Test – Deadcraft – The Deliverer of the Apocalypse | Xbox One

In recent years, many survival-based titles have emerged. We can mention games such as Obsidian’s Grounded, 10tons’ Dysmantle, among others. Ltd, or Conan Exiles from Funcom. Some were appreciated for their mature universe or their hardcore mechanics, others for a more accessible gameplay. Deadcraft belongs to the second category. But above all, he tries to get out of the game with an original concept: a half-human, half-zombie hero who can develop his base and his equipment, using classical means such as wood or iron. Or use the organs of our opponents to craft various objects and zombie weapons. This idea has the merit of thinking outside the box, but…

Half human, half zombie, Reid wants to fight

A meteorite hit the earth. Not a single ray of sunshine managed to cross the dust clouds, causing the flames to consume almost all of the planet’s vegetation. The world then became a barren and hostile desert and humanity faced another catastrophe.

The post-apo universe is reminiscent of Mad Max or Waterworld, but without water.

Inside these meteorites slept a strange virus that infects the bodies of the deceased and makes them rise as zombies. All those who succumbed, in turn, became undead. The ZiV pandemic then quickly spread around the world.

Decades later, the law of the jungle rules and the survivors fight for the few resources left on Earth. Enter our hero, Reid, the first half-human, half-zombie hybrid to harness the benefits of both genomes. Unique specimen of this new genus, the DNA attracts greed and danger.

Duna, that delightful psychopath.

Reid will have to survive by making a few allies and using his various abilities. He will then encounter colorful characters ranging from the wacky Grandpa Zombie, who notably allows us to unleash our full zombie potential, to the delightful yet Machiavellian Duna who would rather see us dead than in bad company.

Home delivery

If the story itself clearly doesn’t break a duck’s three legs, we would have hoped for a little more inspiration regarding the side missions. NPC requests are as redundant as each other. Pell-mell, they will task us with taking care of the delivery of specific objects to be pre-crafted or going to search for them in a corner of the map, to wipe out a group of enemies wreaking havoc in the slum or even to escort them. That’s about all. The absurdity of certain requests or the humor present in the dialogues sometimes make people smile, but the end goal remains the same: deliver or kill. And if we’re short on experience points, the mission board will feature daily quests that vary from day to day, giving us some crafting components and money to spend in stores.

Uh… I yes… If you say so Grandpa.

We could enjoy Grandpa Zombie’s missions in no time, where they usually ask us to create and deploy an undead item, but that’s a little more varied. Especially since from a staging point of view, the dialogue phases are content with a permanent shot-reverse shot. And it’s not the dubbing into English or Japanese that improves the immersion, because they’re either overplayed or tasteless. Not even the stage of creating objects on the workbench through its mini cutscenes, fortunately reasonable, which break the rhythm of the title.

Not all dingy alleys inspire confidence.

On a technical level, the title is generally not too bad. The frame rate remains stable at 60 frames per second, even with about 20 enemies on screen, and the overhead camera performs well. As for the graphic style and the artistic direction, let’s say… quite special. This fluctuates between a fairly stylish light cell shade, a mixed chara design and textures that are sometimes well detailed, sometimes reminiscent of the runny 3D of our good old Nintendo 64. Just a word of warning: don’t expect variation in regards to the decorations, we remain in desert and squalid environments, a little more urban in places. We are far from the visual orgasm. Again and unfortunately the OST and the few looping tracks do not level up.

Accessible survival is the only real importance of the title

By this title we don’t mean that Deadcraft is easy. Enemies fall into different categories with a few variables. Human groups allow us to face Molotov cocktail launchers, guards with rusty swords or armed with shields covered with spikes. Zombies are usually a bit more numerous, sometimes faster, but not insurmountable. The bosses need more preparation, supported by waves of all kinds of minions.

The routine of arming your stomach for a nap quickly becomes tedious.

In order to fight, we must first tame the management of our life and stamina. After having slept, they are of more or less significant size and thus determine the number of feasible actions per day. The best way to maximize them is to go to bed with a full stomach and a satisfied throat. Going to bed on an empty stomach only shortens our efficiency the next day, forcing us to grow food and drinks before nightfall. We can also slow down the hero’s appetite and unlock dozens of skills through various talent trees. The accumulated experience makes it possible to upgrade weapons, create new buildings for the base, create cooking recipes or even increase the yield of farming.

Proper management of the Zoombimeter is essential.

Moreover, the title derives its originality from this. Reid has human and undead blood in his veins and can use the resources of either side to defend or sustain himself. On the humanity side, we can use conventional weapons such as swords, shotguns or approach mines. Zombie crafting allows us to create living weapons, such as a huge flesh-eating mace or an emaciated one that bombards our attackers. A few short scenes crop up in fights during very violent finishing strokes, sometimes funny, most of the time very gory. We are also free to collect the corpses to germinate in our base and thus resuscitate in the form of various allies.

Zombie craftsmanship, the real good idea of ​​the title.

The base, which we can gradually expand and improve on, is the favorite place for our fabrications. We have to go there incessantly to retrieve the coveted objects, manage our crops, prepare food or even sleep. This manipulation quickly becomes tiresome, it is a shame not to be able to make simple objects with an improvised workbench, without having to constantly go into it. The inventory, which is filling up at breakneck speed, is an additional and painful reason to go home, to store the components bought in the various stores or the ingredients harvested with the sweat of our brows. And it’s not the unlockable fast travel after a few hours that makes it less painful.

The talent tree is divided into different categories.

Finally, let’s talk about the survival aspect. Reid must eat and drink on pain of punishment interfering with progress. If the hunger gauge drops to zero, the hero loses his life points to death. A completely emptied thirst meter disrupts the image, which then becomes just as readable in encrypted form as Canal+. These two meters drop quite quickly, it is then necessary to feed with all possible means. Raw meat, vegetables cooked by us or zombified organs are all available and tasty dishes. Depending on the nature of the food eaten, one of Reid’s two tendencies takes over. When his humanity prevails, his attack decreases in exchange for a higher defense. When the undead Quirk is bigger, he hits harder, but also gets more out of fights.

The “finishes” are bloody any way you want.

It is therefore important to master this duality well, especially since attack skills or special moves are only available under certain of these conditions. Some interactions are also impossible when you are in zombie form, the inhabitants of the different cities are afraid or attack you if you see. Depending on our alignment and our actions (extorting NPCs, killing them…), a search system will be activated, like the star system in a GTA. The idea in itself isn’t particularly bad, but we might have preferred a little more depth about this feature.

Special attacks are devastating.

The results are therefore quite mixed. If you want to make up your own mind about the title, know that there is a playable demo available in the store. It takes up the entire chapter 1 and remains rather representative of the whole adventure. On the other hand, one drawback must be taken into account, it is impossible to transfer the backup between the demo and the full game, which implies that the entire progress has to be restarted.

Tested on Xbox Series X (optimized)

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