Now, this might come as no surprise to those who watch my streams, but I like playing the villain in video games. The power trip and the ability to do unspeakable things to the so-called pious heroes of the realm has always been a trope that attracts me. A fantastic idea of taking the standard gaming tropes and flipping them on their head, where instead of defending against hordes and hordes of enemies, you actually control and raise them. One of my favourites of this genre was Dungeon Keeper. This leads me onto a new game of villainy, The Unliving, by RocketBrush Studios and published by Team 17.
The Unliving brings villainy to rogue-lite hack and slash genres by putting you in the boots of the Necromancer, a being who has been brought back by the corruption of the land, and your role is simple, Smite all who would stand in your way. Firstly I absolutely love pixel art animation. To me, it does remind me of Graveyard Keeper. The detail within the blood, gore and transformation is surprisingly detailed. That’s not even mentioning the different areas we’ve been able to check out, from towns to forests, all very in keeping and unmistakable.
Every enemy you slay can be repurposed to add to your growing army of undead creatures not only your standard zombie grunts, but you can reanimate special zombies to your team, including werewolf-like slashers, zombie dogs (yes dogs) and even the Priests who will come back with the curse of death. All these additions to your army are necessary because your enemy isn’t going to sit there like helpless peasants. Instead, they have reinforced their towns and even move around in groups, some even wielding powerful abilities to give you something to get your teeth into.
The game being randomly generated is another great feature as no one level will be the same, but equally, it means the ever-changing land will also bring with it perils unknown. These can take the shape of environmental challenges with an emphasis on risk-reward, your reward you may ask well lore and more information about how you became who you are now and what has happened in the land to make this happen. With a hoard by your side, numerous weird and wonderful bosses with unique fighting styles and even the none issue with dying, I think this game is definitely one for the wishlist. The Unliving has just released a demo on Steam for you to check out this awesome game for yourself, with the full release coming at some point in 2022!
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