Some games attempt many things yet few do it well so allow me to introduce the very cool UNSIGHTED and its many nifty elements.
UNSIGHTED has you play as an android named Alma as you try to collect Anima in order to help your fellow automatons not lose their minds. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world after a war with humankind which kind of reminded me of NieR: Automata although the game world itself looks very similar to Chrono Trigger's dilapidated 2300 AD time period. Plus, traversing the overworld and dungeons feels a lot like The Legend of Zelda. Well, I didn't think I'd end up comparing this indie to such epic experiences but it wholeheartedly deserves it. For starters, its open-ended campaign where you gradually uncover a map while fighting all sorts of tricky enemies is super-satisfying stuff. Even though it's an overhead game, it's a Metroidvania, too, as many areas become accessible as you uncover new gear and abilities.
That's the thing about UNSIGHTED; it's a jam-packed game that has a lot of elements yet it all works together impressively well. Whether you're crafting gear with found blueprints, backtracking to snag some goodies after obtaining a new ability, or rushing back to town so you can save someone who's on the brink of insanity; there's a great deal of fun to be had. With that being said, I imagine that gamers who prefer linear adventures will be overwhelmed by the open-ended nature of the campaign and anxious folks may not appreciate the constantly ticking clock which can spell the demise of your favourite NPCs if you're not careful. For the record, I enjoy both of these elements as the former allows me to experience the campaign as I wish while the latter adds the incentive to play efficiently.
When it comes to gameplay, UNSIGHTED presents a blend of exploration, light puzzle-solving, and combat which is the most substantial aspect. Fighting enemies is accomplished by using a couple of equipped weapons which can be melee or long-range. The controls will have you aim with the right stick, dodge to avoid damage, and parry which plays a huge role in success as it can stun foes and make them susceptible to massive damage. It's fantastic that the parry window is intuitive as many similar games make parrying needlessly difficult. Additionally, unlocking slots and equipping chips as well as activating temporary cogs for boosts means that you can strategize to overcome the more difficult areas and bosses. Speaking of which, the boss fights are incredible and will thoroughly test your skills.
Presentation-wise, UNSIGHTED has decent visuals with detailed environments although the darker locales can be exceptionally annoying to traverse. Whether you merely have a little circle of light around you or the whole area becomes dark at sundown, you'll regularly wish that you could easily work out what your surroundings are. On the plus side, the soundtrack is top-notch. I absolutely loved the chill rhythms that amplify in intensity as soon as you encounter enemies. I'd even say that the music does a better job of portraying the desolate world than the graphics do. Oh, and the sound effects are great, too, and make combat more visceral.
To my delight, UNSIGHTED features a superb amount of replay value. First, you can enjoy the campaign again while making different decisions and playing more efficiently with your new knowledge. Keep in mind; the first time you play, you'll likely get frustrated from time to time while not knowing what you can do next so a second playthrough will go a lot smoother. Anyway, on top of that, there's an extra mode known as Dungeon Raid where you tackle procedurally generated dungeons and there's a Boss Rush mode, too. As if that's not enough, you can play cooperatively with a local friend which is a welcome addition indeed as it adds a sense of comradery.
UNSIGHTED does a lot of things and it does them extremely well. So, if you enjoy the classic Zelda formula, Metroidvania exploration, twin-stick shooting, and reaction-based combat then you'll love your time with this gem of an indie.
- + Phenomenal challenging combat and rewarding character growth options
- + Absolutely outstanding soundtrack
- + Tons of replay value and extras
- - Not everyone will appreciate the open-ended time-based campaign
- - Dark areas can be annoying to traverse
- - It's sometimes hard to know what to do