"This is the Dark Souls among the (insert any genre here) games ": This sentence triggers a stinging sensation in the mind of many players, which only the alarm clock ringtone that recurs every morning can do. The games from the house are not due to lack of quality From Software are all outstanding, but as soon as another game exceeds a certain level of difficulty, the Dark Souls comparison indirectly negates the originality Othercide but in no way fair.
The tactical game by the French-Swedish studio Lightbulb Crew is difficult, but does not make use of any other feature of the Souls games. The gameplay is rather reminiscent of the XCOM series. Anyone who has dealt with the more current parts of Firaxis will see parallels, especially with regard to the battles and mission structure.
Otherwise, Othercide is full of creative ideas, especially when it comes to history and the use of failure as the basic structure of the gaming experience. What is also in this unique title, and whether the level of frustration at the high level of difficulty exceeds the 9000 mark, you can find out in this hands-on preview, for which we were allowed to play into the adventure for some time.
<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/07/Othercide_Preview-1–buffed.jpg" alt = "With up to three squad members you can tackle the different synapses balanced team brings you the most tactical approaches.
Source: PC games
Even when the first material for Othercide was shown, the mysterious setting and the very sophisticated art design stood out positively. The horror-like monsters and meaty abnormalities also create a nightmarish atmosphere in the intro version and are strongly reminiscent of Lovecraft's works. These are mixed with a more anime-like style in the playable characters, the so-called daughters. These also provide the only contrast in the otherwise completely black and white Othercide. The red appearance of the figures, the colorful attacks and the blood effects create a discrepancy that contributes a lot to the uniqueness of the atmosphere.
Most of it comes from the lead art director, Alexandre Chaudret. In an interview, he explained that he was significantly influenced by his experiences as a teenager when designing the game world and characters. A rare disease at the time made him almost unable to move, Chaudret said, and that feeling of despair would also be reflected in the world and characters of Othercide.
Source: PC games
Little can be said about the story of Othercide through deliberately restrained information. In the first chapters, history throws around at least with many concepts and terms: the red mother, the child, the others; a supposed struggle between good and evil, a front that wants to destroy the world and another that protects it. The cryptic approach of the narrative is also a motivating factor.
Mothers, hide your daughters!
Othercide's turn-based gameplay is fairly simple on the surface, but offers many tactical approaches. With up to three daughters, our exclusively female characters, we plunge into battle. These come in three different classes: offensive blade fighters, ranged soul-shooters and steadfast shield carriers. Each class has its use on the battlefield. Shield bearers can use a shield bash to bridge distances and stun enemies, for example, while blade fighters cause extensive surface damage. Actions and movements cost your characters action points. At the beginning of the turn, 100 points are available.
<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/430x/2020/07/Othercide_Preview-3–buffed.jpg" alt = "In the" deep inside "daughters can be sacrificed to heal fellow combatants But that turns out to be very cumbersome since the daughters have to have the same level.
Source: PC games
The fights take place within the framework of a dynamic timeline system. This offers a good overview of the fighting. If a figure slips due to a change in the initiative value, for example on the bar, this can always be seen very well.
Outside of the fighting, you are in a kind of hub world. From there you can start battles called synapses, such as hunting and rescue missions. You will receive blood fragments and resuscitation tokens for successful completion. These can be used in the so-called "deep inside" to revive fallen daughters at the cemetery or to germinate new ones in the birthing pool (yes you read that correctly, germinate). After successful level-ups, the daughters can also be equipped with new skills here. If your daughters have suffered too much damage during the fighting, they can be healed via a victim. However, this is rather cumbersome because the sacrificed daughter must have the same level. This is difficult to implement at the beginning of the playthrough.
Source: PC games
The different chapters are called eras in Othercide. Here you have seven days each to defeat the boss. You can only advance on the bar as soon as you have climbed at least one synapse. On the last day you have to face the boss and you have no way to do other tasks. The highlight here is: The final boss is invincible for you. Really. Your adventure is over as soon as you reach it. If that happens, progress in the era will be reset. This is also intended in Othercide, because your resources and the level progress of the fallen daughters will be taken into the so-called next evocation. The figures can then be revived there if necessary. But this means in concrete terms: after each failure, you have to start the chapter again.
Although this concept is unique, it can quickly create moments of frustration. The fights sometimes feel extremely unfair because you are almost always totally overwhelmed and the opponents can do immense damage. Here, Othercide also runs the risk of becoming repetitive very quickly. Playing through the same chapter could be daunting for many players. We'll find out if something else changes in the balancing and what awaits us in other game elements when it is released on July 28 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
A unique setting with good tactical gameplay, but the level of difficulty involves many frustrating moments.
I love challenging games. The Soulsborne titles, Cuphead or Hollow Knight, for example, are among my absolute favorite games. That's why it's all the more difficult for me to say: Othercide is just too difficult for me in its current state. Or maybe just too frustrating. The concept of failure and repetition has been well integrated into the narrative, but bites into the fun of it. Otherwise, the indie title is extremely successful. The setting and the story, the tactical battles and the hub world give the game its very own flair. If the developers of Lightbulb Crew are now able to better balance the game, you can expect a very tactical indie title that you shouldn't miss!
Read too PCPS4XBO
Othercide: Dark strategy RPG with tactical battles announced