The Indie hit for the PS4, UnEpic arrives at the PlayStation Store.
Since October of 2011, UnEpic has stomped across a variety of platforms from Steam, the App Store, and even Wii U. Now it finds itself on our radar.
At first glance, UnEpic gives off the aesthetic of a free to play grind fest. I was very happy to be proven wrong. As simplistic as it’s presentation initially appears, the complexity of this 200 room dungeon and the way they interconnect, is truly something to behold.
The biggest draw for UnEpic to me is the challenge. Good old NES level difficulty with modern day sprites and functionality. I jumped into the second highest difficulty 1st meaning the game’s auto save function was unavailable to me. This adds a lot more depth to my decisions than expected. Whenever I was poisoned or low on health, there was some real consequence to messing up. The up side to playing this way was that I could save before wasting ammo on an item to test it out, but for those that find the tugging back from save points hinders the experience, it might be worth it to play on normal so when you die, you spawn just a bit back and get another chance right away.
Weapons, item durability, potion creation, quick select assigning… It’s information overload and takes some micromanaging. You are not left to figure it all out on your own though. Whether it be the narrators voice dishing out button prompts or the protagonist dropping not so subtle hints, UnEpic holds your hand until you’ve got a grasp on everything. I find this straightforward approach lazy but in this case I was thankful for it.
You’ll never feel lost in the mechanics and honestly new things are revealed at a good pace. One example of this that really stood out was how the narrator stated that slicing and bludgeoning weapons have varying affect on the monsters. It said nothing about different affect on crates and barrels, this means the discovery that I could break objects open faster with a mace than a sword was left up to me. That’s so good! The game taught me something and the knowledge I acquired was applicable to something different. This little detail may seem silly but moments like that are a true delight that are good for building a players confidence, especially in a game with a grand scope.
I could bash the hell out of the story for lazy writing since all dialogue acts as introduction to situations and mechanics found, but instead let me just say this… You are not here for the characters. You’re playing UnEpic for dungeon exploration and overcoming obstacles through persistence and skill. Come into the experience looking for that alone and I feel the experience is a 7 out of 10. However it’s there, it can’t be ignored, so I got to knock off just one more point.
Let’s end with this… If I had to pick one aspect that caught me off guard, it’s the fighting. It takes a bit before you notice but the revelation hits you hard. You cannot hit more than one enemy at a time. At first this frustrated me, but being that the sprite animations can get tiring to look at, it actually helps maintain your engagement since strategy must now accompany your sword, and the gift of hindsight illuminates thine path.