Deathverse: Let It Die Review – Alone in a Crowd

Right off the bat, you just know that Deathverse: Let It Die is going to be a journey. It opens with a huge, screaming, swinging show number, proclaiming the game’s intent as a funky Death Jamboree. It’s a banger and worth the storage space just to hear it. And the game could be too, for the most part, except for a few pretty glaring missteps.

Supertrick’s Deathverse has a simple premise dressed in surreal clothes; on paper, it’s a fairly unremarkable multiplayer battle royale in which 16 players fight to the death on a shrinking battlefield. Deathverse, however, is set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event exacerbated by a playful grim reaper, detailed in the witty prequel Let It Die.

Now, hundreds of years in the future, humanity has fully embraced its weird side and is reveling in the launch of an ultra-violent reality TV show called Death Jamboree, in which 16 – you guessed it – contestants fight to the death on a shrinking battlefield.

This plays into the language around the mechanics of the game. You earn good points (GP) from the show’s audience by being entertaining (brutal and murderous, in other words), and GP is your primary source of healing and doom. stat improvement in the game. GP is the measure by which you are rated in the Death Jamboree, and the more the audience likes you, the higher it goes, and your health goes up with it.

Starting in Deathverse, you’re quickly thrust into the Crazy Violent Basic Training program, led by Uncle D2 – a small flying robot shaped like a skull. He gracefully walks you through the mechanics of combat and introduces you to your very own little flying robot – the Wilson Device. The Wilson device is your faithful companion and a useful multi-tool for navigating this world; it’s your weapon, shield, scanner and skills all in one. And when the Wilson takes a hit (like when an enemy breaks your shield), so does your offensive ability.

The combat itself has certainly taken some cues from the Souls franchise – all the shoulder buttons to attack and what have you – which is easily overlooked as a relatively recent design choice. However, it differs in a few key ways; there’s no locking or parrying, and playing offensively almost all the time is actively encouraged here. Since your attacks generate GP and heal you, the result is some interesting tug-of-war dynamics. This means it’s never too late to win, and landing a few choice punches, even when you’re on your last legs, can quickly turn a fight around in your favor.

With training away, you’re free to jump into one of the game’s two modes – Ranked or Exhibition. Aside from the ranking system, they’re basically the same; both take place on Bonuriki Island, a reasonably sized stage divided into seven areas, each with a distinct feel and layout.

Show hosts Bryan Zemeckis and Queen B will announce your arrival and that of your fellow players, and you’re in. Then it’s time to use this brief tutorial and try to stand out.

Matches play out in a fairly familiar fashion. You spawn with a bit of a breather, allowing you to grab a sub-skill (usually explosives, debuffs, or distracting abilities) and some charge from a Power Pod for your main skill. These are specific to your chosen weapon, and there are currently five categories with three variations of each, consisting of a machete, katana, hammer, mechanical arms, and a saw. jumper.

These weapons are unlocked through crafting, and they’re all fun to play, offering loads of options to suit your playstyle. The katana is fast, has high damage, and has some flashy kills (special moves) in his repertoire. If you really want to wow people, however, the buzzsaw gives you a lot of mobility and can be extremely difficult to interrupt.

There’s also a slight PvE element to Death Jamboree, as small monsters known as cryptids roam the stage – easy choices for some bonus GP and crafting materials. The other AI enemy, the hunter, is a much scarier affair, however. They are summoned by the hosts for the express purpose of ruining your day, and if you don’t turn around and run at the first sight of them, they will succeed. The hunter is immortal and rips a competitor to shreds with just a few attacks, but luckily it will retreat after a moment or two.

All of this mayhem unfolds as the island contaminant, SPLithium (yes, that’s honestly what it’s called) arrives, forcing the remaining players to close in until only one remains. ‘a. Although I said the comparison to Dark Souls combat was only so profound, the whole feel of playing it is reminiscent of a lighter version of those games’ invasion system. Players are out to trick you. I even knocked someone off the stage when they thought they were safely harvesting materials – and that speaks to the game’s greatest strength; it’s silly but a real joy to be in once in a while.

And yes, there is jank – Deathverse is clearly an AA budget game at best. A particularly odd moment is the end of a match and the winner being interviewed in silence by one of the hosts. Let’s listen to our champion, they say, and we hear nothing.

For all that I love about gaming, battle royales live and die by their social aspect, and Deathverse really doesn’t do itself any favors in that regard. As it stands, the only way to play with friends is to host a private room, a feature that’s locked behind the highest tier Jamboree Pass (the equivalent of the Deathverse Battle Pass) at a cost about $30 for the player.

There’s a small saving grace in the fact that you don’t need to have this level, or indeed none, of the Jamboree Pass to join a room, but imagine the following scenario: four friends want to play together, and one buys the Platinum Skip Jamboree. Said friend leaves after an hour. The remaining band members now either have to split up or one of them also has to shell out three hours of the average worker’s wage to continue as a band. All for free functionality in literally every other example of its kind. A really disconcerting aspect of this too is that established groups of friends will probably never try the game for this exact reason.

Hopefully it’ll come back soon enough if Deathverse is to last its roadmap – which it needs since it feels pretty content-free at launch, with a single map, hunter, and five weapon types. And to be clear, I want the game to succeed – it has some cool stuff in the works, including a feature where random matches will be broadcast on the developer’s official Twitch channel in a sort of metagame recreating the Deathverse premise. . But as things stand, it’s very hard to recommend it to your friends.

Deathverse: Let It Die Review – L’essentiel

Advantages

  • Really fun to play.
  • The short and sharp matches give him a really more quality, just a plus.
  • The whole vibe of the thing.

The inconvenients

  • Matchmaking with friends locked behind the most expensive battle pass.
  • Lack of launch content.
  • Virtually no cosmetic customization options for free-to-play players.

Deathverse is a game of two discordant and contradictory halves; The psychedelic presentation and anarchic spirit of this battle royale pretender to the throne is coupled with one of the worst monetizations of a game in recent memory. If you’re the kind of gamer who doesn’t care about the social aspect of multiplayer gaming, there’s plenty of fun to be had here – and it looks like it’s only going to get better.

But as it stands, the content deficit and paying parties mean that as someone who values ​​moments of human interaction more than most other facets of the genre, I won’t be making that trip again if early.