly. It will take time to dig into your inventory, pull out an item and to actually use it, Also note to set up a trap it'll take time to set up along with searching large cases or items. Everything in this game adds to that realism and hardcore of survival games.
The game is hard, the elements of the woods will get to you, There are things you can accidently step on such as mushroom and bodies that will poison you if you don't watch your footing, patrolling monsterous dogs and creatures from the very depth of your nightmares which screams in the middle of the night out for your blood. When day turns to dusk it is time to go back to base and hold out as long as you can until morning to continue your survival. Currently the best way is to probabaly cut line of sight from monsters in the dark and pray that they won't find you. Probabaly will need more work ont his mechanic to give it a little more to do than just hiding in corners especially on permadeath mode.
This game is a survivalist horror hardcore dream and it was worth the wait, it is currently in alpha 1.0 and it is pretty solid gameplay save some bugs here and there and the fact that it is unfinished. The woods might be very dark and seeing things might require a gamme adjustment, Inventory is very scarce so be ready to horde since many items do not respawn so it can be tough to find those supplies. Be warned that you will die. I've played hours and only survived 4 days, most of my friends are stuck at 4. You'll be playing this game quite a bit my friends but that is what makes it so great.
+ Phenomenal Sounds that is immersive, the heavy breathing, the monsters and the woods itself gives it life and horror at the same time really powerful sounds and brilliantly done.
+ Rogue-like environment placement of items and places of discoveries
+ Realism from what you do, searching, crafting, setting up traps, learning to fight your enemies, the interaction between items. Also the
+ Creepy, animated art from the nicely designed characters and the map itself, everything is alive including the trees waving, grass blowing.
+ The difficulty of this game is Hard, Brutal, and you're absoulutely dieing.
+ immersion level +++
- Need more ways to fight back monsters, Corner surviving at night in corner with vision blocking is fun and scary but can get really overplayed.
- Game still in beta, things in work
- Dark, too dark hard to tell if you throw something off sometimes.
- sound is a little loud, even when turned down but its damn good
- Game isn't done so don't expect to finish the main story.
- Bugs here and there but very minor
- Characters should have voice acting to those dialogues, creepy voice acting.
- loading time in the beginning takes a bit of time, due to generatings of the rogue-like environment even for my pc.
- Needs auto Check for skip prologue, sometimes forgetting to hit it is annoying
Currently trying to pass day 4 on permadeath