Fade to Silence – PC (P)Review

Genre: RPG, Early Access
Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: Dec 15, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger

Fade to Silence is an Early Access RPG with survival elements currently on Steam from Black Forest Games and THQ Nordic. Due to it still being early access, some features like the skill system have not been implemented yet. I did, however, during my review process, encounter all (if not most) of the features present in the game. I will talk a bit about the story and objective of the game before we move on to what I think of said features. The setting is a post-apocalyptic wintry frozen piece of hell. You are Ash, a survivor of this harsh unforgiving world, but you have a problem in that your soul is wanted by some Eldritch horror. Can you shake off your companion that wants your soul and find a way to survive in this frozen hell of a place? That is the very basic summary of the story for the game in my own words.

I promised you guys my thoughts and explanation of the features of the game so here we go. First up will have to be the lives system, which can either be your saving grace or the bane of your existence. As you begin the game, you awaken in a tomb with your Eldritch buddy, pal, and the snarky asshole who wants your soul. This is the game’s respawn point and cannot be accessed once you leave. You begin the game with six lives in all, and I said it can be your saving grace or the bane of your existence. By saving grace, I mean this. If you’re out of food and about to freeze to death with a full inventory and won’t make it back home, it will save you time. By bane of your existence, if you find an excellent spot full of resources and you end up dying, you may have trouble finding that spot again unless you know where you were on the map.

The combat system is fairly simple and easy to learn. Perfecting it will differ from person to person. Those that have played games, such as the Dark Souls series, will be able to instantly grasp the system because it is very similar with little to no difference in how it works. There are several actions you can perform, such as combat lock on, light attack, heavy attack, dodge, and block. If you block right, it will consume little to no stamina, but both attacks and dodging always consume stamina. There is also ranged combat with a bow, which is a bit more difficult with the basic bow, as the arrow drops off quite quickly.

The follower and community system is something I didn’t get to play around with much, as I only found one of the followers present in the game during my playtime for this review. I will, however, share what I learned and thoughts on it. Let’s talk about the followers themselves before the building aspect. Using the one I found as an example, when you find one, you have to talk to them and then an event will start. With the one, I found it was him putting out a fire while I defeated monsters that were attracted to it. Afterwards, you have a bit of dialogue and are given the choice of taking him back home or leaving him. Upon choosing to recruit him, he will immediately join you and fight alongside you until you return home. Each follower has a set of four skills which factor into the community part of the system.

For the community building aspect, you can set things to be built and your followers will build them if there are enough materials in your stash. If not, they will idle and gather materials from gathering spots you have discovered that they have skills for. There are several buildings you can make, including crafting buildings that will need a follower with the skill attached to the said building to operate, such as the forge, which requires a follower with the metallurgy skill. There is also the kennel, which allows the use of the dog sled which lets you rescue two wolves and palisades to protect from attacks. In addition to needing materials to build them, they will also consume one piece of food in your stash per day. If there is none, they will starve and lose morale. In addition to having them auto build, you can assign them to a particular building to focus on or have them accompany you into the field for an expedition.

Honestly, that’s all the major systems currently in the game in a nutshell. The graphics for the game, even the cutscenes, are absolutely astonishing for early access. To give you an idea of how great they are, I can run most games with medium quality and stream them. Doing so with this game was overtaxing to my system. I had to (sadly) turn down the graphics to their lowest just to play it without any issues. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any bugs present in the game because I did run into a few. Sometimes, after dying, there would be a slight graphical glitch in which weird beams would be jutting out of the player until you restart your playthrough. Another was that, sometimes, the character would freeze in the middle of combat and not be able to do anything at all. Other than that, I ran into no issues whatsoever with the game. I can say I do highly suggest going ahead and getting the game now on whatever platform you can because this is easily a $60 game when it goes gold a.k.a. launches. I am also looking forward to revisiting this once it is fully completed.

Pros:

  • Amazing graphics
  • Easy to learn hard to master combat
  • Unique follower and community system

Cons:

  • Early Access so not complete
  • Some minor bugs

Fade to Silence is available on Steam for $29.99 (USD).