Age of Darkness: Final Stand Review

Age of Darkness: Final Stand

Fight off hordes of nightmarish creatures in this top down medieval RTS called Age of Darkness: Final Stand. Create your town and build up your defenses to survive the night. Explore during the day for extra resources and treasure and defend the city when darkness falls. Make your final stand in this dark and eerie world!

Visuals and Music:

The visuals in this game have some great contrast to the brown thatch roofs and walls to the blueish green enemies that lurk the woods. Colors stand out brilliant in this game. Enemies could use a bit more variance. You mainly see tons of the creatures on all fours that are like ghouls of sorts. There is also axe creatures, spear ones, and 4-legged spiderlike creatures, as well as, Elite Nightmares you can face during the night. Audio ties all this aesthetic in with the deep drums and the eerie music. The music picks up and really hypes you up when the swarm comes out on the death night.

Story:

Unfortunately since this game is early access, the scenarios are not complete, and the only available game mode is survival. As for the main concept of the story, you build and create a well defended town against an ever growing threat of horrors and nightmares that come rushing from the woods at night.

Gameplay:

Gameplay is very much like the RTS games before it, and very reminisce of Warcraft or Starcraft. Set up farms for food, lumber stations for wood, mine for stone and metal. Housing increases your available civilians to work buildings or turn into soldiers to fight and defend against the horrors. There is only one available hero at this time out of 3 total heroes planned. You can upgrade your hero with special abilities as they level up, and you can also upgrade each type of troops with bonuses (which will be a resource cost). I do wish the hero had more of a skill tree rather than just three abilities to use.

They offer a wide variety of defenses with ballistae, siege vehicles, and archer towers. They have to be manned to work so keeping a good supply of townsfolk is key. These defenses are key to surviving a swarm as this game has a technology called “Swarmtech” which helps allow the game to render over 70,000 enemies on screen at any time. The Death Nights are great and I love that they have elite nightmares to fight during the night for rewards as well. Really good job with variety of defenses and units as well as rewards for risking your units in the night.

Overview:

Age of Darkness: Final Stand offers a very cool RTS with a lot of potential, but is lacking more heroes and the scenario mode which I think would boost this game even higher. It is a really good concept for an early access title with the swarmtech which makes the Death Nights exciting and a bit stressful with the large amounts of enemies at once. Beautiful colors and great music that fits the theme and tone. Fun, classic RTS style gameplay with some great options for the player, but I wish we had a bit more depth with a story of some sort. Very good game so far, and I will be watching for the scenarios to release for this one. Definitely recommend for those who love RTS games!

Rating: 3.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The game is available to purchase on Steam.

Grime Review

Grime is metroidvania meets dark souls in a lovecraftian-esque twisted setting. This game drops you deep into the world to rise up to where you had fallen. As a monstrosity with a black hole for a head, your goal is to work your way up through each of the unique areas to the land above and to remember your past. Destroy and absorb all that oppose you in this interesting and unique game!

Visuals and Music:

Visuals on this game are extremely odd and that’s a good thing. There are a ton of interesting designs of NPCs and creatures that scatter this twisted world. Long elongated arms, tentacles,  and contorted shapes frequently appear in the creatures of this universe. Love the artwork and design in this game. 

Music and audio is on point with creepy high pitched or deep rumbling voices from npcs keep the tension up and feed into the vibe of the game. Music does a good job with an eerie soundtrack with escalating crescendos when finally absorbing an enemy that you spent multiple attempts to defeat.

Story:

The story for the game is fairly straightforward. Defeat enemies and absorb their remains to become more powerful. I feel like a vast majority of the story beats do happen late game. This causes the main backstory of your character to happen all in one section, which I felt it would have been much better spread across the game, allowing me to piece together my past. I do enjoy the characters and the smaller beats of story that do happen in each of the individual sections, so overall, I found the story pretty good.

Gameplay:

Grime’s combat is very well done with the dark souls esque style with tons of weapons with unique animations.  Combat is punishingly difficult, and as a long time souls fan, I found it more frustratingly difficult than most of the souls games. You get a meter of breath to heal but can only hold 2 breaths(heals) at a time (excluding using items), which you can refill the meter by parrying abilities with absorbs or killing enemies with one of the perks. 

Stats and upgrades are really well done with the ability to gain new perks based on enemies you have absorbed. DIfferent weapons will benefit from different stats based on the playstyle you want to use. Armor is strictly cosmetic with a few pretty cool designs. Personally I wish that armor was not cosmetic only and had unique armor values so you could set a more solid playstyle.

Since this is a metroidvania game, it has plenty of platforming which I think is well done. Plenty of interesting abilities to traverse the sprawling tunnels and to get to hard to reach places for items. I did have a few glitches where I would teleport beneath the world when dashing, but for the most part graphical bugs and glitches didn’t mess up my gameplay.  

Overview:

Grime is a great dark and twisted metroidvania that I do recommend for metroidvania fans, but with a caution that this game is very punishing and difficult. The game has beautiful visuals and a soundtrack to go with it. Story is good, but could do better with it’s pacing. Gameplay is really good, but could do with a bit more in depth armor system. Nearing the end of the game, I did experience more issues with bugs, which I do feel the game could take a bit more polishing. Overall, it’s a great twisted game and definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The game is available on GFN and on Stadia via Stadia Pro.

Check out our Grime gameplay videos on Youtube!

Honey, I joined a Cult Review

Looks like our first cult is a bust, so it’s time to move on to the next one! Start a new cult in a new city, but this time let’s try to keep the heat off us. Have a blast in this top-down cult simulation game. Create a cult, customize your look, and make a name for yourself. Gain followers and cult members to earn money and reputation. Work your way up to be the biggest and best-rated cult in town in this Sim game called Honey, I Joined a Cult!

Visuals and Music:

The game goes for a comedic art style with short stubby characters that look kind of like emoji characters. This tends to do well to show that it’s intended to not be a serious style game and lends well to the wacky buildings and creations you will make.  You can create how the leader of the cult looks and the style all your cult members will look at the beginning of the game, so as your members grow, their fashion style will also follow.

There is only one real repeating song that tends to play during the game, and this song has a decent catchy tune that reminds me of elevator music. It’s quite calming and especially since you can spend countless hours on this game. The other audio cues are mostly used to notify you when a job is done or when the sermon is planned. The audio lends well to the game and helps keep track of things, especially if you like to multitask with certain games.

Story:

The game opens up with the police busting your cult, so what do you do? You escape with your things, and you create a new cult with a new theme. I decided that for fun I would create a cult called TheBros, which is why all my members have aviator glasses. The game gives you decent freedom in naming and creating fun little designs for your characters, which I think is ideal in sim-type games. Send your members on missions to increase your PR, decrease the heat on your cult from police/protestors, and acquire items. Spend your influence on researching new perks, new buildings, and items. You gain money and influence from followers and members in each of the buildings in your house. Your ultimate goal is to upgrade your cult to become the best cult in the town and create your journey.

Gameplay:

The game gives you decent freedom in naming and creating fun little designs for your characters, which I think is ideal in sim-type games. The tools they give you to build, design, and decorate your rooms are well done, and they have a ton of options to keep you busy for countless hours. I do wish they had a simple upgrade button for upgrading new items instead of having to delete then re-add new items. The game is in early access, so hopefully, we see it added in the future.

The research tree is very extensive with plenty of upgrades and new items, and the UI is similar to that of a Civilization research tree, which I really like. You can unlock some fun buildings such as an Energy Spa, Discombobulation Therapy, Infernal Heat Room, and more! Some rooms, items, and abilities can be unlocked from the Divine Inspirations, which are the dark and sinister ones. One such room is the contract room where you get more money and influence out of a particular follower in exchange for them….disappearing. I do hope that I will be able to spend my PR or Faith on more things in the future, as I tend to sit at max PR and Faith for most of the game.

You can choose which followers you want to become members which both are capped to a certain number. Once they are a member, you can upgrade and modify their abilities to suit your needs. Each stat seems to be equally important and useful for specific rooms. You will also need multiples due to certain missions requiring specific stats to succeed. I do wish they had a better UI for the rooms. Hopefully, in a later update, you will be able to click a room and easily assign a member to the room, but for the time being, you can click a member and click the room to assign them to do the role.

Overview:

Honey, I Joined a Cult is a fun exciting sim game with plenty of customizable features to make my time with the game a blast. The visuals and audio do a decent job of setting the tone, while the story is a straightforward simplistic goal to achieve. Managing your cult, rooms, and members are well made and is a great game to play while listening to a podcast or watching Youtube. While the game still needs some work, it is in early access, so I hope to see these ironed out in the long term. I can easily recommend this game to Simulation game fans out there as one to look forward to. I spent over 20 hours playing and had a blast!

Rating: 3.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The game is due to come to Geforce NOW this week.

41 Hours Review: Rise of a new Serious Sam?

41 hours starts off with Ethan, a man with a cyborg ally Lea, fighting against the time traveling elite soldiers, robots, and….zombies? Ethan’s world is due to be destroyed in 41 hours by the Demiurge, and it’s up to you to stop him. Travel to the forest, beach, and desert fighting these minions of the Demiurge and defeat hordes of enemies in this action-packed FPS. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, then this might be the game for you. While this sounds like a blast, let’s weigh in on if this is a game you might enjoy. 

Visuals and Music:

The game tries for a fairly realistic aesthetic, but the assets feel a bit muddy and blurry even at 1080p. I was curious about if it was the game or GeForce Now, so I double checked the game on my own PC. The game has a blurry visual style all throughout the game with comic-like sections for story beats. Guns and UI look standard and fine. Nothing too detailed or refined. Enemies look pretty standard. A soldier here or a robot there. Nothing too exceptional. Music is pretty good. A catchy doom-like metal track for combat and a more somber music for out of combat/story sections.

Story:

The story of fighting time traveling robots is wacky fun that I like, though I wish they doubled down with goofy voices for characters and go all in for the silliness. I wish they explained the main character a bit more before jumping us right into the action because I’d want to understand why he’s here and fighting. I also think they should have expanded a bit more with Lea to help grow our attachment with her. Story was decent, but could definitely be improved a bit.

Gameplay:

Gameplay is both good and bad. It plays a lot like Serious Sam. Waves of enemies in open areas for the most part with small mini-bosses. Definitely needs some more variation in the enemy department. You are a scientist and with that comes fun sci fi powers. Ethan can make himself invisible with his cloak, slow down time, send Lea to explode enemies, and use telekinetic powers. You will want to use these abilities as the game is pretty difficult. Stealth and Slow-Mo saved my life many times. Most of the abilities are great, but Lea’s speed needs to be sped up to the target and the telekinesis needs to be easier to use for combat.

The game throws objectives on higher places which forces you to use telekinesis to get to these upper areas, which can hinder the pacing of the game greatly. Personally, I think they should cut these out and make them entirely solvable from ground level and make telekinesis good for enemies. Maybe it can be used to remove armor plating off robots?

Gunplay is pretty good, but my thoughts on the guns? Needs more guns and more power. Guns fire well, but I felt that some of them were severely underpowered. With only 6 different guns to use, I think they should have added some power weapons in the game to spice up the endgame and make for a grandiose finale.

Overview:

41 hours plays a lot like an early access Serious Sam. I ran into a few issues with bugs/glitches, and some of the assets and AI aren’t super polished. Can’t shoot through windows, enemies don’t go in houses, etc. I think with some extra polishing, and adding a few of the suggestions I listed above this game could easily go above a 3 out of 5 for me. Decent game for a small studio, and I hope they continue to work to make an even better experience. Overall, I recommend it to those who love Serious Sam and want a similar experience, but for those not really into Serious Sam I would say this one is a pass. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.