While I’ve been able to be objective about survival games in order to attempt to give them an appropriately fair shake reviewing them I’ll freely admit that in general I’m typically not a fan of them. Leave it to the folks at 10Tons, who’ve normally satiated my taste for great twin-stick shooting, to deliver an experience that has definitely changed my mind with Dysmantle. Sure, having the game set on a massive island after the zombie apocalypse has had some time to rage for a few years sounds like the start of a good time, but finding a balance in the genre has always seemed to be a walk on a tightrope. In my mind, the blend they’ve found of exploration and discovery, satisfying combat that continues to evolve, a smart crafting system, and quite a lot of unexpected surprises really hits the spot. While there really isn’t a formal story being told you do slowly find bits and pieces that give you an idea of what happened, though the game is really about the experience more than the narrative. If there’s a criticism it may be the staggering scale of the map. At the 12 hour point, after a major achievement, I was gobsmacked to see the amount of total area I had covered was maybe 1/5th of the map if I was lucky. If you’re looking for an honestly pretty modest investment that will keep you engaged, challenged, and always on the lookout for the next surprise Dysmantle has managed to give survival some real mainstream appeal and is well worth a look.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [9.0]