Within the opening of You Will Die Here Tonight (YWDHT), my Resident Evil-inspired super-cop solved a complicated book-based puzzle and ventured right into a secret underground lab, the place she was then met with a monologue from her ally-turned-enemy. To my shock, this Albert Wesker-like huge dangerous then shot my character dead–all within the first quarter-hour. It was like beginning a Resident Evil sport within the closing scene after which getting a darkish ending the place the villains prevail. With a contact of meta commentary on the style, this unconventional introduction was an intriguing begin, but additionally the final a part of the sport I actually loved, as the sport thereafter ran via too-common horror tropes with out cleverly subverting or enhancing them ever once more.
Within the aptly titled You Will Die Right here Tonight, Resident Evil is the blueprint for a two- to four-hour-long isometric, survival-horror sport with a contact of roguelite development. That enjoyable intro I detailed would’ve been a neat story observe to remain on, as the massive dangerous who appears to prevail rapidly discovers there’s one other unseen hand, extra highly effective than her personal, that’s pulling the strings. However the sport oddly drops this pretense in favor of a roguelite system whereby, when a personality dies, you assume the function of one other member of A.R.I.E.S. (the legally distinct and totally-not-S.T.A.R.S. division of cops) holding all story gadgets with the chance to get well different scraps if you could find the physique of your predecessor.
The dissonance between that story-heavy opening scene and what follows winds up feeling like two totally different video games that someway each made it into the ultimate model. Every character performs the identical however presents totally different textual content strains, with just a few seeming fairly severe and others providing bothersome jokes that would not land at some center faculty lunch tables. The mansion-like setting with secret labs, a torture dungeon, and a few high-end places of work and libraries could be very a lot akin to a setting from Capcom’s seminal collection, and the roundabout means you navigate this space–solving convoluted puzzles and gathering numerous gadgets to open doorways and gather new weapons–is all meant to take you again to the late ’90s, when video games like this have been most prevalent.
The issue, nonetheless, is the style has improved for the higher since then, and YWDHT seems like a reversion to one thing worse. A number of the puzzles and encounters really feel downright unfair, like the sport’s identify is a promise greater than a risk. As soon as, I needed to escape a charging boulder, however the character’s sprinting velocity and the closest nook to duck into appeared to imply I used to be meant to die unavoidably, and I did, which allowed my subsequent character to maneuver previous the place the mass of rock initially sat. Different instances, the puzzles might discover the proper steadiness between obtuse and satisfying, however by no means typically sufficient.
Although the sport makes use of an isometric angle more often than not, it switches into first-person for fight, which is a neat thought however winds up being fairly boring in execution. Surrounded by a number of plain-looking zombies, headshots have been all the time very straightforward to land. Conserving ammo and switching to my knife was a smart selection when going through few enemies, however the visuals made it arduous to measure the space between a zombie and me, resulting in me often slashing on the air time and again till a zombie shambled into the sharp finish.
The one time it was a significant difficulty was when the sport threw so many zombies at me without delay, so rapidly, that I once more took it as a promise that the sport wished me to undergo the story having misplaced not less than just a few characters. However to that finish, I all the time felt detached from a story standpoint. The story does not characterize anybody a lot previous that cool intro or the aforementioned corny jokes, so after I’d lose a personality, its solely sensible impact was to make me fear about what occurred after I misplaced all of them.
Finally, I purposely received all of them killed to see what would occur, solely to be met with an arcade-style “proceed” display screen, which picked up proper the place I left off and absolutely refreshed my roster of playable characters. This grew to become an much more perplexing design conundrum for me to ponder. Why threaten the lack of characters, and moreover, why seemingly script some deaths into the sport if nothing occurs as soon as they’re all gone? Once more, this made YWDHT really feel like a set of disparate horror sport concepts, a few of which can have labored higher in isolation, considerably tweaked, or with different conflicting concepts excluded. However in totality as they’re right here, they only do not mesh.
Whereas the puzzles typically clicked and the story had not less than that one early shiny spot, the audiovisual features of the sport are solely straining. The sport strives for a retro aesthetic, however does this faithfully solely in that it is grainy and drab. There isn’t any robust use of shadows–just lit and unlit areas, the latter of which you’ll be able to’t enter anyway. Many locales throughout the huge castle-like setting are an eyesore. It is arduous to think about a sport chasing the nostalgia of late-’90s horror video games with out together with a memorable soundtrack, however such is the case right here. Music is sort of uninvolved, surprisingly, and issues like monster growls and ambient audio do not do a lot in any respect to fill in a scene.
The sport is transient and polished, so I believe it is attainable somebody who loves the video games You Will Die Right here Tonight is affectionately cribbing might handle to take pleasure in this too, however in all probability provided that they’re actually itching for one thing else to play. There isn’t any scarcity of video games resurrecting this fashion, and lots of of them have been memorable. Others have been worse, however not less than some have been fascinating of their shortcomings. The overarching difficulty with You Will Die Right here Tonight is that the demise alluded to in its title might be attributed to boredom.