It Has Rained a lot Since Our Creators Abandoned Us
On a planet Earth consumed by a terrible flood and plunged into absolute chaos, the troops of the Republic receive the message from a friendly android who asks them to save the world from the growth of the evil Artificial Intelligence that is forming to dominate what remains of humanity. After this introduction, our goal will be to find the three keys that will allow us to stop the disaster. Our role will be to command the units and resources of the Republic to carry out this feat.
The main plot of Depth of Extinction, despite being typical of the futuristic and post apocalyptic genre, is followed with interest. However, the strength of the game lies in its setting. The map is divided into several areas, all with their inhabitants, factions, and gangs of outlaws who bring wealth and liveliness to the world through which we move.
Along with its successful pixel art and fading blue color palette, Depth of Extinction manages to create a decadent environment. Thanks to these resources, the game achieves an incredible immersion of the player in its first hours.
A Journey Towards Our Goal
Completing the main plot in Depth of Extinction is a daring undertaking. The game proposes a system of missions and objectives to fulfill to obtain rewards. These rewards include unlocking new units or resources to improve our equipment and thus advance through the story. However, it does not do it in a conventional way.
First, we must choose a submarine and its crew. The more capital we invest in the submarines, the more fuel and crew capacity they will have. As for the team members, we will normally choose personnel from our faction, since they do not cost money. If the situation arises in which we have few soldiers, there will be the possibility of hiring mercenaries.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
All the capital left over from these investments will go to expenses during the trip to the objective. Once we are prepared, our submarine will leave for its destination. As expected when moving with our submarine, we will open a procedurally generated node map through which we must move.
Each movement costs a unit of fuel, so we must plan this management well. In the event that we run out of fuel, the submarine will sink and we will fail in the mission.
Once we reach a node an event will happen. Normally, it gives us the option to choose what to do, unless there are pirates who are approaching us. Throughout the hours dedicated to the title I have noticed an excessive repetition of events and situations. In fact, I have come to find three or four situations repeated in the same trip.
The beauty of these genres is the story that the player makes through the journey he takes. With all these details, Depth of Extinction does not offer a variety of possibilities sufficient to make each travel unique. There was no reason to achieve more objectives given the repetition of each situation and event. The great setting has not been exploited as much as it could’ve been.
Get Your Rifles and Keep an Eye Out
Many of the situations proposed by the title will end up triggering a combat. Here comes an influence of the video game XCOM. We’ll move around a map of squares and we’ll lift the fog of war that is on the map. When we find an enemy, the battle will begin. We will have the possibility of covering our units to avoid them being damaged. When shooting we will have some percentages of success that will guide us to make decisions regarding offensive tactics. Depth of Extinction does not propose anything new in the mechanics related to tactical combat.
Artificial Intelligence does not vary much in terms of the difficulty of the mission. It should be noted that in the first bouts it is observed that it’s aggressive to unsuspected limits. Therefore, it is clear that Depth of Extinction rewards patience and tactical skill more than recklessness with our best soldier. The much feared and loved permadeath also plays a role. If a soldier from your squad dies, you’ll lose him forever.
Unfortunately, combat is not without its flaws. Once you learn the AI habits, you’ll end up abusing the guards and focusing on corridors. That way the carnage takes place within a bottleneck from which the opponents will not be able to escape. Also, some design decisions such as changing between units or moving to shoot an enemy are uncomfortable.
All this adds up that. Despite fighting in procedurally generated scenarios, the variety of objectives are scarce. It’s usually save the hostage, explore the compound, steal everything you find, and destroy all enemies.
The Cost of Bad Decisions
Depth of Extinction is about being a demanding and punishing game for taking bad decisions and being reckless. Unfortunately, it does not achieve this goal either.
Many times the battles are one sided for us, simply because we cannot manage the rivals that come our way. In most cases, it’s our fault for not managing our resources well. However, the shortage of medicine cabinets and the small margin of error with making a bad decision, ends up being our undoing.
If your soldiers die during the trip the mission fails, you’ll lose everything you have invested. When I say everything, I mean money, the crew and the equipment that you have earn.
The intention is good, but the player does not learn beyond failure in battle. The game brushes the fine line between challenge and penalty. The difficulty must have a meaning beyond what it is, and in Depth of Extinction it’s difficult to find it.
Music vs. Sound
The music is very good and adjusts to the setting that the title creates. In addition, it sets the pace of the action. In short, it has been chosen with care and it works great. However, the sound effects are just the opposite. They are elaborate, but many are very repetitive. Especially the voices of the soldiers. They all have the same voice and phrases, which takes a lot out of the action.
Was This Odyssey Worth It?
Depth of Extinction pays an interesting homage to XCOM. It’s an entertaining title with a fascinating setting, but design decisions, poorly measured difficulty, and repetitive objectives take away from what it aspires to be.
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Note: We received a review code from HOF Studios.