Dead Age 2 Review (Steam)

The successful indie survival RPG “Dead Age” is back with a vengeance! No other game offers this mix of role-playing, rogue-like, fast-paced turn-based combat, and survival all in one. Inspired by Darkest Dungeon, Fallout 1+2, This War of Mine, and The Walking Dead.

 

Pros:

  • Cool graphics.
  • 6. 61GB Download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Controller support.
  • Graphics-fullscreen, borderless windowed, v-sync, and quality preset.
  • Strategy gameplay.
  • Combat-turn based on actions and movements dictated by A-action points.
  • 3 save slots.
  • 3 difficulties-casual, normal, and hardcore.
  • Stats screen.
  • Character creator-hair, hair color, and ethnicity. You get 3 medals to upgrade your stats. Talent selection is multiple-choice sections like starting guns, weapon proficiency, etc.
  • Four factions that give perks, buffs, weapons.
  • Opening tutorial fights with menu pop-ups.
  • Really good comic book style cutscenes and story moments.
  • The story is written in a way very reminiscent of the choose your own adventure books.
  • World map level select.
  • Damage and status effects pop up in battle.
  • Earn EXP and level up to get medals to use in your stats upgrades, get proficient to trigger special events or rendezvous.
  • Loot drops from enemies.
  • Day/night cycle with the zombies getting stronger and bigger in numbers at night.
  • Base camp- can freely go between the rooms and gather supplies, trade, craft, etc. It looks and plays a bit like a Fallout Shelter type of game.
  • Scouts-hire them to look for particular supplies and they will fill in locations on the map for you to travel to.
  • Choices matter and do affect the game.
  • Food and drink mechanics-you need water for your characters as you play and food is needed for the camp.
  • Areas on the map will specialize in resources like the Woods-food rivers-water type of thing.
  • Areas will have a rating on how many zombies you may encounter.
  • Saves upon exiting the game.
  • Characters are permadeath.
  • EXP earned from playing and leveling up will increase stats.
  • Enemy stats pop up as you highlight them.
  • Enter other bases and play as your main character as you explore, chat and take on side missions and use their merchants.
  • Combat can involve a separate scenario whereby you have members do other tasks as you fight.
  • Challenges-these can be done by natural gameplay, earn medals from them that are used to increase your proficiency traits.
  • At the end of the day, you get taken back to the base of operations.
  • Death-you gets bonus medallions to start a new character with better stats and if you do enough can get bonus faction allegiance.

Cons:

  • No female character choices.
  • Loading times are quite long.
  • Menu navigation with the controller is the left stick that acts as a mouse.
  • You have to click a certain part of the screen to advance the text.
  • A lot of reading and text pop-ups.
  • The controller doesn’t always work, it gets recognized but doesn’t do anything.
  • No voice acting.
  • Menus are awkward and fiddly to use with the controller.
  • Slow-paced.
  • Very busy screens and menus.

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.2/10

Summary

Dead Age 2 is a game that starts off slowly but as the game intensifies, you realize that time is disappearing fast and faster and you are now hooked! Dead Age 2 is a roguelike strategy game set within a zombie-filled world where you need to forge relationships, scavenge food and fight off said zombies. It all makes for a really good albeit slow and methodical experience. What I enjoyed most about the game is the combat, it’s simple yet deep and varied. The fact it plays out in rows means you can move melee and ranged characters around, as you increase a character’s stats you can unlock deployable assets like dogs, turrets, and walls of fire. No fight ever feels the same. The exploration is a case of picking points on a map and you can see the type of items/materials you can find there, again every location plays differently. As you discover new settlements you can walk around it and engage with the people or use the facilities like shops and blacksmiths or pick up new optional side quests from the cantina/bar. It all culminates on a cohesive and atmospheric strategy game that does have pacing issues but the core gameplay is one that shouldn’t be brushed over, it’s well thought out, varied and the loop of restarting after every run is an enticing idea.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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