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Fade To Silence

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 20 - 2019

A bit more hazardous than your average British winter.

Survival games are now more plentiful than the resources needed to survive within them, and so any new survival game needs to have something to catch the players attention and get them hooked. For Black Forest Games’ Fade to Silence, this happens to be a post apocalyptic winter, including some very brutal blizzards. But considering the hook is the potential to freeze to death, is that really enough to make Fade to Silence stand out?

fts1 (Copy)

As is often the case, some kind of world-ending apocalypse has befallen the world in Fade to Silence, resulting in a frozen wasteland. This wasteland presents the player with an open-world to explore as Ash, a born survivor who has set up a camp in relative safety and now must get on with the job at hand, that being staying alive. Most survival games don’t bother with any kind of ongoing story, happy with just letting the player know why they are in this situation. Fade to Silence doesn’t quite follow this trend, with some kind of story going on. However, it feels so irrelevant in the game that it may as well not exist, leaving the player to get on with gathering the supplies they need to survive and exploring the wilderness.

Which is where Fade to Silence does a really good job. First up, players will have to choose their difficulty level from exploration or survival. Exploration is a much more laid back affair, giving the player as many lives as they need and so on, while survival is the more hardcore choice, with limited lives before the player has to start again, and much more emphasis on resources. Given that the game is quite tricky, testing the water in exploration mode would be advised to all but those who live for the challenge.

It may be a difficult game, but Fade to Silence is fairly easy to understand. As Ash, the player will head out from the relative safety of camp in order to gather resources, such as wood or food, in order to basically stay alive. Fortunately Ash has the ability to scan the environment for such resources, at least giving him a direction to head. So, it’s a matter of heading out from the camp, gathering as much as is possible, and then getting back to camp before something bad happens.

And there are plenty of bad things that can happen to Ash. Our hero is not alone out in the wild, and the monsters that Ash may come across are the stuff of nightmares. However, monsters can be evaded. The weather is the real enemy here. Ash has a number of meters that players will have to keep an eye on during their adventure, such as hunger or tiredness, but warmness is where the real threat comes in. One of the stand out features of the game comes in the form of blizzards, which can come out of nowhere, forcing the player to find shelter and try to simply not freeze to death. As with any survival game, managing these meters are a large part of the game.

fts2 (Copy)

The map is quite large and there is plenty to discover both by heading towards known points of interest and indeed just wandering the wilderness. However, players will need to make sure they are prepared for any lengthy excursions, and Fade to Silence has a decent crafting system to ensure players have what they need, be it an axe to chop down trees or a bow for shooting wildlife for meat. There is not a huge amount to craft in the game, making it more accessible in the early game, but limited further along.

There is a little bit of base building in the game, where the player can expand their camp to include new buildings that will provide extra resources or bonuses. Other survivors can be found in the wilderness, or will just roll up to the players camp, and offer their help with certain things, such as gathering resources themselves. Ash also has to build trust with these newcomers, which will improve what they can offer.

All in all, the survival and exploration is pretty good in Fade to Silence. However, the challenge doesn’t stop there, as Ash will at times find himself having to fight off those terrible monsters. The developers chose a Dark Souls style of combat, with light and heavy attacks, a dodge, and having to keep an eye on stamina. The problem is, the combat doesn’t have the nuance of the Souls games, feeling like a cheap imitation. Ash doesn’t move well enough to be a skill-based fighter, and the enemies tend to have easily learned moves that take away any sense of excitement or accomplishment to the battles.

fts3 (Copy)

As a survival game, Fade to Silence has a lot to offer. Sure, it does feel as though a little more depth could have been added to the crafting, and the combat really needs to be tweaked, but the constant need to gather resources, building up the camp and surviving those brutal blizzards actually make it all worthwhile. The easier mode of play is ideal for most players, with the permadeath offering reserved only for the truly hardcore. For survival fans, Fade to Silence may not have it all, but is worth checking out.




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