Unto the End review

Platformer is one of the oldest genres in the gaming industry that has survived to this day. But like other genres, platformers are constantly evolving and changing so as not to lose the interest of the players. The minimalistic style, hardcore opponents and multi-level locations from the early parts of Donkey Kong did not disappear forever, but changed beyond recognition. The old formula was supplemented with direction, narrative storytelling and distinctive design, as in the recent Little Nightmares .

2 Ton Studios is a small coupled indie studio. Stephen and Sarah have played pixel-based platformers on the SNES since childhood and later wanted to bring back the old “spirit of hardcore adventure”. Unto The End reflects their ideas, using the formula “New is well forgotten old”, but at the same time keeping in mind the current trends in platforming.


Everything falls out of hand

Before us is a story about a man forced to leave his family and go on a campaign in order to single-handedly defeat the enemy troops and return to his home. The game is not focused on the plot and with light strokes makes it clear that we are waiting for a harsh Nordic journey through gloomy caves and snowy northern forests.

From the first minutes we are warned that it will be difficult to play. Each battle is deadly, any item you take can fall out of your hands, and there are very few crafting materials. The hero carries with him a throwing knife, sword, torch and a couple of first-aid kits. Each item plays a significant role in combat. A torch dropped from the hands in a dungeon forces you to fight in pitch darkness, a throwing knife flying away in an unknown direction deprives you of a tactical advantage, and a sword dropped from your hands is tantamount to death.

At the same time, the hero himself is very weak, because a couple of enemy blows leads to death or blood loss, which must be immediately treated. The combat system is layered on this, which consists of strikes, dodges, blocks and parries, and all this taking into account which side the enemy is attacking from. Even after many attempts in training mode, real combat seems too difficult.

Each type of enemy is very dangerous, has its own unique weapon, impact speed and tactics that adapt to the player’s actions. For example, if you often stand in a block, then the pursuer will try to move behind you in order to attack the rear. But the enemy may not be alone, so you will have to follow each attack. Thanks to this system, each skirmish becomes a complex puzzle from which you need to get out the winner.

Native of Mordor

In addition to the combat part, the game also has exploratory episodes, monologues of the characters encountered and a simple craft. The locations have elements of platforming and traps. It is worth not noticing an inconspicuous stretch, and a weighty cobblestone will surely fall on the hero in order to once again remind of the hostility of the world around him.

The sound design is represented by minimalistic flirting of strings, which are mixed with sounds of nature, rustling of leaves and howling wind. But as soon as the enemy appears on the horizon, melancholic tunes are replaced by heart-rending cries of trolls, animal growls and drumming. Simple yet effective sounds that clearly distinguish between lonely travel and deadly carnage.

The sound is complemented by an unusual hand-drawn style. Bright, clean colors and pastoral landscapes, soft lighting and straight lines. Unto The End looks exactly like this, so that the player feels the scale, but is not distracted in battle by unnecessary elements.

Knee-deep mountains

The first thing that catches your eye is the locality of the combat episodes. As I said above, the fights are really difficult and interesting. But as soon as the player tries to escape from the battlefield, the game begins to break down, opponents outside the habitat instantly become stupid and sometimes even cannot step over the stone. Scripts break, animations twitch. Apparently, the developers hoped that the player will always fight like a knight within the same location.

A more terrible situation awaits those who accidentally confront opponents from different locations with each other. They will start to fight with each other, fall through textures, and valuable loot will disappear.

Outside of combat, the game is sorely lacking in content. One gets the feeling that the developers came up with 15-20 interesting combat situations and just scattered them across lifeless locations. Most of the time, the hero moves through dark and monotonous dungeons in search of a “key” to go further.

It is worth noting that there are practically no plot events in the game. Only a few episodes describe the lore of Unto The End, which is insanely short even for a 3-4 hour project.

Before us is a game that can be praised and criticized for the same game elements. It can be disassembled into small details and then the magic will be lost, or you can leave it as it is and get an interesting and beautiful parable about war, life and death.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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