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Fashion Model

Silverlance

Reviewed By:

Review Date:

13/02/22, 16:30

Kingdom Of The Dead Review

Not so long ago, I put together an article on Kingdom Of The Dead, outlining not only why I was so excited to play this unique FPS but also giving kudos to the striking and unique visuals that made the trailer. Since writing the review, I have been fortunate enough to be offered a review key, and as you can guess, I jumped at the chance to review this. But what is this weird game I hear you all yell? Kingdom of the Dead is an indie first-person shooter with hand-drawn graphics and animation. Filled with several missions where you are trying desperately to seal the breaches that Death (yes, The Death) has opened.

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Story: Be The Gatekeeper

"You take charge of a man called Chamberlin, an ex-General now working for the "Gatekeeper secret organisation"."

If you choose to accept it, your mission is to stop the powers of Death and seal away the legions of Eldritch horrors emanating from the portals across 8 wildly different locations employing an arsenal of weapons to turn back the tide. While the game's plot is better described as tried and tested, there was one element that I particularly enjoyed. That element is the idea that you're a secret agent who's being sent to all manners of weird locations with a talking sword! For me, this is a fantastic way to get immersed immediately. You take charge of a man called Chamberlin, an ex-General now working for the "Gatekeeper secret organisation".

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Meanwhile, our antagonist, Death, is now more powerful than ever after the war and is assembling an army, stopping Death and sealing away the portals. There are a few instances of the story interrupting the game at key moments, but thankfully it never comes across as frustration or tacked on. While it could be regarded as sparse, I find it adds to the gameplay rather than takes away, mostly leaving you with questions about the world and the mysterious Gatekeeper organisation.

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Gameplay: Not all Black and white

"Overall, I had a lot of fun with Kingdom Of The Dead. Unfortunately, there are also some issues to note in terms of bugs and glitches. "

The Gameplay of Kingdom Of The Dead is reminiscent of the classic FPS, where your main feature is running and gunning. On top of this, you have various environments, from claustrophobic corridors to wide-open spaces to take on the horrors that serve Death. in addition to the retro gameplay and varied level design, you also have numerous weapons at your disposal (my personal favourite was the pistol). The levels themselves are all really fun to play through and filled with little secrets for additional hearts or loot. But getting these items isn't exactly a picnic, as you will constantly be backpedalling from the undead with swords.


Overall, I had a lot of fun with Kingdom Of The Dead. Unfortunately, there are also some issues to note in terms of bugs and glitches. One such example was during the catacombs level. I discovered a glitch where creatures were spawning in a wall during this level. This clipping issue was made even more frustrating by these enemies being able to shoot me whilst I couldn't. Another example of bugs in the game was during the forest level. I found it pretty easy to jump my way back to the beginning and end of the level by using the walls around the arena. I also found a similar boundary issue during the Tower where just before you go in, you could drop to the floor, which should kill you.

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While I am not a twitch shooter by any means, I have played some Doom and other classic FPS games. I'm not the best at it therefore, when I started the game, I put it on the normal difficulty, and I have to admit I felt underwhelmed. Admittedly, there were a few times I got shot or cut down in normal. However, I never felt threatened or worried about the number of creatures on screen. As a result, I returned to the menu, and I started again to complete this game in its hardest difficulty, and it genuinely felt at times it was still quite easy. Then, creatures still dropped from a single pistol shot from a long way away. Unfortunately, I found all but one boss surprisingly simple and took one life to complete. While I feel I am being a bit harsh overall, I found the game exceptional and really enjoyed every minute of playing it.

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Graphics: Now in Technicolour

"The levels themselves are uniquely styled. While you'd expect the basic tone to be both boring and possibly even confusing, this is far from the case. "

As I have said many times in this review and my previous article, The graphics are incredibly striking to me. Infact it is one of the main reasons this game caught my attention. You rarely get the combination of hand-drawn and black and white style graphics in an indie shooter, most likely due to time constraints. This art style is even more interesting because there are various colours or shades to choose from if the original style is a bit too much! The alternate styles include; inverted, underwater, coffee, robot, and 1993. I decided to play the entire game in the standard mode, which captivated me from the beginning. This mode is essentially black and white. However, it would be more apt to say shades of grey and white except when you score a hit on someone, or they hit you, which leaves you with a very striking blood patch on the floor or wall, which really strikes the senses.

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The levels themselves are uniquely styled. While you'd expect the basic tone to be both boring and possibly even confusing, this is far from the case. The levels true can be confusing at times due to the darkness, yet each location is very clear and varied in its design. It's clear a lot of flair and imagination has been used when creating these levels. This is not just where the visuals stop wowing. Each creature is extremely detailed. From the huge cannon firing behemoth to the bald guys with swords, you can identify them easily, but I'd recommend not getting too close.

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Audio: Synthetic Reality

The music throughout is synth-like Midi style music which almost feels somewhat jarring when you first hear it.

The music throughout is synth-like Midi style music which almost feels somewhat jarring when you first hear it. While it's not as moody and gothic as you'd expect, especially considering the story, I found that the music itself was perfectly suited as soon as the action started. There are a number of different tracks available throughout your time with this game, and I even found myself humming along to a few as I was going. The two parts I was mostly concerned about going in was how the sounds of the weapons and the sounds of the creatures and whether they'd fit. Fortunately, my concern was for nothing, as the gunplay sounds were spot on both from you and at you. When you pull the trigger, the sound that emanates is exactly what you'd expect even when the gun is empty. In equal measure, the creatures have unique identifiable noises and reactions to being shot, which feels even more responsive when you hit them.

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Review Summary:

Good

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Story: Be The Gatekeeper

Gameplay: Not all Black and white

Graphics: Now in Technicolour

Audio: Synthetic Reality

Overall, I really did enjoy this game, while as previously mentioned, I'm not a huge First Person Shooter normally. The striking visuals and the overall gameplay of run and gun kept me hooked and constantly questioned what I would see next. The changing difficulty options is a great way to keep people replaying with more things to do with the tougher difficulties. I'd ask the Devs to review the damage taken to you and damage dealt on the harder ones, though. Equally, while it may have just been my experience with the glitches or shooting a civilian, having an option to restart would be ideal instead of returning to the office first. I also encountered a resolution resizing issue when alt + tabbing; however, I doubt this would affect many others. Overall I'd recommend this game at just over 10 hours. It's a great time sync and has great music, fantastic visuals and the key thing fun. Unfortunately, with the glitches the way they are, I cannot score any higher.

Pros:

  • Unique Graphics

  • Replayability

Cons:

  • Gameplay has some bugs that need fixing

  • Can be too easy

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