Black Forest Games brings us this post-apocalyptic RPG – here are my first impressions.
EGX Rezzed 2019 was awesome, and one of the games that piqued my interest was Fade to Silence. I am an absolute sucker for the post-apocalyptic genre. My special skills include the entire Fallout franchise… so I had to see what this was all about.
You take control of Ash, a leader in this post-apocalyptic world of mystery. You find yourself in a frozen wasteland, in the present day, where survival is your main goal. You will need to collect supplies, upgrade weapons and tools and take command of your own community as you all try to survive. A lot of responsibility that made me feel all gooey for a second but just as determined to save my people!
The objective is to unravel the secrets of the world around you. There are strong supernatural vibes throughout. As we traversed the world, a floating orb could be seen in the sky above. We found out that it will, in fact, attack you if you are found underneath it… which was quite the shock. One minute you’re exploring and the next minute you have a car flung at you.
Ash is extremely charismatic, which is good since you need to create followers for your community. You can recruit these from around the world or if you maintain good morale, then people will flock to you. However, what I kept forgetting… is that the more people you have, the more food you need! Luckily, everyone you recruit is more than happy to take on a role and help the community – for example, hunting parties.
The emphasis on community is huge. You will be able to improve Ash’s leadership along your journey which can increase your chances of unraveling the stories of your people. Each individual community member has suffered something in their lives, whether it’s good or bad. However, to get this insight, you will need to increase trust by keeping your people safe, fed and happy. People will leave your community if they become unhappy.
I really enjoy this aspect of the game, the detail into the community mechanic is amazing. Imagine traversing the wasteland and someone who left your camp is lying deceased in the snow… seeing consequences first hand would be a great immersive tool. It would be interesting to see what happens when you leave the camp under the custodian of your followers. If they are attacked, do they fight back? Are you notified if there is an attack? Would you return to death!?
Ash can also be improved by using Boons. These are, essentially, blessings that you can find in the wild and they can unlock perks. Since you are surrounded by a frosty wasteland, extra insulation is a perk that would come in extremely handy.
The enemies are described as ‘not zombies but monsters.’ There is an emphasis on the enemies being more in tune with the horror genre. They certainly live up to that and create a challenging experience. Chests aren’t even safe as enemies can spawn with an element of surprise. You have three lives but then you must start over thus making the need for survival even greater.
The fighting mechanics are pretty simple, but that ensures you do not need to button mash. You have a light/heavy attack and a roll. You can block and if your timing is right, you can also parry. However, all these things cost stamina, which makes it very realistic.
What I found cool was the weird, mysterious phantom-like creature who mocks you at every turn. When you die, you emerge into a resurrection chamber where the creature taunts you for dying. He will also give you hints throughout your journey which can be helpful or lead you astray. He can reveal small cryptic details about the world around you, but it is up to you whether you listen or move on.
Fade to Silence world map is impressive both in details and size. I find that the balance between manageable and a decent amount of content can be hard to perfect. However, Fade to Silence nails it! As you control Ash you will need to cleanse outposts to fast travel. The end goal is to defeat the ominous boss in the final area of the map.
The winter ‘wonderland’ world around you is beautiful. The snow displacement allows you to track as you can see footprints. This allows hunting to be done much more effectively. However, you must be careful because the weather does affect you and staying in the cold for too long, without protection, can affect your health. So, making friends within the community, exploring and collecting perks whilst upgrading is vital!
Altogether, I found my experience with Fade to Silence positive. The post-apocalyptic world is stunning. The juxtaposition between the present-day world and the archaic ways of surviving can seem a bit weird but the constant challenge keeps you hooked. The two endings mean that there is great replay-ability and the prospect of exploring with a buddy in co-op mode had me super excited. I would be absolutely delighted to see collectibles in the final game, my completionist personality demands it! Ultimately, this is a game to look out for and I want to thank the team at Black Forest Games for giving me the opportunity to have a dabble!
See you all on April 30th!