I am sure we have all had those games that aren’t by a well known developer but there is something about the artwork, thematics, stories or trailers that piques your interest. This happened to me with Fade to Silence, each new thing I saw regarding the game just expanded my curiosity about it so I jumped at the chance to review it. However we all know exactly what curiosity did to the cat right?
Fade to Silence was developed by German studio Black Forest Games who previous gave us Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams which I remember had some massive hype to it and was a decent platformer… that they are still pimping out to this day… But hey they also made the Giana Sisters remake for the DS which was a cool way to pass some mindless time. They also had the distinction of bringing back every bodies beloved gaming feline Bubsy with the Woolies Strike Back in 2017 but every dev is allowed one not so great game under their belt right? This wasn’t a sign of things to come, right?
So ya boy Zombie downloaded the game, as ya do, sat down excited to dive into this world moreover to satisfy all those curious nudgings running around my noodle about Fade to Silence. The game booted up to greet me with the main screen, normally this doesn’t need to be mentioned in a game but in this instance I was kind of baffled as the games title screen simply had a flashing triangle. I don’t mean like a ‘Press triangle’ on a PS4 controller to open the main menu I mean more like play button on anything kind of triangle. I mean I guess at that screen you do want to press play but no new game, load game, select chapter or anything just play consequently this shocked me as I’m just not used to it I guess. However it can’t be a sign of things to come right… right?
Boom we start the game and get presented with the difficulty select screen with Fade to Silence offering the ‘Easy Mode for story focused player’ and the current trend of ‘Git Gud Scrub’. Along with the standard brief of what the the difficulty is really doing you are informed that if you don’t play the Git Gud setting 75% of the game will be locked out to you. By all means have different difficulty settings, sometimes I just wanna sit back and get absorbed into the story while other times I hate myself and need to be tortured by doing a 2 Player run on Battletoads but what is the point of this? I know a few games during the PSX era like Twisted Metal would cut off after the first boss with a pat on the head and a sign saying you are now good enough to try move up in the world. That gives you a sense of accomplishment… along with some slight annoyance not just well this is clearly too hard for you so we need to get rid of most of it for you. Why bother?
Then after I finished ranting I got thrown into the story, I think, I’ not really sure as it just throws you knee deep into a chase scene where you die, but you don’t and there is disembodied voices talking to you but not actually explaining anything. This, this is a trend you will need to get used to as anything and everything is explained in a way that just doesn’t make much sense, its a snowpocalypse there are monsters called Rippers and you need to go find survivors but maybe you don’t as you need to look after them all with micromanaging, crafting, feeding and resource gathering. That my friends is one core ingredient to this game, micromanaging induced false morality, yay.
The other is combat ripped right out from the SoulsBourne franchises only those games are good with technical skill and thought actually put into them. Combat in Fade resorts to dodging and hitting while paying attention to a stamina bar (sounds familiar right) only your stamina bar here is so small you only really get one action before it depletes. What do you with only one action? Do you dodge and live? Or do you attack while they block (the enemies are either attacking or blocking there is no inbetween)? Maybe you want to wait for that sweet spot where they are open just before attack, good idea only you have used up your stamina attacking so you can’t block or dodge so goodbye health. Not that you could do much with the stamina anyway as the controls are sluggish and just god awful.
Sure you could try running away but you get locked into the battles and the camera wont let you focus on much else during these moments… or any moments really. The camera is almost as sluggish as the controls this however doesn’t really matter as there is nothing to see, unless you love the colour white as the games entire colour palette is either white or black. All monsters look alike and you’ve seen that style of monster done plenty of times, black, spiny and a little bit of red mixed in to give it some colour every now and then. There is also a whole magnitude bugs and glitches throughout the game which are supposedly worse on the Xbox version, the devs are aware of these and are apparently working on with a recent patch coming through at 10GB but I didn’t notice much difference.
Normally when I review a game I don’t like to focus on the negatives of a game as there is enough people out there who do that as it is. Instead I like to focus on why you should play a game, factors that make a game worth your time or not. I want to let you people know if its something you should grab when you can or wait till its on sale to check out if it looks like something you are into. Fade to Silence on the other hand is just not a good game, it is completely comprised of elements which have been popular as of late but with no real knowledge of why they are or how they work. Fade to Silence is at best a Frankenstein patch work of jigsaw pieces from multiple puzzles crammed together to try and capture the magic of others.
Zombie was provided with a promo copy for review.