EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Sean Martin
previewed on PC
WINTER IS COMING
If the Starks had been obligated to deal with the crazy nightmare-haunted, post-apocalyptic world of Fade to Silence, they might have found something better to complain about than the weather… I speculate that their house words would be something more to the effect of “What are those things? Oh god, and what is that flying thing in the sky, why is it killing everyone?” Less catchy, I will certainly attest, but hey, no one said the truth was pretty. But it is like Black Forest Games said “Pfft, winter isn’t that deadly, but you know what is deadly? Demons! And you know what’s even more deadly than demons? Demons and winter-” etc.
In Fade to Silence you take the role of Ash, a survivor of an apocalypse that has ravaged humanity, trying to keep his daughter safe and give her some semblance of a normal childhood. But see, these crazy nightmare creatures keep getting in the way, because Ash is haunted, the demonic figments of his imagination are real and are corrupting the world. Ash and his family are intrinsically linked to the apocalypse and he is the only one who can cleanse the taint which has infected the land. This mysterious link also brings Ash back to life every time he dies, dooming him to an eternal struggle for survival in a harsh and haunted winter.
You may be thinking “wait a second, how can you be immortal in a game about survival? Doesn’t that contradict the main occupation of the game.” But the reality is that Ash has five lives on each run, but after the fifth he will have to start from the beginning. This adds a rogue-likeness to the game, so that as you fail you remember how to pass certain areas, or how to get certain items, or how to better navigate the world. Also, as there are limited resources on the map, you will be incentivised into pushing further and further into corrupted territory, cleansing it as you go. So the main occupation of Fade to Silence is traversing the world, cleansing corruption, saving survivors and trying to unravel the mystery of said corruption. The monsters are really cool looking, organic formations of rock and wood, but twisted completely out of shape. The combat also seems interesting (though I was told combat should mostly be avoided) but it seemed somewhat weighty in a kind of Lords of the Fallen way.
In terms of saving survivors, there are a mixture of post-apocalyptic vagabonds and trouble makers, each capable of granting you a unique benefit. These benefits will allow you to build up your camp and upgrade equipment allowing you to eventually build, for example, a wolf sled, a super cool way of traversing the frozen terrain. But you have to be careful with how many you rescue and who you put together. Some characters will clash with each other, causing chaos in your camp. And too many people together may put a strain on your resources and compromise your ability to care for your daughter.
Fade to Silence is an interesting spin on your typical third person survival game: the monsters and corruption adding a slightly more antagonistic component to the regular formula. In early access now, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on if the idea of winter survival, crossed with demonic entities really floats your boat.
The game has potential, but we're not ready to jump in with both feet. If the game interests you, look, but don't touch - yet.