Surviving a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested wasteland is nothing new to a gamer but here's DEADCRAFT and it's quite an odd game.
What is DEADCRAFT?
DEADCRAFT has you play as a half-zombie half-human named Reid who's trying to survive. One of the first things that'll strike you as unique about its world is that you can kill both zombies and humans although the latter will raise your wanted status. You also have a gauge that shifts from zombie to human and the gameplay changes accordingly. For example, you can unleash a devastating attack as a zombie yet humans will become your enemy. It's an interesting premise for sure so we're off to a good start. v1d30chumz 18-232-59-38
All of this is presented in a fittingly drab world that has splashes of colour which usually represents zombie-themed objects. The graphics aren't anything special but they're not bad either; kind of like an early PS4 game. Meanwhile, the audio is filled with anime-style voice acting, drone-like music that fits the current situation, and the very wet sounds of hacking and slashing. Overall, it's whatever. 😐
The general atmosphere within DEADCRAFT is over-the-top as it features a cast of unlikeably crass characters and plenty of irreverence. At first, I quite enjoyed the nihilism and how there's nothing substantial to latch onto as it blends well with the post-apocalyptic survival gameplay. However, the constant swearing and flippancy eventually became obnoxious and I couldn't help but think, "Okay, I get it." On the plus side, there are plenty of wacky characters to meet along the journey that are bursting with personality.
All of these characters inhabit an exceptionally small world that you'll traverse over and over again on your quest to acquire materials and complete missions. In fact, I'd say that this is the most disappointing aspect of DEADCRAFT as you really have to do a lot in order to progress to the next area and once you do, you'll be disappointed by how it's also small and uninteresting. Considering you have to make progress at a snail's pace, the campaign eventually turns from an interesting premise to a tedious slog.
The best part of DEADCRAFT is in its name; the crafting. That being said, it's still not great as all you do is place facilities around your base then select menu options after acquiring the necessary materials. Even the side-quests are boring so amassing what you need can be tiring work. The good news is that you can collect dead bodies, plant them in your garden, and use the resulting... thing? in crafting recipes to create some undeniably interesting results such as zombie turrets that can help you in battle.
Speaking of combat, it's kind of enjoyable. On one hand, hacking and slashing is disconnected as you don't actually feel like you're exchanging blows. Instead, it merely consists of watching your character and his enemies swiping the air while health meters deplete. The best part of combat is the odd zombie-fueled gadgets that you can summon. In other words, battles in DEADCRAFT gradually turn from mindless melee matches to somewhat strategic exchanges. They're still not great but fun nonetheless.
Before wrapping this up, let me just say that there's a very similar game which released earlier this year called DYSMANTLE and it's great. Whereas DEADCRAFT excels in its zany world, DYSMANTLE is a more open-ended affair that actually makes it feel like you're cleverly surviving in a post-zombie apocalypse world. Sure, you're quite lonely in it but that only adds to the atmosphere.DYSMANTLE Review
DEADCRAFT would be a decent game if it allowed for more freedom and featured a much larger explorable environment. Unless you desperately want to experience its wacky and irreverent game world, I recommend playing the far superior DYSMANTLE instead.
- + Goofy post-apocalyptic world that's full of crass characters and wackiness
- + Enjoyable crafting, especially zombie farming
- + Deploying zombies in battle is fun
- - Campaign is super-slow-paced to the point where it becomes painfully tedious
- - Extremely small game world
- - Combat feels disconnected