Fade to Silence is another Survival RPG similar to Outward. So how good is it?
This game sounds incredible. The ambient noises are probably the real highlight here. That and the specter that shows up every so often to taunt you while you explore the open world. When you’re near death he’ll revel in glory as you’re about to breathe your last breath. If you manage to defy death or piss him off, he’ll screech something at you. It’s very entertaining and it’s very well acted too. Well… that ONE part of the game is very well acted. The rest of it is very hit or miss. The main protagonist (Ash) sounds generic and so do some of your companions.
The soundtrack is just the right amount of creepy to make me question my next move. Most of the game is quiet though and is led by its strong ambient performance. If I walk too close to where some crows are nesting they’ll fly away while screaming at me, if I get to close some of the corruption that’s plaguing the land I’ll know it by the audio queues that play and I always know when something is around me because of the way it sounds. There’s a lot to like here. None of it is perfect, but it’s used very well and it definitely improved my listening experience while I was playing. There are some average sounds here as well. It’s mostly combat related, but none of it took away the core experience for me and that’s why the sounds are in the great section of this review.
The snow effects and world of Fade to Silence can look absolutely beautiful at times. It’s when you take a close look at the character models where things fall apart. I mean… just look at them –
This is early Xbox 360/PS3 kinds of bad. The rest of the game looks really good though. There are some glitches with the lighting and shadows and some times dialogue never leaves the screen and just floats in place, but this is one pretty game. Exploring run-down buildings, walking along train tracks, and surviving a blizzard is an experience. There’s a lot of ambiance here. The ambient sounds that play in the background while I’m out exploring had me turn the camera every so often to see if there was something around me.
The lighting is probably the real highlight here. You’ll be making good use of your torch at night and some times during the middle of the day too because it’ll be hard for you to see anything. I wish the character models were better, but the overall quality of the graphics isn’t bad at all.
You play as Ash. At the beginning of the game, you’re brought back to life by some mysterious specter and he hopes that you’ll die again. As I played through the game I got bits and pieces of what happened to the Earth and why it’s in the state it’s in. I also got to know my companions and some of them are voiced really well and have interesting things to say about the current state of the world and about some of the twisted shit they did in order to survive the harsh world we’re living in. I’ll admit that I was interested in everything. Nothing blew me away, but it’s a lot better than I was expecting it to be. My favorite part was unraveling the mystery of how everything became shit.
I really like this game. I love exploring and building my camp up from a single hut to a big settlement that can repel the forces of darkness or whatever the hell they are. The gameplay in this game is bad. The combat is incredibly stiff and animations are average. Traversing the world and gathering materials for my base is fine, but when I have to defend myself against more than one enemy the odds of me dying increase drastically because of how bad the stamina system is. One heavy attack will drain your entire stamina bar all the way down to zero. Certain enemies can only be damaged with a well-timed heavy attack.
I’ll admit that I had a lot of fun exploring the world when I got access to my wolf sled. Watching my two wolves drag me through the snow really quickened the pace of the game and I was able to get a lot more done. Blizzards became more tolerable as well because I could just hop on my sled and speed away to a nearby safe house. Another neat mechanic is the giant blog of debris that floats above your head and tries to drop cars on you. It happens randomly and when it does it’s best to stop what you’re doing and wait for it to pass. It’s like a rainstorm… but with cars and shit.
So what exactly is Fade to Silence? Fade to Silence is an open world RPG survival game like Outward. Your goal is to survive its brutal world, gather companions, and collect materials to build things like a workshop so you can craft better gear for yourself. It’s a hard game at first, but once I learned the basics I didn’t have a super hard time. It did take me about 20 hours to get decent gear and about 40 hours to get what I would call good gear. So it’s a bit of a grind. You also have a limited amount of lives you can use before it’s game over. Or you can just play in adventure mode ( I think that’s what its called). This mode takes away the permadeath but also disables the skill tree you get access to after you die for the final time in the game. This game also has co-op, but I have yet to try it.
The enemy AI and companion AI is absolutely terrible in this game. I wanted to travel around with a companion at my side but decided against it once I realized how easy it is for them to die. They would literally stand in one spot and not bother to dodge enemy attacks or the debris storms that happened periodically. To be fair, the enemies AI isn’t much better so it’s not an unfair advantage for them. Combat in this game is already bad. This just made it a little worse.
The one good thing I can write about the AI is that they know how to defend my home base. Well… mostly. Some times they just stand around and watch the deformed bastards try and break my fence down and I have to go around and kill everything by myself. That only happened twice though. 90% of the time they fuck shit up when we’re invaded and once I had enough companions at home defending it I didn’t have to rush back to help them out since I was confident in their abilities to defend it without me.
Fade to Silence is an underrated game. I really enjoyed it despite the bad gameplay. The world is worth exploring, the base building is fun, and I love the strong Lovecraftian elements. The lore is incredibly interesting and I can see myself coming back to this game again someday. The gameplay is bad and AI leaves much to be desired, but I would love to see this game expanded and improved with a sequel. I've really started to grow fond of these survival RPGs and this is just another good one added on to my list. If you love that feeling of you against the world you'll definitely get it here. This is one of those sleeper hits for me and I highly recommend it to those of you that love playing hard games.