Ya know what is cool? Soulsborne, right? The kids these days with their Nioh’s, Sekiro’s, Surge’s and Lord’s of the Fallen. Back in my day we had our Sonic’s, Mario’s, Crash’s and Spyro’s and they were it but then they changed what it was and what I was with wasn’t it any more. Ok I will stop Grandpa Simpsoning it now but you know what I am trying to say. The Soulsborne genre has become a rather large and dominant style since it rared its head up with 2009’s Demon Souls, which is still the best in the genre to this day. Only the genre is a lot older than that with From Software, the devlopers of the Souls and Borne part of the genres namesake, having been developing these games since the PSone days. Bandwagons though need to be jumped on and Soulsborne has excelled at allowing that to happen. Don’t get me wrong I do like a Soulsborne game every now and then I just don’t love them, I think we should be friends and hangout every now and then but their personalities tend to be kinda slow and dry.
However since it’s release way back in September of 2018 Immortal: Unchained as stuck with me constantly singing my name wanting to be played. So as you can imagine a weak willed man such as myself caved in and bought a copy of it unsure exactly what to expect as the reviews for it aren’t exactly the best. I dug in, I put the game into my PS4 and booted it up not really knowing what to expect other than a Soulsborne game with guns instead of melee based combat. At first glance that is what I got a Soulsborne game with guns though it didn’t take too long for me to realize that was a gross under estimation of the game which did it no service. Yes those elements are still there that you expect from a game like this, slow and methodical pacing through battles until you get to a boss who hits hard and has a crap load of health. Yes you also lose your upgrade currency if you die and can collect it if you get back to the previous spot in which you died.
However since you have guns things do move at a faster pace and has less to do with pattern recognition or hit and dodge as well as you can but instead wants you to think of your feet and strategize from the moment you spot an enemy. Do you go for the easy kill? Do you want to lure away the easier melee based weapons so you can mow them down with a shotgun? Learning enemy placements are key things as more often than not you deal with multiple enemies with multiple forms of attack. Learning what tactics work against which enemies is key to success in Immortal: Unchained and how to maneuver around a small closed off environment to take them down and hit weak points is key to success.
When starting out you have a choice between a few different types of alien classes all with different stats, special abilities and looks, it’s exactly what you would expect from a base character creation. As you now by now in games like this you ARE going to die and you ARE going to die a lot though I never felt burden or cheated by death as I could always point out what exactly I did wrong. Checkpoints/Camp fires I felt were more plentiful than some of Immortals counterparts which may turn some off though I always felt like this lead to me feeling like I was making some progression and not being punished for dying.
Like many in the genre you are fighting an uphill battle with a crappy pistol, no armor and next to no health to navigate and learn what you need to survive with the only real tutorials popping up to explain in world versions of things. Now the world in Immortal: Unchained I think may just be my favourite thing about it. So far The Surge is the closest I can really think of to get into the realm of sci-fi within the genre though it still keeps the fare more grounded where as Unchained launches full force into a sci-fi world heavily inspired by Norse Mythology and it’s Ragnarok event. Think Thor meets Star Wars by way of God of War and you just may have an idea of what to expect.
Just in case it hasn’t become too clear this is a game that I have grown to completely adore, so much in fact that I talked a whole group of my friends into grabbing a copy themselves and they too are loving it. Considering how dirt cheap the game is appearing now you would be doing yourself a disservice not to pick it up. Immortal: Unchained doesn’t reinvent the wheel or breath fresh air into a somewhat stale atmosphere but it does however offer its own take, world and story to an overcrowded genre and what world and story it is.
Zombie reviewed a retail copy on Immortal: Unchained for the Playstation 4.