Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Immortal: Unchained

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 21 - 2018

Casting aside the sword for a good gun would make sense, wouldn’t it?

 
The Souls-like sub genre or hardcore action RPGs has now proved itself to be incredibly popular, and there are more than a few titles around that try to emulate the success of games like Demon’s Souls. So, the problem for the developers now becomes how to make their Souls-like game stand out from the crowd, and Toadman Interactive think they have come up with a solution. In their latest title, Immortal: Unchained, the big hook is that the melee approach is swapped out for something far more shooty.

 
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The usual fantasy setting is also exchanged for a sci-fi set up in which the player takes on the role of a “living weapon” and of course the universe is in great peril. The developers have gone to some trouble to build up a detailed universe and complex story in Immortal: Unchained, but the presentation of all of this information feels somewhat overwhelming and can be difficult to follow. It’s not really necessary to be able to play the game, but for those who enjoy a detailed story, there is a lot to digest here.

 
But this style of game is all about the gameplay, specifically how far the player can get before they die. Immortal: Unchained follows a very standard formula for the most part. Well, by follow I really mean almost completely copies. Souls fans will instantly recognise many features of this game that have been given minimal tweaks to prove that they are original.

 
Play is set from a central hub with portals that will take the player to differently themed areas on different planets, filled with bad guys to defeat. The difficulty is perhaps the most obvious feature of games of this genre, and Immortal: Unchained will not disappoint in that respect. Enemies can be tricky, bosses can be even trickier, and the player should expect to die quite a lot. That’s no bad thing for many players who will leap to the challenge.

 
As already explained, the addition of guns is the main way in which Immortal: Unchained differs from the competition, and the variety of guns available in the game is quite good. There is a good range of pretty standard hardware for players to use, from shotguns and assault rifles to grenade launchers and pistols. The weapons themselves feel quite substantial to use, but the free aiming feels incredibly loose without turning on the aiming lock-on. Otherwise they are quite fun to use, especially given a secondary firing mode that adds a bit more variety to the slaughter. There is a slight anomaly with the guns in that the range is very limited. While this would not be a surprise for a shotgun, having a short range for a sniper rifle does seem a little pointless, almost making the weapon obsolete.

 
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So, play will involve carving a path through the level, stopping off at the obelisks that take the place of bonfires in Immortal: Unchained. This is where the player will have their health filled, replace any used healing items and give the player somewhere to respawn from when they inevitably die. Players will gather a currency from defeated enemies along the way which will allow the player to upgrade their equipment and character, enabling things like increased toughness and stamina, which fuels the chance to dodge incoming fire. Dodging works well while the player has enough stamina, but for the most part players will find themselves hiding behind cover to give some protection from enemy fire.

 
When it comes to the enemies, there is not a huge variety to the futuristic adversaries. Players will come across enemies that will rush them, and those that will stand their ground and use ranged attacks. Early bosses in the game will come back further down the line to harass the player, but requiring less learning of attack patterns and grinding to take down. Perhaps most annoying are the enemies that suddenly appear behind the player, or ambush the player as they are going about their business. These encounters require quick reactions or just a good memory.

 
The level design is great. The developers have done a good job in creating a compelling futuristic landscape with winding routes through the levels. The real problem is that things become very repetitive, very quickly. Enemies tend to require the same tactics over and over again, and thus the progress becomes dull. It’s not particularly bad, it just doesn’t excite to the same degree as other games in this genre. There are also more than a few bugs and glitches in the game, including crashes.

 
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Immortal: Unchained is a good stab at a Souls-like with ranged weapons. It successfully brings the difficulty level and that sense of slow progress through grit and determination. But relying too much on the formula of previous genre titles and regular bugs and glitches prevent the games’ gun play from offering a solid experience. Worth checking out for a slightly different challenge, but don’t expect anything outstanding from Immortal: Unchained.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 



 

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