Undying review

Undying: Review

Undying is a survival game developed by Vanimals and published by Skystone Games. Following an extensive early access period on Steam, Undying will be released in its full version on December 7, 2023.

Following the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, the government has repurposed subways as shelters for survivors and initiated evacuation plans for small groups. Regrettably, during the scheduled evacuation of Ainling and her son Cody, they encounter a zombie attack, resulting in Ainling being bitten while trying to shield her son.

Overwhelmed with desperation and panic, she successfully manages to flee with Cody and return to their home. Resigned to the grim reality that the infection from the zombie bite is irreversible, Ainling finds solace in the only remaining option: to equip Cody with the necessary means and skills to endure until the next evacuation.

Upon returning home, our initial task will involve accomplishing the necessary repairs to restore functionality to essential areas such as the work tables, kitchen, and chest. Subsequently, as we acquire ample resources, we will have the opportunity to enhance these facilities and acquire more advanced tools.

Undying screenshot 2

In this survival game, we must attend to various aspects. First of all, we must monitor the needs of the two main characters, specifically their hunger and thirst. Similar to any authentic post-apocalyptic setting, we will confront limited resources, making it crucial to meticulously strategize our resource allocation to prioritize our fundamental needs.

In Undying, the relentless progression of time weighs heavily upon us. It is not solely the mounting demands of hunger and thirst that intensify with each passing hour, but also the escalating severity of the Ainling infection’s symptoms. Each morning, we are compelled to confront a fresh symptom, each capable of diminishing our vitality, well-being, or resilience against hunger and thirst. Moreover, in order to endure, Ainling must return home every night to seek rest from the infection’s grasp.

Undying screenshot 4

The relationship between Ainling and Cody is a central focus in Undying. Cody, being a young child, relies on his mother to teach him essential survival skills such as gathering and preparing food, purifying water, crafting bandages and tools, and most importantly, defending himself against zombies. Through careful observation of his mother’s actions, Cody gradually learns these skills and becomes capable of performing them on his own. Ainling’s ultimate objective is to ensure that Cody becomes self-sufficient before the infection reaches a critical stage and she becomes too weak to assist him any further.

In order to ensure survival in Undying, it becomes imperative to thoroughly investigate the surroundings and gather as many resources as possible. The weapons we wield will gradually wear out with use, while food will spoil if not consumed promptly. Hence, strategic raids must be planned in the vicinity to acquire both sustenance and materials. These expeditions will inevitably expose us to various types of zombies. Each time we engage in combat with a zombie, our weapon will progressively deteriorate until it eventually breaks, rendering it useless until it undergoes repairs.

Undying screenshot 1

During these raids, we will encounter survivors who, in a brutal world infested with zombies, may not always offer support and friendliness. Instead of assisting us, some individuals may hinder our progress.

Undying exhibits all the essential qualities of a good survival game. It encompasses all the fundamental components that are commonly found in the most successful zombie survival titles. Moreover, it introduces a unique gameplay mechanic that distinguishes Undying from the numerous zombie survival games that gained immense popularity in the past. This mechanic revolves around the management of the mother-child relationship, where players are not only responsible for meeting the child’s needs but also guiding their growth in the unforgiving world of Undying.

In order to achieve this, Cody must closely observe our actions to acquire the necessary skills for survival and crafting. We find it unhandy that we have to press the button every time for Cody to learn the action his mother performs. Indeed, without pressing the button, he doesn’t learn anything, even though he is very close.

Undying screenshot 3

The low-poly graphics look great with the atmospheric settings. The gameplay is smooth, but we would have liked better animations and movement for Ainling during attacks. It would also be nice to have a defense or dodge system against zombie attacks.

Another fascinating aspect is that the different landmarks in each games are situated in diverse spots on the map. This can result in each match being distinct from the previous one, as every time we explore a new map, the zombies will vary in type, number, and whereabouts.

Our verdict

A great survival game that provides good replayability and a high level of challenge. We recommend it especially to the most dedicated survivalists.

80/100

Pros

  • Extended crafting system
  • Mother-son relationship
  • Skill system

Cons

  • Sluggish animation

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