I'll might admit right away that I've had a strange time with Fade to Silence. A lot of ups and downs. Its the sort of game I feel I should really enjoy, and did for the first while at least.
It's your usual post-apocalyse survival crafting experiance, this time with a base building element, developed by Black Forest Games and published by THQ Nordic, a company I've admitebly got a bit of a softspot for. As I said in my Genesis Alpha One review I think its always good when a game has something that belongs to the player, but the base building in Fade to Silence doesnt quite stratch that itch for me since the structures you build are fairly boring, and the customisation is only where in a small area you can place them. Theres a lot of good ideas overall in this game that leave me feeling like this review might come across as a little unfair, given that most of what ruins it is just a lack of polish.
The aim of the game is exploring the icey wilderness thats left of the world after some apocalyptic event has has started an endless winter, turned most people into glowing monsters and theres also the Eclipse, a floating ball of rubble drifting aimlessly over the world, raining the landscape with cars and exploding tentacle balls. If that seems rather vague its cause the game tells you basically nothing about whats going on in the beginning, the only backstory you get is flashbacks when you rest at campfires. I found this was a very disjounted way of storytelling that couldn't keep my interest and honestly I couldn't tell what it had to do with what was happening. You start the game in a crypt of sorts, with a Dementor floating over you, telling you how everthing is screwed and your destined to fail. You're resurected back in the crypt whenever you die, waking up in the Circle of Torment, ringed with Flames of Hope, basically your extra lives. This adds a kind of roguelike element given that when you have extinguised all the Flames the game restarts and only then can you upgrade your character with the items that are found in the world and select what you want to keep for you new settlement from your last life. This isnt aweful but I couldnt see a need for it other than lengthening gameplay.
At the start your character, Ash, makes their way outside and everything is burnt to the ground and the only one alive is your daughter, Allie. You both recover from the presumed death of everyone you know rather fast, and set out to rebuild your settlement, pick up new followers and gather enough supplies to feed them and fuel there fires so they don't all freeze to death. All the followers in my time with the game were surprisingly well written and acted, even if they do all seem to be competing to see who has the most tragic backstrory, with the exception of the main character, Ash and his daughter who are a bit generic.
The combat is one of the real sticking points in the gameplay, its the old Dark Souls ripoff with stamina management and timing your attacks. It's bad. Don't get me wrong, I love Dark Souls ,but I really wish some developers would love it a bit fucking less. If you can't make it nearly as refined then just don't fucking bother. The stamina takes way to bloody long to even start recharging and good luck trying to dodge any of their attacks unless your already moving out of the way. The lock-on is unreliable at best and often your attacks will go in the direction the enemy was standing ten years ago, but here's my hot tip, keep backing up and hit it with heavy attack when your stamina allows. Unless your going up agianst the "Stalkers," these bastards zip around the battlefield and if they hit you with their charge attack once, they are going to hit you at least twice more before you can stand up and then you're fucking dead.
I know that playing games from smaller companys means having to put up with a few issues, but fucking hell, did no one play test this? I guess that brings us to the bugs. My favorite one was when I was working my way through one of the enemy strongholds you have to take over on my third attempt with my last Flame of Hope, and just as I took down the last enemy, I fell through the floor and died in the space under the map, this happened a couple of times in fact and was what finally made me call, fuck it. Thats not even mentioning the many, many times the game just bloody crashed on me.
I really wanted to like this game. There's a lot of good, or at least interesting ideas here, like the Eclipse, but I couldn't keep overlooking all the issue. I don't think I can give Fade to Silence a recomendation, not unless they fix the bugs and other problems or if you think you can overlook them.