Friday, October 16, 2015

Some days (or weeks) with Underrail

I have been a fan of Underrail since its first beta. Or alpha. In the last years, I have been lucky to get my hands on a couple of versions, being the 0.1.13 the last one, which is quite complete and bug free. I consider this as one of the few games that trigger in me what I call the Fallout feeling.

I disagree, of course, with a few design decisions and features. For example, the psi regeneration hasnt been included until the last versions, making impossible to play as a pure psi character. Eventually, after the second or third replay, you will figure out how to keep your character well supplied of psi boosters, but for a newcomer, playing as psi is out of the question.

The most annoying features implemented after 0.9 is that the merchants buy only some items (nothing new, Arcanum did that a decade ago) but just a few of them: 2 firearms, 3 leather armors, etc. You end up carrying tons of stuff, just in case you are lucky to find a trader that wants to buy that rat leather. Your work as game designer is not to give the player all what he thinks its good (otherwise, the game would be too easy), but I have always disagreed with some artificial techniques to force the player to roam and spend time doing nothing. Being the last of them the hyper-complex scenarios where a range of mountains is right between you and your target. This limitation is one of those weird things, perhaps looking for a realism that shouldnt be.

And talking about realistic behaviours, it seems that item degradation over time has been tuned. In the first alphas, using a knife against a couple of rats was enough to break it. Now takes more than a dozen of shots to damage a gun.

Im really sorry I cant buy this game. It is one of those few titles that I would like to support and that I recommend to people looking for some old school RPG. Also, it is another proof that the graphics doesnt matters when you have good gameplay.

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