Fade to silence has just been released on Steam Early Access after being announced at the Game awards and it has mixed reviews, bad performance spikes and a lot of bugs and despite all of that I think it’s worth a look.
The game is being developed by Black Forest Games most well-known for the Giana Sisters games and published by THQ Nordic. It is a survival game and being that there is no shortage of those on Steam in early access it could normally be quite easily ignored but there are a few key reasons that make me think this could turn out to be something special.
- This is a single player game with a focus on recruiting NPCs to help you rather than a multiplayer PVP mess that a lot of these survival games become.
- The combat system is something more akin to an Action RPG or Dark Souls clone and is from a third person perspective.
- It is set in a vast winter landscape with ruins of a modern world dotted around and filled with monsters straight out of HP Lovecraft
- The story is lacking now but the snippets you get from the intro make it seem like if its handled well it could be quite good.
- It is being published by THQ Nordic and while a more know publisher doesn’t mean it won’t be a shit game at least there will be some quality control compared to some of the random indie games to come through Steam Direct
The game plays like a lot of survival games, you scavenge for basic resources while managing your food and temperature, if either of these meters gets to low your max health start to decrease making you even more vulnerable in fights. The fights themselves are at the moment in the game fairly standard Dark souls like, you have a limited stamina bar and a basic and heavy attack with the option to either block or dodge the enemy attacks.
As you explore the world you scavenge materials you can use to upgrade your settlement and recruit followers to man various buildings and help defend when you are attacked. Your followers have morale and needs that must be managed and the way they are implemented will seem familiar to any who have played state of decay. The build menu for your settlement is done from a top down perspective similar to an RTS allowing you to plan a bit better than most survival games.
You have a limited number of lives in the game before all of your progress is wiped and you start again whether this is an attempt to further emulate Dark Souls-like difficulty or just to make you a bit more cautious I’m not sure but I think the game developers would be wise to have a few different difficulty levels if they want to appeal to a broad audience.
The game’s atmosphere is pretty good between spikes in performance (which I am giving a pass for now as it was just released, and the developers have said they are working on) with overall good sound design but the inner voice that will periodically comment on what is happening can become a bit annoying after a while but rather than removing it completely I think it just needs some tweaking in its frequency. In terms of bugs, I have run into a few but nothing that would be surprising to anyone playing an early access title and nothing game breaking.For now, anyone for anyone thinking of playing it I would highly recommend using a gamepad over mouse and keyboard as it seems to be designed more for that way of playing, but this is my general preference in most third person games. Overall, I can say I am very hopeful that this will be an early access success that will inject a bit of difference into the over-saturated survival genre.