Dark Souls has become one of the most influential games of the decade, and developers everywhere are slashing their way into this winning formula. Fresh onto the Souls scene is Immortal Unchained by developer Toadman Interactive who just this week are having their closed Alpha for the title.
You’d be forgiven if before this week you hadn’t heard much about this upcoming souls genre style RPG action adventure game. Officially described as a mixture of a science fiction shooter on the one hand and a hardcore roleplaying game of a “dark soul style” on the other it somehow finds a way to seamlessly blend its ideas into a neat little package.
The core story behind Immortal Unchained will see you take on the role of a living weapon. Being an ultimate weapon, you have been locked up for millennia by those who fear your potential. Finally unleashed to stop the source of a cataclysmic event threatening to end all worlds, it will require many harsh lessons to unlock this potential in an unforgiving universe full of murderous foes. On your journey you’ll discover the secrets of these worlds, master unique but lethal gun combat, and defeat legendary bosses. Expect no mercy and no assistance: Those that aren’t trying to kill you, will instead try to use you to further their own agenda. Trust no one.
The closed alpha features two of the game’s locations: the “Hidden Vaults,” which is mostly linear and features the game’s opening tutorial, and the frozen ice world “Arden,” where you explore the “Scar of the Abyss.” For the most part the following area contains all the elements you would expect from a game of this genre. Shortcuts that allow you to save time and quickly reach places you’ve been through, unexpected pitfalls that will punish you for lack of attention, and strategically placed enemies to make your life a living hell.
In Immortal Unchained I didn’t find any built-in cover system, this means it’s up to you to interpret and predict the scenario in front of you and choose the ideal place to protect yourself from incoming weapons fire. It’s incredibly important to keep that in mind and because this is a souls genre style of game, it’s all too easy to think at times that because this is a shooting game, you can just run and gun.
“…you can target various parts of the body similar to that of the Fallout series, allowing you to disable or even dismember the enemy you are fighting.”
Immortal Unchained uses an unique targeting system in the game. You wont use it all the time but when you aim and pass the sight over the enemy, you can target various parts of the body similar to that of the Fallout series, allowing you to disable or even dismember the enemy you are fighting. Alternating between the various parts of the target’s body you can shoot off their weapons so they can no longer fire at you, shoot out a kneecap forcing them to the ground briefly or even just go full Rambo and shoot off limbs one by one for kicks!
This is where picking the right weapon for the situation is important as well. Each combat is unique and different and thus each weapon will offer us a different balance to the situation you find yourself in. You’ll find that the weapons themselves have a ton of stats that will dictate how they will perform in battle. Each will have a unique Power Attack as well as stats such as Armour Penetration, Recoil, Critical Hit bonus, Reload Time, Range. All Power Attacks will do a unique special attack whilst consuming Energy. They can be a powerful addition to your strategy bag of tricks if used wisely.
Although melee attacks are possible in Immortal Unchained, they have not served me well. The damage done to enemies is far too low to be of any worth and does not outweigh the risk of going into close combat. I found it preferable to keep an average distance staying well out of any major damage zones and this even more valid when facing a bigger and stronger enemy.
The progression system for the game is well planned but requires careful attention from you, if you do not want to suddenly lose half the life-bar. Like most games there is a stamina bar, which is depleted when you perform tasks such as running, dodging and even firing a weapon. This means you have to pay very close attention to your stamina and it becomes equally as important as your health in this game. There is also a magic bar, which serves as your power attack with firearms.
Overall the general mechanics of the game and the way things work outside of combat are very very Souls-Like. Death means losing some of the progress and returning to the previous checkpoint and it’s at these checkpoints (which the game calls Obelisks) that you can change equipment, improve weapons and raise character level. There is an upgrade system where players can spend what they have acquired to improve stats, such as amount of health, regeneration of stamina, damage with firearms, damage with physical combat weapons and waiting time to reload weapons, among other values. During the time I played I found many weapons I was unable to use due to a lack of requirements so it would appear that those wanting to play upon launch should get themselves ready for the long grind.
Immortal Unchained Key Features
- Explore futuristic fantasy worlds, and sift through lies to unveil their secrets, in a story written by a narrative team including Anne Toole (The Witcher) and Adrian Vershinin (Killzone: Shadow Fall, Battlefield 1).
- Tactical, up-close and personal action with a combination of ruthless gunplay and vicious melee combat.
- Annihilate legendary bosses in godlike clashes that will be remembered for eternity.
- Undying but unforgiving: Death is not the end, but the pain is very real as you struggle to redeem your mistakes.
- Delve into the vast possibilities of builds and weapon choices to find your own playstyle and defeat your opposition your way.
Above all, Immortal Unchained has a long way to go before being a finished product, however this alpha serves for this exact purpose. Although flawed, you can definitely see the bright future ahead here and it’s one we look forward to. The release date is not yet set, but we know that in addition to the PC version which will be available on Steam there are plans for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions as well.
Stay tuned to Checkpoint or head to the Immortal Unchained website for more details.