Whilst wandering around EGX I saw the stall for Unto the Dead, instantly recalling my time on Playdead’s Limbo and Inside, remembering how much I loved playing these I instantly ran over and grabbed myself a seat. To my suprise I was instantly in for a completely different experience. Unto the End is a combat-adventure game developed by 2 Ton Studios. You play as a father who has been torn away from his family and must fight his way through the harsh Scandavian lands to reunite with them.
From the offset, I could see it was going to be a challenge, as you find yourself in an underground cave and are met with your first puzzle. You have to walk across a bridge, for it only to collapse and a rock falls across the gap, I constantly bashed the jump button, praying for the best, only to fail. Dale and Stephen, the Developer interrupted my foolish attempts to tell me I could actually roll. Unto the Dead offers no hand throughout the game. You are offered a tutorial of sorts but this is after your first fight, when you come across the first camp fire.
The combat system is fantastic and complex. No attacks are held from you, after all you are a seasoned warrior and know how to fight. Combat flows seamlessly between blocks and attacks allowing you to almost string together combos, as you take advantage of your enemies mistakes.
When you first look at Unto the End, the graphics are kind of what you expect from a 2-D side scrolling. But there’s a hidden beauty there. The sharps edges and lack of smoothness in not only the environment but the characters really shows a ruggedness and dangers of the landscape. The colour palette is phenomenal really taking you back to the age of vikings. What I like most is the dark, almost black and white background. It emphasises how times have got hard for the father. Whilst in a flashback the colours are a lot brighter and prominent, showing good times. It’s a really good way of bringing emotion into the story.
Unto the End has different ways to solve problems and outwit your enemies. There was a point near the beginning where you encounter an enemy, I was quickly slain, after all I had no idea what I was doing. However, after learning about the roll, I leapt passed him only to encounter another two enemies, completely surrounded I had no choice but to fight. I was stopped by the developer and told that was how he programmed the game and how he intended the player to play. He said that most of the other players fought the enemies one by one. There was a certain gleam around my face but I actually felt quite trapped by this moment, it was really well done. After initially failing to hurt the enemy and him stripping me of my sword, I was encountered by another two.
Unto the End seems like it’s going to be a fantastic game, conveying the harrowing emotions of this lonely father on his mission, through the use of their strong colour palette, music and combat. It’s going to be a lot of fun mastering the move set and overcoming the puzzles that the enemies provide throughout the game. Each playthrough could potentially be a different experience if you want it to be with multiple ways of killing your enemies and solving puzzles. What makes Unto the End more appealing is that it is made by just two people, husband and wife, Stephen and Sara. This was without a doubt one of my faviourite games I played at EGX this year and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
There has been no specific release date for Unto the End but should hopefully be with us towards the end of 2019. Being released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Make sure to follow @2TonStudios on Twitter for further updates.